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RUS - Federation considers way forward for women's national team
MOSCOW (FIBA World Championship for Women) - The powers that be have been taking a long look at what went wrong with the Russia team that failed to qualify for the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women.
European champions in 2011 and fourth at the London Olympics last year, Russia lost to Spain and Sweden in their first couple of EuroBasket Women 2013 games in June in France.
The Russians defeated Italy in their next game, but the margin of victory wasn't large enough for the giants to progress.
Sweden, Italy and Russia ended up with 1-2 records in Group B behind Spain (3-0), and the Swedes and Italians advanced ahead of the Russians on a goal differential tiebreaker.
Russia, coached by Lithuanian Alfredas Vainauskas, crashed out of the tournament and failed to reach next year's World Championship in Turkey.
"There has never been such a failure," said FIBA Hall of Fame inductee Evgeny Gomelsky to www.newizv.ru, in a recent interview that also appears on the Russian Basketball Federation website.
"Too many strategic mistakes were made.
"Our team wasn't just a failure at the European Championship, it also lost the chance to go to the World Championship.
"I still do not understand how you could not get out of the group where we were confronted by Italy and Sweden, who are never among the top teams.
"We had so many problems at the EuroBasket that you can't count them on the fingers of one hand."
Gomelsky, who is the chairman of the board of coaches for the Russian Basketball Federation (RBF), was asked if a foreigner would be on the list of candidates to lead the women's team.
"No. The new coach of the women's team will be Russian," Gomelsky said.
As for candidates, Gomelsky mentioned Dmitry Donskov, an assistant to Vainauskas this summer, as well as former men's national team star Anatoly Myshkin and current Sparta&K MR Vidnoje coach Alexander Vasin.
Gomelsky also said the board was going to consider appointing the coach of a men's club like Stanislav Eremin (Unics Kazan), Evgeny Kisurin (Spartak St. Petersburg) and Sergey Bazarevich (Krasnye Krylya).
"I will not hide the fact that we are considering giving invitations to the coaches of men's clubs for this important post," he said.
Gomelsky said that women's basketball becomes more dynamic and spectacular with more athleticism every year.
"In such a situation," he said, "the professionalism of a coach with experience and success in working with men's teams may be relevant."