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TUR - Excitement builds as hosts reveal preliminary roster

ISTANBUL (FIBA World Championship for Women) - Turkey head coach Ceyhun Yildozoglu is delighted with the group of players who will compete for a spot at the FIBA World Championship for Women after the hosts revealed an initial list of 17 names.

There was also an enticing prospect for potential rising stars who could also yet be handed an opportunity to link up with the training camp squad.

"We have included both young and experienced players that will support our core roster," declared Yildizoglu.

"As the host of the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women, we will train to achieve the best result possible with this structure.

"We know that the players on this roster, as well as those unable to join this roster, are extremely valuable individuals.

"Additionally, players who turn in notable performances at the U20 European Championship will be included on the roster.

"With the total support we will get from our fans and hopefully without suffering any injuries we are going to battle as a team to bring a medal to Turkey."

With preparations due to commence on 14 July, the candidates are made up primarily from the core of the team that delivered a silver medal at EuroBasket Women 2011, a fifth-place finish at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and a bronze medal at EuroBasket Women last year.

The list is led by the legendary Nevriye Yilmaz, who has hinted the tournament is likely to be the swansong of a glittering career.

She is joined by club team-mates Isil Alben and Bahar Caglar, fresh from posting the most successful season in the history of Galatasaray odeabank having collected the EuroLeague Women and Turkish Women's League titles.

Fellow Istanbul powerhouse Fenerbahce provide five players, including star guard Birsel Vardarli and also center Quanitra Hollingsworth - although her injury problems last season may be behind the decision to bring Lara Sanders of Kayseri Kaski spor into contention as a potential alternative in the naturalised spot.

There are also some fresh faces for Coach Yildizoglu to consider, including Burcu Cigil of Tarsus Belediyesi, Deniz Colakoglu of Konak Belediyesi and Simay Karaman of Orduspor.

"The announcement of this training camp roster gives Turkish Basketball fans something to be excited about," said an excited Turkish Basketball Federation (TBF) President, Turgay Demirel.

"The women on this team have taken Turkish basketball to unprecedented heights and I know they will inspire this country yet again when they make their World Championship debut at home in September."

TBF Board Member Julide Sonat, who oversees women's basketball added: "This is a great moment for Turkish Basketball.

"The TBF have invested heavily in women's basketball in the last two decades and now these accomplished athletes will have the opportunity to shine on the world's stage before their home fans.

Meanwhile, team manager Canan Erdogan stressed: "The successes that have been achieved at both the club and national team levels is proof of the return on investment in Turkish women's basketball.

"With the support of our fans we at the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women we’re going to fight hard to win a medal for Turkey."

Turkey 17-player squad for 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women: Nevriye Yilmaz (Galatasaray Odeabank), Bahar Caglar (Galatasaray Odeabank), Isil Alben (Galatasaray Odeabank), Esmeral Tuncluer (Fenerbahce), Birsel Vardarli, Quanitra Hollingsworth (Fenerbahce), Tugce Canitez (Fenerbahce), Olcay Cakir(Fenerbahce), Tugba Palazoglu (Istanbul Universitesi BGD), Saziye Ivegin Uner (Istanbul Universitesi BGD), Lara Sanders (Kayseri Kaski spor), Esra Ural (Kayseri Kaski spor), Aysegul Gunay (Kayseri Kaski spor), Begum Dalgalar (Besiktas JK), Burcu Cigil (Tarsus Belediyesi),Deniz Colakoglu (Konak Belediyesi, Simay Karaman (Orduspor).

Yildizoglu will be assisted by Erman Okerman and Erkan Metin, with the host nation drawn in Group B against Canada, France and Mozambique.