Ukraine Sergii Gladyr is clear on his goals for the upcoming FIBA World Cup qualifiers.
After being forced to miss Eurobasket due to injury, he is keen to make amends when Ukraine’s World Cup qualifying campaign begins when they play Sweden away on November 24.
They then host Turkey, two days later with Latvia making up Group B.
“Both of them, we have to win,” Gladyr told FIBA.
“If we want to advance to the second round of the qualification, we need to win away, try to get that win.
Sweden is a pretty good team, they have good shooters. They play solid basketball. I saw one of their games last year, they played against Bosnia (and Herzegovina), they played a solid game. We have to try and get that win.
“Then we come back, it doesn’t matter who plays for Turkey, we have to protect our home, especially in front of our crowd. We haven’t played in front of them for a long time.”
Missing Eurobasket through injury hurt Gladyr, a veteran of the Ukrainian international programme. The Monaco player wants to make up for lost time.
“I want to play for Ukraine to put it on the basketball map, to help my country be at the top of European basketball,” he said.
“To be there, to fight with the best players in the world, of Europe, to try to get as high as possible as we did at Eurobasket 2013, try to get to the FIBA Basketball World Cup, try to get to the Olympic Games. Who knows? Russia had a great team in 2012. They had a solid team and made third place in the Olympic Games. Why can’t Ukraine do that?”