25/08/2015 Basketball player Andrei Kirilenko, a prospective candidate for the post of President of the Russian Basketball Federation, during 'presidential' elections at the conference hall of the Russian National Olympic Committee. Alexey Filippov/RIA Novosti

The president of the Russian Basketball Federation, Andrei Kirilenko, spoke with the Russian website iz.ru and referred to the FIBA WC Qualifiers.

Here is what the Russian executive said:

On the upcoming FIBA windows: “There is no agreement for these matches, but we are in constant discussions. In the past year, we allowed the teams to decide whether to let the players compete for the national team or not, we took the risk and gave the opportunity to younger guys to show what can they do in the Qualifies.

The team was defeated and now we are facing a situation where there is no room for mistakes. The next window will be decisive for us. If the team does not play well, it will cost us not only the World Cup, but also the Olympic Games.”

On Russia playing without its top stars: “What’s the point of trying to expand the game in Russia through VTB League if we can’t have the best players from each team on the NT?

I am not able to figure out how teams will not allow their players to join the NT, especially in these two upcoming games that will be the most important ones in the NT’s recent history.”