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Romania and Hungary partner up for FIBA EuroBasket 2017
CLUJ-NAPOCA (FIBA EuroBasket 2017) – Neighbours will become foes on the basketball court come next summer with FIBA EuroBasket 2017 co-hosts Romania confirming Hungary as their partner federation.
The announcement was made in Cluj-Napoca on Thursday afternoon, and was attended by Hungarian Basketball Federation President Ferenc Szalay and Secretary General Peter Bodnar. They were welcomed by Romanian Basketball Federation President Horia Paun, as well as Mircea Cristescu and Adrian Voinescu from the local organising committee.
"Since EuroBasket Women 2015, which was organised by these two countries, there has been a really good relationship between the Romanian and the Hungarian Basketball Federation," expressed Mr Szalay, before continuing, "It is not just diplomacy, it is friendship.
"For us it is a great success to be selected by our Romanian friends. I hope both teams will be able to go through to the next round from Cluj."
Mr Paun was as equally satisfied with the agreement.
"It was a natural choice to invite Hungary as partner for FIBA EuroBasket 2017," he stated. "We proved together last year, at EuroBasket Women 2015, that together we can do great things. Therefore, we believe that once again, we can build a success story at the most important basketball event in Europe.
"We expect to have a full arena for all 15 games that will be played here, in Cluj-Napoca, and having Hungary as partner for FIBA EuroBasket 2017 is a big plus for this goal to be achieved."
"In 2015, we saw Romania and Hungary join forces to organise a well-received EuroBasket Women," reflected FIBA Executive Director Europe, Kamil Novak. "Therefore, it is excellent to have these two countries once more coming together.
"Cluj-Napoca is only a short drive from the Hungarian border and I fully expect to see sold-out games involving Hungary, as fans celebrate the return of their team to a Final Round for the first time since 1999."
With the announcement, three of the four co-hosts have now confirmed their partners. Finland will welcome Iceland, whilst Israel have partnered with Lithuania. Turkey are expected to announce their partner prior to the FIBA EuroBasket Draw, which takes place in Istanbul on 22 November.