Credit: Greek Basketball Federation
Credit Greek Basketball Federation

Greece national team has started preparation ahead of the 2023 FIBA World Cup qualifiers.

The squad had its first meeting on Monday and today coaches and staff welcomed the latest additions to the 16-man roster that will travel to Newcastle to face Great Britain next Thursday (19:30 CET).

One player from Panathinaikos (center Vassilis Kavvadas) and another from Olympiacos (guard Michalis Lountzis) have been included in Greece's line-up.

Credit Greek Basketball Federation

On the other hand, Panathinaikos forward Leonidas Kasselakis will stay in Athens in order to suit up for the Greens in their coming EuroLeague game against Zenit Saint Petersburg. He will fly to Thessaloniki on Friday to meet the other team members ahead of the contest vs Belarus.

The new president of the Greek Basketball Federation, Vangelis Liolios, spoke about the anticipation ahead of the first official obligations of the Greek NT in the 2023 World Cup qualifiers, as well as the presence of Olympiacos and Panathinaikos players in the selection.

"I feel no anxiety, I only feel pride. It's a feeling I've never had until now. The national team is above everyone, above clubs or personal ambitions. We had a very constructive conversation with both Olympiacos and Panathinaikos.

We believe that in the next qualifying window we can have more players from those teams. Basketball and the national team will become the catalyst to unite us all and blunt any contrasts".

Greece will be coached by their assistant coach Savvas Kamberidis, as Sotiris Manolopoulos (the newly-appointed head coach) is recovering from COVID and will most likely debut in Thessaloniki.

"The absence of coach Manolopoulos due to his illness is somewhat mitigated because he is also active, even from a distance," he explained.

The member of the technical staff also added that "most players have been together and know each other well, so this will work in our favor during games".

Credit Greek Basketball Federation/InTime

Dimos Dikoudis and Nikos Zisis, two players with huge experience and many accolades with the Greek team, have taken on the role of the Director of National Teams and the General Manager position, respectively.

"I'm very happy to be here. It's definitely something new, but from the first moment I set foot on training camp, I felt instantly familiar. I know the guys very well since we have been teammates or opponents with most of them," Zisis said before going into more details about his role.

"My role is to work as a link between management, coach, players. It's a position that hasn't existed in the national team in recent years. There must be a year-round communication."

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