Ball At the XIII GSSE
NICOSIA, 1 June 2009 - Basketball tips
off in the XIII
Games of the Small States of Europe, Tuesday, with
Luxembourg, Iceland, Malta, Cyprus, San Marino and
Andorra in the Men's tournament and Luxembourg, Iceland,
Malta and Cyprus in the Women's event.
History proclaims some clear favourites.
Traditionally, Iceland has more basketball quality than
any other country,
despite the fact that the Menís National team of Cyprus
has won 6 gold, 4 silver and 3 bronze medals. Logi
Gunnarsson, a guard playing for Gijon in Spain, is
considered Iceland's best player, with 10 points per
game in European competitions. Malta also has its star, center Marco Matijevic, with Serbian roots.
On the opening day of the Men's competition, San
Marino play against Andorra in a game that will show
a sign of their strength and capabilities.
Cyprus-Luxemburg (at 20:30 local time;
tough premiere for both teams. Luxemburg came to Cyprus
without a tall man. The roster includes players of the
local league, as well as athletes who study and play
in the USA (NCAA). Larry Smith (34, 1.95m), playing the
3-4 positions, is the local league's seventh-best scorer. In
their last practice matches before the GSSE, Luxemburg
beat Albania three times in friendly games.
Cyprus has prepared by playing some friendly
games in Novi Sad, Serbia and according to both players and
coaches, a good team spirit has been established during
The players have promised to do their best and have invited
fans to come to their games and help them.
In the Women's tournament at the XIII
GSSE, Iceland and Malta play against
each other at 12:00. Traditionally, Iceland has been a
better team, with playmaker Helena Sverrisdottir (21,
1.84m) being its best player. Malta has two
center Josephine Grima (27, 1.95m) who plays
in Italy, and Rebecca Thoresen, originally from
Cyprus plays at 18:00 local time (15:00
GMT) against Luxemburg,
having shown some good signs during its preparation at Pravec, Bulgaria.
The fans can be a great help for the
girls, who have not played an official game since 2003,
participating then at the GSSE in Malta.
Luxemburg has made improvements the last
few years, due to a successful development program.