New heights on the horizon
By Dmitry Komarov
For the past six months, the Belarusian basketball champion has played world grands, filling Minsk-Arena with ardent fans. Many anticipated a draw before the new season, promising a new series of matches against formidable rivals. The results were not disappointing.
The number of clubs participating in the League has now gone up to 18, resulting in the squad from Minsk playing at least eight matches at home next season. Another good piece of news is that our rivals in Group B are Russian CSKA, Lokomotiv Kuban and Spartak, Lithuanian Lietuvos Rytas, Polish Prokom, Czech Nymburk, and Ukrainian Azovmash. Another opponent will be settled on October 2nd, when the group containing Finnish Honka, Russian Krasnye Krylya and Yenisey, Polish Anwil, Lithuanian Siauliai and Ukrainian Dnepr will select a team to go through.
The powerful line-up of rivals necessitates a serious approach to training, as the Director General of Minsk-2006 club, Konstantin Shereverya, stresses. “Our opponents are very strong. To appear worthy, we need a strong squad. We have meetings with our partners and sponsors scheduled. Hopefully, they’ll be ready to provide the required assistance and participate in forming the club’s budget. We also count on our fans’ support. Matches promise to be exciting and memorable — certainly worthwhile,” he explains.
The regular VTB United League season starts on October 10th, 2011 — ending on March 16th, 2012. Minsk-2006 also plans to take part in the third most important European championship — EuroChallenge. In the qualification match for its group stage, Belarus will face Georgian club Sokhumi.