Credit: Olympiacos BC/Hellenic BF
Credit Olympiacos BC/Hellenic BF

The Greek national team started their preparation on Friday afternoon in view of their last game in the World Cup qualifying group against Great Britain in Larissa, next Thursday (June 30).

This was the first training session held at the gym of Peristeri, under the instructions of new head coach Dimitris Itoudis, but in the absence of Kostas Sloukas and Nick Calathes who will also miss the upcoming game. 

Vangelis Liolios, president of the Greek Basketball Federation, was also present at the first scrimmage, in order to give players and staff some boost and also celebrate Dimos Dikoudis' birthday. The retired forward, who turned 45 and has been entrusted with the supervision of Greece's juniors and men's teams, was welcomed with a birthday cake. 

However, it was Dimitris Itoudis who stole the show. The experienced tactician revealed that he's had talks with other Greek coaches in order to get some info on certain players. Those coaches are: Giorgos Bartzokas, Dimitris Priftis and Giannis Sfairopoulos. However, Itoudis admitted that he plans on meeting two of them from up close.

"The truth is that I have contacted them, but only Bartzokas directly. I texted him and congratulated him on winning the Greek League. These days, I will have meetings with Dimitris Priftis, Giannis Sfairopoulos and other coaches who are abroad or in Greece. I told them that they're all necessary in this effort - their ideas, their experiences and their love for the national team is essential," the two-time EuroLeague champ stressed.

Credit Hellenic BF

Itoudis refused to name the coaches he's had talks with. 

"For various reasons, let me not say names. They couldn't be present because they're currently working at EuroLeague and EuroCup teams. We have a very good coaching team led by Sotiris Manolopoulos," he added.

Itoudis repeated that "no one's ideas and advice is superfluous. I may know the players, but Giorgos Bartzokas may know (Tyler) Dorsey better because he used to work with him every day. Dimitris Priftis knows Papagiannis or Papapetrou better. Basketball unites, there is no one left."

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