The U20 European Championship Division B came to an end in Greece. The Armenian youth basketball team spent 6 games in 3 of which won and took the 17th position. In a conversation with the ANOC press service the secretary general of the Armenian Basketball Federation, Artur Nazaryan, who was leading the Armenian delegation, summed up the championship results.
- The Armenia youth team participated in the European Championship Division B for the second year in a row. Did the team live up to your expectations this time?
- If we look at the results, we have registered a regress placing 17th. If we look at the statistics, the performance was successful because of 6 games we have won in 3. I have already mentioned in the previous conversation that we arrived in Greece with serious personnel problems. Given all it we should give credit to the team for their performance. With the result registered at the last two European Championships the Armenia youth team ranks among the best 30 teams of Europe. I think it's a rather good result for Armenian basketball and it inspires hope that in a few years we will be in higher positions.
- Armenia lost three games and then celebrated 3 victories. How did it happen?
- You know that Armenia didn't spend control games and the first games of the European Championship were a great trial for the team. The lack of experience impeded to win Macedonia and Portugal. The only team which was stronger with its play style was Montenegro which became the winner of the tournament. As for the victories the guys defeated Georgia, Estonia and Bulgaria. The three victories were very worthy because the opponents were countries with good basketball traditions. In general, this year there was a high competitiveness at the European Championship. It's enough to say that the Russia's team failed to enter the top 8… The competitiveness is getting higher with every day and every week in Europe and we need to work hard for not to fall behind the opponents.
- In the previous conversation you said that Armenia was the only country with 10 players and they you would speak about the reasons later…
- Yes, we had to be with 12 players if Karen Chivichyan and Peter Stepanyants would have stayed in the team. We could have achieved other results with them. We still have to analyze and discuss during the upcoming meeting of the federation why these players didn't leave for Greece. Chivichyan had some disagreements with the coach but the reasons of Stepanyants are unclear. They are very important players and I am hopeful that in future they will play for the team. I also should note that half of the team were 18, 19-year-old guys and in 2017 they can still take part in the U20 European Championship. Our youth team has a strong potential.
- Belgian Thibaut Petit was leading the team and his assistant Chris Mayes was helping him. Will they continue the work?
- Petit and Mayes joined the team for two months, they work in the Belgian Premier League and that is their main activity. There are still ten months to the next championship and at present it is difficult to say who will lead the team in 2017. The federation coaching staff has to express its opinion.
- Yesterday the U16 European Championship ended, too. Armenia was playing in the Division C and placed only 8th.
- The junior team totally failed in the games, there can be no second opinion. There were no legionnaires in the U16 team and it was decided to give a chance only to local players. We will analyze what happened and will make appropriate decisions.
- The basketball summer ended for Armenia. How do you assess it, overall?
- Armenia performed at European arenas with four teams for the first time thanks to the support of the NOC of Armenia and ANOC President Gagik Tsarukyan. The national team won at the European Championship for Small Countries, the U18 women's team conquered the gold medal of the Division C. This summer was really exceptional in the history of Armenian basketball. Now we should work harder to improve our indicators
ANOC press service
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