MOSCOW, November 19 (R-Sport) - Russia is to face European basketball powers Greece and Turkey in the group stage of Eurobasket 2013 in September.
The draw Sunday in an underground concert hall in host country Slovenia also pitted Russia against Italy, Finland and Sweden in the opening stage.
Russia is without a coach since David Blatt resigned last month following the country’s Olympic bronze medal in London in August, and a replacement is expected by the end of the year.
Russian Basketball Federation president Alexander Krasnenkov was optimistic about Russia’s chances at Eurobasket.
"We are in a relatively strong group. Nevertheless, our team can achieve superior results at the championship,” Krasnenkov said on the federation website Monday.
“We must get out from such a group.”
Krasnenkov said that the strongest opponents in the group are Greece and Turkey.
“The Italians are also a good team, and the Finns and Swedes can definitely spring a surprise,” he said.
“But we will do everything to ensure that they will not do so in the match against Russia"
Eurobasket is held every two years but will switch to a four-yearly schedule from 2019.
Spain won the 2011 tournament in Lithuania, where Russia took third place.