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Everything ready for ''All Star Day 2005'', says FIBA Executive Director
2005-04-13 14:05:58

Limassol, Apr 13 (CNA) -- FIBA Executive Director Nar Zanolin has said there is a ''fantastic atmosphere'' on the eve of the ''All Star Day 2005'', one of the biggest basketball events in the world, and said he was assured of its success and delighted with the choice of Cyprus as the host country.

Chairman of the Organising Committee Michael Loizides said that everything has been done to ensure an unforgettable evening on Thursday night for participants and spectators alike, promising entertainment, spectacle, music and a display of basketball skills.

The event, with the participation of 24 players including two from Cyprus, will take place on Thursday evening, at Eleftheria Stadium in the capital Nicosia and is expected to last about four hours.

''We look forward to an even better spectacle this year. This is a celebration for basketball, a very difficult event to organise, which will culminate in two weeks' time in Istanbul, where the winner will be announced,'' Zanolin told a press conference here today.

He explained that some 40,000 persons have voted through the Internet for the best basketball players, and subsequently the participating players were selected with the help of FIBA coaches and FIBA Europe.

Loizides said Cyprus is organising this great event because it believes that it is high time the country claims such festivities.

''We are on the right track, ticket sales are in great demand and I am sure that if we succeed in this, more events of this caliber will follow,'' Loizides, who is also the chairman of AEL club in Limassol, said.

The opening ceremony will include drummers and bouzouki players, who performed at the Olympic Games opening, rope acrobats and 14 dancers who will entertain the public to the tunes of syrtaki music.

The mascot of the games will then appear, followed by the teams. A three-point competition will also take place.

The main part of the event is a game between European and non-European players and the closing ceremony will feature Cyprus' entry for this year's Eurovision Song Contest.

The All Star Day 2005 will be beamed live to more than ten countries and tens of TV networks will broadcast extracts from the opening ceremony.

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