|02 May 2012|
EUROBASKET WOMEN QUALIFIERS
By Paul Nilsen
|Swiss international Caroline Turin hopes her EuroCup Women experience with Sdent Helios will help the national team in the EuroBasket Women Qualification Round.|
Caroline Turin is hoping last season's EuroCup Women campaign with Sdent Helios can help the national team in the EuroBasket Women Qualification Round this summer with no fewer than five Helios Basket players likely to be involved for Switzerland.
Speaking ahead of what looks to be a somewhat daunting task in making the step up from Division B to compete with some traditionally stronger nations, the forward is hoping the familiarity of competing in European club competition can have a positive impact in coming months.
"I think it will be a great help that now we have five players from the national team playing together with Sdent Helios," explained Turin.
"We really know each other better every day and I'm sure it will be a great help for us this summer.
"It was really a good experience like always. For me it was the fourth time I played in EuroCup Women and it's always good.
"Firstly, because it's always against good opponents and they are more challenging games compared with the Swiss Championship.
"Secondly, because we can better measure the level in Europe since we played Partizan Belgrade with some players of Serbia for example.
"Now we know the level we will need to be at this summer and for sure it will be a great help so we can play better and be ready."
FACING POLAND, SERBIA, MONTENEGRO AND ESTONIA
Whatever group Switzerland were drawn in, the stark truth was that they were always going to be viewed as underdogs although looking at their opponents in Group B, Turin is confident they can pick up some wins and spring a surprise in what could be a ground-breaking year for the national team.
She said, "It's a really good group. Poland and Serbia have really good players and Montenegro did really well at EuroBasket Women last year. They are all professional players so we know it will be difficult.
"We have played Estonia during the last two years so we know this team. We beat them at home and lost in Tallin. It will be a good contest between us but we know we can win those two games.
"I really think we will try to create a surprise against Poland, Serbia and Montenegro and of course we will have to go for the wins against Estonia.
"This summer will be big moment for women's basketball in Switzerland," continued Turin.
"We have been improving for the last four years. The first year, we lost every game, the second year we won two games and the third year, we won everything!
"Last year we won two games out of four so I think overall, the team has really improved and we showed that we can play good against teams like Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Estonia.
Of course to complete any kind of surprise and realize their ambitions, Turin knows that each individual player and the team as a whole are going to have to punch above their weight and really step up. Consequently the leaders of the team really do have a big role to play while dealing with the weaknesses they face as a team will be easier said than done.
"We know we are not tall and will be smaller than all the other teams so we will have to fight with all five players on the glass. We cannot allow our post players to fight alone under the basket and it will be a team goal.
"And then, because we're smaller, we will have to run and play quick. If we want to play set plays every time in the half-court we will put ourselves in a really tough situation. The offensive transition will be important.
"For our set plays, we will probably need to play a lot with four outside players and just one post player but after four years of doing this, we're used to it.
|Turin expects teammate and captain Karen Twehues to play a big role for Switzerland this summer.|
"I think our captain Karen Twehues will still have a big role on scoring. She's our best player in the team and has a great shot - she's always played pretty well for the national team.
"After that, our big girls will have a big role to play. We all know we don't have tall players so it's always difficult for us inside. So I think Marielle Giroud and Nseya Kassongo will be important.
"As for leadership, I guess Karen and myself will be the leaders since we've been here since the beginning four years ago and I know coach Milenko Tomic really wants us to be the leaders on and off the court. It will be important especially because we know it will be tough games.
NOTHING TO LOSE
Whatever happens this summer, the really important factor for Switzerland will be to simply improve and capture more fans to build some momentum according to Turin.
"For sure, the more you play against good teams, the more you have a chance to improve and get better - it's also really exciting to play these kinds of games.
"We will have nothing to lose so the only things we have to do are to give everything and have no regrets, to have fun and get better with every game.
"And, I'm sure that if we play better as a team, we will get a chance to make a surprise at least once.
"We believe in ourselves and I hope we'll be able to create a surprise in one game at home with our public watching since everybody is behind us and we will really need that this summer.
"We hope that the people will come and support us and also watch a good team and the good players we feel we have in Switzerland."