Veteran Quartet Out For Russia

11 July 2014
Vitaliy Fridzon (Russia)
Vitaliy Fridzon will not play for Russia this summer due to an injury

The progress of generational change that Russia commenced last year will need to accelerate even faster this summer, as four veteran players have had to pull out of the EuroBasket 2015 2nd Qualifying Round.

Sergey Monya, who made his international debut in 2000 and captained the Russian team at EuroBasket 2013, was the first to announce his unavailability.

The battle-hardened small-forward, who turned 31 last April, is recovering from a bout of pneumonia.

Then on Thursday, national team general manager Dmitry Domani confirmed that guards Vitaliy Fridzon and Sergey Bykov as well as forward Andrey Vorontsevich were also ruled out of Russia's EuroBasket 2015 2nd Qualifying Round campaign, due to injury.

"We had hoped until now that the guys would have sufficient time to recover before the start of the Eurobasket 2015 qualifiers and join the team," Domani, a former international player himself, stated.

"However the doctors have delivered their final verdict and unfortunately it is definitively negative.

"These experienced guys could have helped the national team enormously, but we have no right to risk their health", Domani concluded.

The sharp-shooting Fridzon was Russia's second-top scorer at EuroBasket 2013, averaging 10.8 points per game, and went on to have an excellent first season with CSKA Moscow in both the Euroleague and the VTB league.

Vorontsevich was forced to miss out on EuroBasket 2013 after sustaining an injury in training camp, just six days before the start of the tournament.

The absence of the dynamic power forward from the Russian frontcourt was more than felt by Vasiliy Karasev's team in Slovenia, as they were consistently out-rebounded and finished the tournament in last place with four losses in five games.

Bykov on the other hand had struggled for form in the last year and was not included in Russia's EuroBasket 2013 squad but had been a solid performer for the senior national team since his first participation, at the triumphant EuroBasket 2007 in Spain.

Russian legends Andrei Kirilenko and Victor Khryapa had already retired from international duty in 2013, prior to the EuroBasket.

Russia were drawn in Group A of the EuroBasket 2015 2nd Qualifying Round, together with Italy and Switzerland.


28.08.2014 - EUROBASKET 2015 2nd QR
28.08.2014 - EUROBASKET 2015 2ND QR
28.08.2014 - EUROBASKET 2015 2nd QR

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