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Russian basketball chief still believes in national team’s success at 2019 FIBA World Cup

Some of the leading players will be absent on the squad due to injuries
 President of the Russian Basketball Federation Andrei Kirilenko Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS
President of the Russian Basketball Federation Andrei Kirilenko
© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

MOSCOW, August 13. /TASS, Andrey Kartashov/. President of the Russian Basketball Federation (RBF) Andrei Kirilenko told TASS on Tuesday he believed in the success of the national team at the upcoming 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in China, although some of the leading players would be absent on the squad due to injuries.

The coaching staff of the Russian national basketball team announced on Monday that point guard Alexei Shved would miss the global basketball tournament since he had not fully recovered from an ankle injury. Point guards Dmitry Khvostov and Dmitry Kulagin as well as center Timofei Mozgov were also excluded from the team’s roster due to their earlier sustained injuries.

"This is a national team and it will feature the players that are able to play," Kirilenko said in an interview with TASS. "There are things, which can be changed and improved, but unfortunately there are facts as well."

"Let the downsides remain simply as downsides, but we continue believing in our team," the RBF president added.

Kirilenko told TASS earlier that the previously announced line-up of the national basketball team for the championships was optimal in terms of being capable of fighting for medals.

The 18th edition of the FIBA Basketball World Cup for men’s teams is scheduled to be hosted by China between August 31 and September 15. Following the Draw on March 16, the Russian national team was placed in Group B alongside the teams from Nigeria, Argentina and South Korea.