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Young guns ready to fire Russia back to glory
MOSCOW (FIBA EuroBasket Women 2017) - An exciting and youthful Russian roster will hit the floor at The Final Round this week in a bid to propel their country back among the Continent's elite.
Having last won a medal in 2011 when they took gold in Lodz, Russia have endured an agonizing couple of editions, but now look to have the kind of dynamic players who can push for a podium finish again.
|Russia roster for FIBA EuroBasket Women 2017|
|Elena Beglova||Evgenia Belyakova||Mariia Cherepanova||Elena Kirillova|
|Kseniia Levchenko||Zhosselina Maiga||Raisa Musina||Epiphanny Prince|
|Ksenia Tikhonenko||Maria Vadeeva||Natalia Vieru||Natalia Zhedik|
Head coach Alexander Vasin has handed out a trio of senior tournament debuts to Zhosselina Maiga, Kseniia Levchenko and Raisa Musina, which means that a third of the roster will be aged 21 or under.
Musina joins fellow teenager Maria Vadeeva who made a huge impact when she debuted two years ago in Hungary when just 16-years-old and was recently crowned a EuroLeague Women winner at Dynamo Kursk.
Russia will lean on the naturalized Epiphanny Prince to bring the creativity and offense, while WNBA champion Evgeniia Beliakova brings renowned leadership to the young side.
There is also some major three-point firepower from Natalia Zhedik and FIBA EuroBasket Women 2011 MVP, Elena Kirillova.
With an injury to Tatiana Vidmer an undeniable setback, there is a remarkable return to favor for Ksenia Tikhonenko. She has continued her fantastic form at Dynamo Moscow last season and that got her the thumbs-up from Coach Vasin.
Russia will face Belgium, Latvia and Montenegro in Group D.