10 November, 2019
08 February, 2021
4 Raisa Musina (RUS), SRB vs RUS
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Proud Musina looks to keep Women's EuroBasket legacy alive for Russia

MOSCOW (Russia) - While Russia must accept the unthinkable prospect of potentially missing out on a ticket to FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2021, the return of Raisa Musina gives a significant boost to their chances of reaching their usual place at the top table.

Last November Russia unexpectedly lost at home to Bosnia and Herzegovina in a thrilling contest, which represented one of the shocks of the first FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2021 Qualifiers window.

Yet maybe on reflection, it wasn't all that difficult to predict with an influential player like Musina unable to participate.


What it has done, is to put Russia's chances of progressing rather tantalizingly into the balance.

"Everyone is waiting for this next moment," declared Musina.

"Although the situation is unusual [because of the coronavirus] we all know that this next game with Bosnia and Herzegovina will be the most important.

"I have an additional incentive since last year, I was unable to play in the first two qualifying matches. So now there is a special motivation and a great desire."

She continued: "They are a good team and they are supported by Jonquel Jones from UMMC (Ekaterinburg), who scored many points in that first game and helped her team to win.

"The fact that I could not play was an extremely unpleasant moment. The national team fights for the country - one for all, and all for one. So, when you're not there, you feel uncomfortable. It's a very painful feeling when a team is losing and you cannot help it."


Musina pulling on the national team vest again will not only be a welcome relief to everyone connected with Russian basketball, but will also feel seriously sweet for the 22-year-old too. She explained her immense pleasure at the prospect of stepping out for her nation again.

"There are feelings of pride when you fight for the honor of your country, for yourself, for your family, for all our fans," stated Musina.

"For every player, playing for the national team is a huge event. You always fight with great desire and with great heart."

The big question not only for Russian supporters, but many female hoops fans worldwide, is whether they can ever retain their mantle as being one of the best nations in the women's game. Worryingly, they have not featured at a global event since the London 2012 Olympics and Musina is keen to address this.

"Of course, I would like to say that it is high time we did," she conceded.

"We always expect more from the national team. We have a lot of good players and our generation has matured, becoming more experienced and wiser.

"This will definitely help in the future," she concluded.

For now though, rather than re-discovering the glory days of the past, the focus is much more straightforward. Musina and Russia are out to ensure they successfully avoid the crushing disappointment of missing out on a Final Round.

After all, that is something which has simply never happened before.