Greece have medal ambitions at this summer’s Eurobasket, but the aim though doesn’t involve a bronze or silver medal.
At a press conference in Athens, Greek Basketball Federation President George Vassilakopoulos announced and introduced Italian coach Andrea Trinchieri as their man to guide the Greeks to Eurobasket glory in Slovenia and hoped to extend his deal through to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
Trinchieri spent last season at Euroleague side Cantu, but were eliminated in the regular season stage after 10 games. This will be his first national coaching position.
“Our collaboration [with Trinchieri] is set to last until the World Cup [in 2014] but I would like to hope that it will be extended until the 2016 Olympic Games,” Vassilakopoulos commented.
“Our first big stop is EuroBasket in Slovenia where our goal, not as in an ambition, but as in the aim, is to compete even for top spot on the podium.
“We have a very good team [with] a very good coach who, with his work in Italy and the Euroleague, has proved that he has perfect knowledge of the European game and has impressed with his work methods; he is hard-working and places importance on human relations,” the Greek Basketball President went on to say.
Our aim is to compete even for top spot on the podium
The playcaller was sat next to Vassilakopoulos throughout the press conference in the Greek capital and took a more relaxed approach about the national team’s goals over the summer and possibly beyond.
Greece failed to qualify for last year’s Olympics in London despite being heavy favourites in the Qualifying Tournament in Caracas, Venezuela. They were eliminated by African nation Nigeria, who went on to compete at the Summer Games.
“My position comes with great responsibility but big goals are never easy,” Trincheri said. “I understand fully the aims as set by the president and it could not be any different; when this team steps on the floor, it needs to aim to win every time.”
The Italian has said that he is very lucky to have Olympiacos’ Vassilis Spanoulis on the roster for the trip to Slovenia and even hinted that Panathinaikos’ Dimitris Diamantidis might be available, saying that he would “invite to have a coffee next time he was in Athens”.
Greece will be in Group D of Eurobasket, alongside Russia, Italy, Turkey, Finland and Sweden.
Information used from FIBA Europe