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Sferopoulos: We will look at each game separately to reach at the highest level - Aug 19, 2010

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The assistant coach of Greek National Team, mr. Giannis Sferopoulos , gave an interesting interview to our site during the media day (last Monday) of the Greek National Team:
Coach, 10 days before the World Championship begins, could you tell us how much prepared the team is, having in mind that it has already played the first four out of eight totally friendly games?
Certainly, we are at the middle of our scheduled friendly games; we have played pretty well during this first phase of our preparation and after the tournament at Cyprus we have worked strongly at some crucial small elements of our game. We already had some injuries, which, taking apart Ioannis Bourousis (212-C-83, agency: FCM)' one which seems to be the most serious one, do not make us big troubles. However, it is something negative. At Akropolis tournament, we will have much more difficult and strong games comparing to the ones at Cyprus, which will make us even more ready for what will come. Then, we will have the last game against USA, to test our team again before travelling to Turkey.
Mr. Jonas Kazlauskas told before in front of the cameras that he would like to have even more friendly games to play. What would the team gain from even more games and how will it come across the actual fact of playing eight (only?) games in total?
Nothing can change at this moment. The more friendlies the team plays the best rhythm it can find in its game. We will go to Turkey having played eight games and what we can try mostly to achive now is to keep up our pace through the trainings. Last week's trainings were strong and good enough and we will try to take advantage of Akropolis games even more for our rhythm.
Will the team travel to Turkey for the medal?
The National Team always tries for the best, willing to enter among the first three teams of each such a great tournament. The group we have been drawn is very important since these games will show us our opponent at the next rounds. We will go game by game, trying to reach the highest level we can and then we will see what we have done.
Which teams do you think will fight for the championship? Many people look at our team as one of the five-six first along with USA, Spain, Argentina, Serbia and Turkey. Do you consider any other team, through the friendlies especially played across the world, that could make the difference and be provided as a great opponent?
Certainly, there are seven or eight teams that are able to reach at the medals. It depends mainly on each separate day that you will be found when you play your game. In each group there are teams that could make the difference (comparing to the initial expectations), the favourites are well known, but any other team may appear well. That is why we have to look at our team only at the beginning, to be ready at each game, and when the time comes we will make our approach on every big of our rivals in order to play against him.
The most of the players that will be at the roster for the World Championship are commonly known (about nine or ten). From the rest of them, who may be thought as having an advantage to travel at Turkey?
At this time, no one has any advantage. Certainly, there is this main core you told, but until the last moment the places of the final roster are open for all of them. They have the chance to fight on the same basis and capabilities to be at Turkey.
Final question about our injured player. In case Ioannis Bourousis could not make it out and be unable to take part at the championship, in what way will the coach substitute him?
I would not even like to think that Yannis will not be with us.

Jeff van
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World Cup Standings
Group A - EU Pre-QF
 1. Armenia 0-0 
 2. Bosnia 0-0 
 3. Slovakia 0-0 
 4. Sweden 0-0 
Group B - EU Pre-QF
 1. Albania 0-0 
 2. Austria 0-0 
 3. Holland 0-0 
Group C - EU Pre-QF
 1. Estonia 0-0 
 2. Kosovo 0-0 
 3. FYR Macedon. 0-0 
Group D - EU Pre-QF
 1. Belarus 0-0 
 2. Bulgaria 0-0 
 3. Portugal 0-0 
Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
 Jose Juan BAREA
  Avg: 22
 1. Barea, PUR22.0 
 2. Blatche, USA21.2 
 3. Bogdanovic, BIH21.2 
 4. Gasol, ESP20.0 
 5. Scola, ARG19.5 
 6. Haddadi,18.8 
 7. Moreira, ANG17.8 
 8. Ayon, MEX17.6 
 9. Garcia, DOM17.6 
 10. Baynes, AUS16.8 
Rebounds Per Game
  Avg: 13.8
 1. Blatche, USA13.8 
 2. Haddadi,11.4 
 3. Dieng, SEN10.7 
 4. Bourousis, GRE9.2 
 5. Scola, ARG8.5 
 6. Valanciunas, LTU8.4 
 7. Asik, TUR8.4 
 8. Moreira, ANG8.2 
 9. Varejao, BRA8.0 
 10. Faried,7.8 
Assists Per Game
 Petteri KOPONEN
  Avg: 5.8
 1. Koponen, FIN5.8 
 2. Dalmeida, SEN5.3 
 3. Rubio, ESP5.1 
 4. Jeter, USA5.0 
 5. Teodosic, SRB4.4 
 6. Nikkhah Bahr.,4.4 
 7. Zisis, GRE4.3 
 8. Campazzo, ARG4.3 
 9. Dragic, SLO4.3 
 10. Prigioni, ARG4.2 
Steals Per Game
 Ricky RUBIO
  Avg: 3.6
 1. Rubio, ESP3.6 
 2. Kamrani, IRI2.6 
 3. Harden,2.1 
 4. Balkman, USA2.0 
 5. Irving, AUS1.9 
 6. Dieng, SEN1.8 
 7. Prigioni, ARG1.8 
 8. Ingles, AUS1.8 
 9. Saric, CRO1.7 
 10. Barbosa, BRA1.6 
Blocks Per Game
  Avg: 2.3
 1. Gasol, ESP2.3 
 2. Davis,2.1 
 3. Kim,2.0 
 4. N'Diaye, SEN1.8 
 5. Asik, TUR1.6 
 6. Dieng, SEN1.5 
 7. Vargas,1.5 
 8. Gasol, ESP1.4 
 9. Ibaka, CGO1.3 
 10. Garcia, DOM1.2 
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