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    Russia sets precedent by enlisting first foreign basketball player

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    MOSCOW, September 1 (RIA Novosti sports commentator Mikhail Smirnov) - John Robert Holden, American-born CSKA Moscow basketball player, has become the first ever foreigner on Russia's national men's team.

    Holden, who also has Russian citizenship, successfully debuted with the team at the international exhibition Efes Pillsen World Cup tournament in Turkey, contributing 22 points to Russia's 83-74 win over Turkey, second only to Andrei Kirilenko, the NBA Utah Jazz player, who scored 27 points.

    In the next game, Russia cannot afford to lose more than 10 points to France in order to advance to the semifinals. The team views the tournament as a final rehearsal ahead of the European championship to be held in Serbia and Montenegro in late September.

    Holden has set an important precedent for Russian sports officials to enlist foreigners to strengthen the national teams in different sporting events.

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