Eurobasket champions Spain have a favourable draw as they travel to Romania to open their 2017 campaign in Cluj-Napoca. The 2015 winners will face Croatia, Czech Republic, Montenegro, Hungary and hosts Romania in Group C. Eurobasket runners-up Lithuania will be housed in Tel Aviv, where they are drawn with the hosts Israel, Ukraine, Georgia, Italy and Germany. Group D, which takes place at the Ulker Sports Arena on the Asian side of Istanbul looks to be the toughest pool of the four as Turkey hosts Great Britain, Russia, Serbia, Latvia and Belgium.
Juan Carlos Navarro said that he would love to play Eurobasket 2017 for Spain National Team. Navarro will decide at the end of the upcoming season but his goal is to play and beat Epi’s record of presences for Spain. Navarro has played 237 games for Spanish National Team, two less than Epi (Felipe Reyes has 236 games for Spain).
All it took was 15 minutes for Nikola Vucevic to overwhelm Albania in EuroBasket qualifying action. In that time on the floor, Vucevic showed off his offensive arsenal. He shot 8-of-13 and finished with 19 points, four rebounds and four assists in Montenegro’s 113-73 victory on Saturday in Tirana. The win sets up the first of two highly-anticipated and significant matchups with Georgia, who like Montenegro is 2-0 and feature its own NBA big man, Zaza Pachulia. The two teams will meet up in Tbilisi, Georgia on Sept. 7 and then again on Sept. 17 in Bar, Montenegro.
The Russian national team showed again how fully prepared it is ahead of the Eurobasket 2017 qualification games. After Belarus, it easily defeated Georgia 94 – 62. Alexey Shved (15 points, 7 rebounds) along with Vitaly Fridzon (13 points) and Timofey Mozgov (12 points) shined the most from Russia.
Germany star Dennis Schroder and the German Basketball Federation (DBB) have issued a joint statement announcing that the point guard will not take part in the FIBA EuroBasket 2017 Qualifiers which tip off on 31 August. Schroder is expected to be the starting point of the Atlanta Hawks and the 22 year old player will return to the States in order to “prepare for the most important season of his career’, according to the DBB statement. “We support Dennis a hundred percent,” said DBB vice-president Armin Andres. “It is a very special situation for Dennis, which can be crucial for his entire career. He is scheduled to enter the starting line-up in Atlanta and he is needed there to undergo intensive and early training with the Hawks. He has our full understanding.” While Schroder was initially poised to lead Germany’s summer bid for a berth in next year’s big event and head coach Chris Fleming will have to modify his plans somewhat, the DBB believe this development could prove beneficial to both the player and German basketball in the near future.
Pau Gasol on L’Equipe article hinting at doping: “It’s not nice to have your professionalism and your integrity questioned without merit. It’s not acceptable. At the same time, I try look at the positive side of things. While it was something negative, I still managed to look at it as something positive, like they were complimenting me as a player.”