Estonia: Sokk Unhappy With Defeat

Estonia coach Tiit Sokk was heavily critical of his players after watching them slump to a 75-57 defeat against the Czech Republic in their opening European Championship qualifier.

Sokk’s side failed to make the most of their home advantage and slumped to a convincing loss despite an 18-point haul from forward Martin Muursepp.

The win saw the Czechs move straight to the top of Group A and put them in a strong position to qualify for EuroBasket 2005.

“Some players forgot their role completely and just kept counting on two players,” Sokk told SL Ohtuleht. “There was not enough co-operation. I also expected more from Tanel Tein.

“I guess this is the current form we have. We started off well, but players were not ready to put up with the tense game for the whole 40 minutes.

“It will be even more difficult when we meet our next opponents away.”

Muursepp, meanwhile, echoed the sentiments of his coach and was frustrated to see his team-mates fail to build on a positive start to the match.

“We played a decent game for 18 minutes,” he said. “After that we started losing the ball and became sloppy.

“We could not stick to our combinations and passed the ball around too much.”

Guard Tein accepts that he was well short of his best.

Tein spent 39 minutes on the court – longer than any of his team-mates – but scored just five points while collecting only three defensive rebounds.

“I agree, I should have tried harder,” he said.

“Honestly, I am not in very good form right now. I tried, but I just could not last.”

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