By Artem Bestemianov
The Belarusian national basketball team has yielded to Sweden and lost its chance to reach the elite division of the European Championship. However, the tournament continues. Belarus defeated Albania in its away match and played brilliantly against Azerbaijan and Romania, but its victories were not sufficient to win through.
In the current (second) qualification round, Belarus saw a new line-up whose great performance would have taken them further last year. Their core obstacle has been the Swedish team, which comprised both tough veterans and energetic youngsters. Commenting on our guys’ performance, head coach Andrey Krivonos states, “Each has their own strengths but lacks experience of higher level.”
Nevertheless, our Belarusian players demonstrated some occasional outstanding performances during the European matches: nice combinations, technical skills and long, high throws. Their hard training may yet bring results. We shouldn’t forget our defeat of Ukraine and battling for the prize of the King of Jordan. With determination, all things are possible.
“It’s utterly impossible to create a strong team in just one month,” comments Mr. Krivonos. “Only a strong national championship can build a formidable national squad.”
From next season, the terms of qualification for the European Championship will be revised. The International Basketball Federation has decided to abolish the division system, creating more room for our team to reach the elite of European basketball.