BLR - Grigas reveals candidate list ahead of Turkish challenge
MINSK (FIBA World Championship for Women) - Belarus play-caller Rimantas Grigas has named his list of hopefuls who will compete for a place at the FIBA World Championship for Women but faces a challenge in ensuring his team are competitive under the basket.
The Lithuanian coach has been left seriously short-handed in the paint after losing kingpin Anastasiya Verameyenka and fellow center Marina Kress during recent months, with both currently unavailable for selection due to maternity leave.
And, while she has played at major tournaments before including EuroBasket Women 2007, the Beijing Olympics and the previous FIBA World Championship for Women in Czech Republc, she was handed only limited court-time.
One huge positive for Grigas which will help to relieve his headaches in the frontcourt will be the return of the experienced Tatyana Troina to the wing.
Her versatility and veteran know-how could be priceless having now fully recovered from the ACL injury which denied her a spot at EuroBasketWomen 2013 in France.
He will also be able to continue utilising the highly-skilled Katsiaryna Snystsina who led the team in steals last year and the 'X-factor' play of the dynamic Tatsiana Likhtarovich, who led the way in assists.
Belarus will face Australia, Czech Republic, Japan, Turkey, China and Spain during their preparation programme in the lead up to the tournament, which will see them participate at the FIBA World Championship for Women for only the second time in their history.
Belarus squad for FIBA World Championship for Women: Natallia Anufryienka, Nataliya Trafimava, Tatyana Troina, Yelena Leuchanka, Maryia Papova, Tatsiana Likhtarovich, Katsiaryna Snytsina, Aliaksandra Tarasava, Svetlana Kudryashova, Zhanna Haradzetskaya, Olga Vashkevich, Volha Ziuzkova, Nadzeya Drozd, Darya Lipinskaya, Viktoryia Hasper, Maryna Ivashchanka, Natallia Baklaha, Ksenija Voishal, Maria Filonchyk.