Turkmen Pashkov calls on players for golden run
Aleksandr Pashkov believes it is time for Turkmenistan's 3x3 Basketball team to come of age ahead of their final Group B game against Iraq.
The two sides meet on Friday September 22 at the 3x3 Basketball Arena, with the experienced Pashkov keen to make his side's shock defeat against Lebanon a distant memory and add to their subsequent crushing victory over Tajikistan.
“This is a tough competition and several good teams will be fighting for the medals," he said. "We also have to deal with the pressure and the crowd’s high expectations."
The 32-year-old guard, a member of both the 5x5 and 3x3 Turkmen national sides, wants his players to use Ashgabat 2017 as the stepping stone to international success.
“We were looking forward to playing on our home soil and here we are," he said.
"I hope we can have big success in the tournament and make basketball more popular and attractive."
Before Ashgabat 2017 Pashkov played in the 2013 FIBA Asia 3x3 Championship at Doha, Qatar, the 2014 Asian Beach Games at Phuket, Thailand, and the 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games at Baku, Azerbaijan.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t to get a medal in the previous competitions, but I am optimistic we can do it here," he said.
"It is the right time and the place for us to succeed.”
Pashkov’s optimism remained intact despite the setback against Lebanon on Wednesday 20 September.
“I was a strong believer of getting the gold before the start of the tournament and I am still believing that it may happen,” he said.
In the first two games at Ashgabat 2017, Pashkov has netted just eight points after a poor six from 16 shooting ratio.
“My performance could be better, but hopefully it will improve in the next matches," he said. "But the key point is to win or lose as a team.”
Turkmenistan meets Iraq, in the first of nine matches on Friday 22 September when the Preliminary Round will be completed in both the men’s and the women’s tournaments.
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