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Latest update: 08/06/2009 18:18 +0300

Basketball Calling on the Fans

NICOSIA, 15 May 2009 - Preparations are in full throttle for the Cyprus Men's Basketball team ahead of the XIII Games of the Small States of Europe. The team's training, which began on 27 April, has been picking up pace. Three players Panagiotis Trisokkas, Georgios Anastasiades and Michalis Kounounis, who are expected to have a key role for our side in the games, tell their views on the upcoming task of the team:

"Our aim is to put in a good performance at the Games," said Trisokkas. "The fact that will go to Novi Sad for training is a positive step for us. We didn't meet expectations at the previous GSSE in Monaco, so we have to do what is necessary to erase those memories."

Anastasiades, meanwhile, spoke of the home support. "We want to put on a good show. We have our supporters and they will be there for us. We believe in our own strengths and we will do our best."

Also upbeat was Kounounis who said, "Although quite a few players have not had much playing time, the main thing is that we have players of quality. Despite what happened in Monaco, I don't feel that we have anything to prove. We are a good team but we need the help of our supporters."

The National Team coaching staff comprises of Christos Stylianides, Lino Gavriel and Nikos Lambria. All three have been at the drawing board in an effort to prepare the team for a solid performance without, however, underestimating our opponents. The quality and the effort of the players in the team is beyond dispute but the coaching staff still have a job in bringing the side up to par due to the fact that some players lack playing time at their respective clubs.

On 20 May the National Team will leave for Novi Sad in Serbia for a series of friendly matches. They will take on Vojvodina, Novi Sad, Metalac and Hemofarm. The chance to also play Red Star or Partizan in Belgrade has also not been ruled out.

The team will return to Cyprus on 26 May before withdrawing to their hotel on 31 May ahead of their GSSE duties.

The players currently training with the national team are: Georgios Palalas, Michalis Kounounis, Alexandros Liatsos, Christos Loizides, Panagiotis Trisokkas, Panagiotis Yiannas, Christoforos Razis, Georgios Theocharides, Stratis Stylianou, Jo Jo Garcia, Georgios Anastasiades, Georgios Neofytou, Andreas Sizopoulos, Aris Koronides, Tolis Kaskiris and Grigoris Pantouris.

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