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Basketballers seeking first win

Top scorer Harold Mrazek is set to return from injury Keystone Archive

Switzerland's national basketball team will this week be looking to kick-start their campaign to qualify for next year's European championships.

Renato Carettoni’s side are currently joint bottom of their qualifying group after losing their first three games, against Ukraine, Lithuania and Turkey.

But victories this week over fellow early strugglers Bulgaria and the Netherlands could help put the Swiss back on track. Only the top two teams in the six-team group are guaranteed to qualify for the 2003 finals in Sweden, though a third-place finish could be enough to see Switzerland progress if other results go their way.

Mrazek boost

The return from injury of Swiss star Harold Mrazek is expected to be a major boost. The team’s top-scorer missed all three of Switzerland’s opening matches in November and his absence was considered a key factor in the side’s subsequent defeats.

Switzerland’s first match this week comes on Wednesday when they take on Bulgaria in Geneva. Three days later the Swiss team play host to the Netherlands in nearby Thônex.

Bulgaria are currently one place above Switzerland in the standings, having won one of their opening three matches. The Dutch side, like the Swiss, are still chasing their first win.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR