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NBA : The big teams play it in the February window

NBA :

Stefan Djordjevic / sdjordjevic@eurohoops.net

The teams have suffered headaches trying to put together their best possible calls for a while and the qualification windows for the EuroBasket 2022 they have not been an exception. There have been cases in the past of major national teams missing major competitions due to not having their best players available and the next February window could have the same ending for some of them.

Whether due to the calendar of different competitions, such as the NBA and the Euroleague, or due to the problems caused by the coronavirus, coaches have been forced to adapt and find ways to win. A new call in each window and with a limited training time, means facing a great challenge trying to put all the pieces together and show adequate performance on the court.

An example of this has been Serbia, which has had its ups and downs and, in the previous window, suffered a defeat against Switzerland. Ironically, the big surprise was led by Marko and Dusan Mladjan, both of Serbian origin. However, Serbia are still in a good position to stamp their tickets as they only need a win in one of the next two meetings against Georgia and Switzerland. Selecting Igor Kokoskov and his assistant Dejan Milojevic made a great effort to put together the best possible squad and they succeeded by summoning Vasilije Micic Y Marko Guduric for the second game.

But there are other great teams that have also had problems and luck has not accompanied them in the form of victories.

Lithuania they are 2-2 in Group C, which has the Czech Republic already qualified (as hosts) and there are basically only two spots available. Belgium surprised a lot of people and lead the standings at 3-1, leaving Denmark and Lithuania fighting for the last. Iffe Lundberg led the Danish victory over Lithuania in the previous match and the latter now has no margin for error.

Turkey it has had it even worse and is bottom in Group D with 1-3. They will have to defeat Sweden, which they will face on February 20 and their opponent will have Jonas Jerebko, convened for the first time in years. Perhaps the recently nationalized Shane Larkin I could give them a final push.

Another peculiar case has been that of the selection of Latvia in Group H. Also at the bottom at 1-3, the Latvians will have to compete with Bulgaria (1-3) for the last place leading to EuroBasket. The Bulgarians won 110-104 after overtime in the first game and the rematch is scheduled for February 20.