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Turkey choose to go with Sanders
ISTANBUL (FIBA World Championship for Women) - Turkey have opted to dispense with the services of Quanitra Hollingsworth and hand a debut in the naturalised spot to Lara Sanders for the forthcoming FIBA World Championship for Women.
The decision by head coach Ceyhun Yildozoglu and his coaching team was always going to be a critical one and so it has proved, after welcoming Sanders into the fold.
Hollingsworth debuted at the 2012 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women (OQTW), helping the country qualify for the Olympics for the first time ever as they came in fifth at the London Games. She was then part of the team that scooped a bronze medal at EuroBasket Women 2013 in France.
However her 2013-14 season at club level with Fenerbahce was then hampered by injuries. This combined with the fact that the powerful Sanders helped Kayseri Kaski spor take a historical first-ever place at EuroLeague Women Final Eight with a productive 13.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per game, opened the door for the 28-year-old.
Needing to make a strong bid for the coveted spot, Sanders has generally produced the goods during Turkey's preparations and this has swung the pendulum in her favour.
It may also have been a consideration that Turkey achieved their greatest success without Hollingsworth, when they took silver at EuroBasket Women 2011 using Nevin Nevlin as their naturalised player.
The team had already announced their 11 domestic players on the list, with Sanders becoming the third debutante after young guns Cansu Koksal and Tilbe Senyurek were both handed first outings.
Turkey have just completed their participation in the Khalipski Cup tournament, although it proved to be far from plain sailing.
While overcoming China, Yildizoglu and his team were beaten by Spain and then signed off with a narrow 65-65 loss to Belarus.
Turkey squad for FIBA World Championship for Women: Isil Alben, Bahar Caglar, Tugce Canitez, Saziye Ivegin Uner, Cansu Koksal, Tugba Palazoglu, Lara Sanders, Birsel Vardarli Demirmen, Begum Dalgalar, Nevriye Yilmaz, Tilbe Senyurek and Esmeral Tuncluer.