BUCHAREST (FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019) - Huge changes are coming for Romanian basketball, something that is assured not just because the country is hosting Group C of FIBA EuroBasket 2017 in Cluj-Napoca.
That in and of itself is a major event because Romania last appeared at a FIBA EuroBasket in 1987.
I think the connection between supporters and players will be much stronger throughout the year - Tenter
"Every game will be important," Romania coach Marcel Tenter said to FIBA.com. "It's a huge task for the players, entire organization, to make our efforts to continue the good level of basketball."
Eighty teams will play in six qualifying windows for the right to join hosts China at the next staging of FIBA's flagship event in 2019.
Indeed, having games throughout the year should give supporters more opportunities to watch them. Often in the summer, when national teams have been gathering, fans are on vacation.
"It will give the opportunity to our fans to meet the players much more often, to see them working, and I think the connection between supporters and players will be much stronger throughout the year," Tenter said.
As a former long-time national team player, Tenter knows that his players are dedicated to the cause. He says they do need some rest following hard seasons. After the June qualifying window of 2018, the players will be able to switch off and relax.
"I think it's a good idea to give the national team players some time off to recover because otherwise in some years, you feel it very hard," he said.
While Tenter doesn't know if he will continue to be in charge after FIBA EuroBasket 2017, one other aspect he likes about the new system is that he anticipates federations making the coaching position a full-time role.
"I think the coach will be a full-time coach and this will make his job easier, he'll be able to watch his players during the championship and pick the ones that are in good form," he said.
With all of this in mind, Tenter says his priority is focusing on the here and now of Romanian basketball. He wants the national team to make the most of the chance to host Group Phase games at FIBA EuroBasket 2017.
"It's a huge opportunity for us," he said. "We're very happy to host such an important competition. We've been waiting a long time for this opportunity.
"We know that we, even as hosts, are the underdogs because we haven't participated for such a long time in the Final Round of a EuroBasket, but we have our chance and we will fight for it."