News
loading...Please wait while content is loading.
News
Tunisia-08-05-2013
Tunisia men's national team - 2012 London Olympics
09/05/2013

TUNIS (Afrobasket/FIBA Basketball World Cup) - This is no time to rest on the laurels of the previous summers for Tunisia.

That would be foolish and coach Adel Tlatli knows it.

As the saying goes: "it's harder to stay on top than getting there" so Tlatli is already hard at work planning for the Afrobasket.

Tunisia enjoyed a bronze-medal finish at Afrobasket 2009 and won the title in 2011.

Those results allowed the team to play at the 2010 FIBA World Championship and at last summer's London Olympics.

Tlatli, who spent a couple of weeks earlier this year gaining insight into Team USA boss Mike Krzyzewski's methods while he was coaching his Duke Blue Devils in American college basketball, has already begun looking at some of the candidates for this summer.

He called 14 players to a four-day training camp that got underway on Sunday.

French-born Hamdi Karoui, who played for Tunisia at the FIBA U19 World Championship a couple of summers ago in Latvia, was among the players invited.

Olympians Mourad El Mabrouk, Marouene Kechrid, Mokhtar Ghayaza and Youssef Gueddour also made appearances.

Tlatli's message to all the players before this summer?

"We begin the long preparation cycle with training evaluation and fitness," he said.

"We are curious to see where the players are athletically.

"There will be no special treatment.

"I need to train players and motivated young people. Everyone must be serious and willing to give their all in the national team."

For Tunisia to reach the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, they will have to pull out all stops.

A top three finish is needed to reach next year's 24-team event in Spain.

It remains to be seen which key players will come back to the squad.

If, as expected, Afrobasket 2011 MVP Salah Mejri plays this summer, and power forward Macram Ben Romdhane, Tunisia should at least be very competitive.

There appear to be question marks over Amine Rzig, the captain, and point guard Marouene Kechrid.

The expectation was that the London Games would be Rzig's last tournament in the Tunisia shirt but after that event, he threw open the possibility of competing at the Afrobasket again.

The 1.98m small forward is only 32 years old.

Kechrid, one of the outstanding players in 2011, has been bothered by injuries.

He was only able to play in two of Tunisia's five Olympic games.

The 1.78m playmaker turns 32 in June.

In Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, Tunisia will play in Afrobasket Group B against Morocco, Rwanda and Burkina Faso.

FIBA

Comments