The Armenia U20 national basketball team has launched at the European Championship Division B. At the ongoing championship in Chalkida, the Armenia players lost the first game to Macedonia with a score of 56:67. The ANOC press service has had an interview with the secretary general of the Armenian Basketball Federation, Artur Nazaryan, who is leading the Armenian delegation in Greece.
- In the first game against Macedonia Armenia was close to the victory but at the end of the game it started conceding and lost. What happened to the Armenian players?
- Armenia spent a very good game but at the end of the game the physical preparedness didn’t allow to succeed. There are some reasons that can’t be ignored; first, Armenia has arrived in Greece with 10 players instead of 12. Karen Chivichyan and Peter Stepanyantc are not with the team, for some reasons. Both players were important to us but today they are not with the team. I won't speak about the reasons, we will return to them after the end of the championship. The substitutes’ bench has shortened and it was obviously visible at the very end of the game. For instance, our tallest player, Steven Enoch, was playing without a substitute because there was simply no one that could substitute him. If Stepanyantc were in the squad list he would substitute Enoch. Steven was rather tired at the end of the game… Besides, the Macedonian players stood out with excellent accuracy in the fourth quarter. Their three-point throws were especially successful and they changed the course of the game. In addition to the staffing problems Armenia didn't spend any official game with this line-up which couldn’t pass without consequences.
- Which was the reason this line-up played its first game here?
- Our central player, Steven Enoch, couldn’t join the team from the beginning of the training camp. He arrived in Yerevan on July 2 and after training almost 8 days with the team left for Greece. Unfortunately, it was very difficult to find an opponent in early July and in the earlier games the coaches had tried the team without Enoch. Now they will have a clearer idea what to do with this line-up.
- Armenia still has three games to play in the group stage. What expectations do you have from the other games?
- Despite the existing problems the youth national basketball team will fight in every game and will spare no effort to achieve a good result. The guys are very dedicated to their work. We are going to compete against Portugal’s, Montenegro’s and Georgia’s teams which are very good. If we work harder we will manage to register a good result.
- What task has the team been given?
- Last year Armenia placed 12th at the European Championship Division B. The minimum task is to improve the position. Besides, one of the main tasks of the youth team is to supply the national team with good players. For example, four players from the last year’s line-up joined the national team this year and took part in the European Championship for Small Countries in Moldova where our national team captured the gold medal.
- The Division B has brought together 21 national teams. What can you say about the organization of the tournament?
- The Greek Federation does everything for not causing problems to the participants. I have taken part in such tournaments many times and I can say that Greeks’ ceremony was the most beautiful and impressive. So far, everything is going well.
ANOC press service
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