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GRE - Experienced Kaimakoglou upbeat about Greeks' chances
ATHENS (FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Kostas Kaimakoglou is wearing a big smile on his face right now.
He's excited to see young Greece national team hopefuls at the training camp for the FIBA Basketball World Cup, but also experienced hands like himself.
"We have several new faces in the team and I think that is very important because slowly these youngsters will take over from us old people," the 31-year-old said with a laugh.
"A team needs some players who have the experience, but also some that will have a lot of energy.
"So I think it is very important that we have this chemistry right now."
Kaimakoglou, a 2.05m power forward, is a near certainty to be in the final group of players that travels to Spain.
With just under four weeks to go before the start of the World Cup, there are sure to be fresh faces in the team that plays in Sevilla's Group B against Senegal, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Argentina and Croatia.
Coach Fotis Katsikaris has several newcomers champing at the bit to make the 12-man squad.
Kaimakoglou already has a good understanding of what the 47-year-old, who has replaced Andrea Trinchieri at the helm, is looking for this summer.
"The coach has talked about his philosophy to the press and of course to us," Kaimakoglou said.
"He wants to play faster. And what I take from that as a more experienced player is that he wants to play more quickly, but not hastily.
"From there you have to play at a higher pace in attack with some plays we have already shown.
"The challenge every day is to become better and of course, what we must not forget as Greeks is a feature that we have always had: to play tough defense, because that is what will take us a long way."
Kaimakoglou also cited the need for he and his colleagues to show "passion" but also to enjoy the moment.
"It is our pleasure to be here and at the same time a great responsibility," he said.
"Everybody understands quickly that they are in a family and of course it's nice to play for your country.
"Many beg to be here, so you should appreciate very much the fact that we are so lucky to be here."