Alexey Shved did his best with a game-high 33 points but despite a vastly improved Eurobasket showing, Russia will have to settle for the 3rd/4th place game against Spain on Sunday. Photo: FIBA

Khimki and Russian superstar Alexey Shved will not suit up for Russia in a crucial period of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers.

Shved has cited fatigue and a desire to relax following a demanding season with Khimki Moscow in both EuroLeague and VTB League.

Russia travel to Belgium on June 29 and then they host France in Moscow, three days later in a crunch tie. Russia is currently 2-2 in Group E and apart from the fact that it hasn’t qualified to the next stage yet, the first-round results are carried to the next stage.

“Of course this is unpleasant news,” Russian national team head coach Sergey Bazarevich said. “Alexey is currently the best basketball player not only in Russia but, probably, in Europe.

“We talked to him. To a certain extent, I understand his situation. But from the very beginning, from the moment that Andrei Kirilenko became president of the Federation, our position was that we don’t try to convince anyone.”