EuroLeague, EuroCup stars ready for pre-Olympic tourneys!

Jun 28, 2021 by Print
EuroLeague, EuroCup stars ready for pre-Olympic tourneys!

The FIBA Men's Olympic Qualifying Tournaments start this week to complete the 12-team lineup that will fight for the medals at the 2020 Summer Olympics - played in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Twenty-three teams in four groups will fight for the four remaining berths from June 21 through July 4. Only the pre-Olympic tournament champions join eight already qualified teams at the 20th Olympic Basketball Tournament. USA, Japan, Nigeria, Argentina, Spain, France, Australia and Iran have already earned their right to play at the Olympics. The four pre-Olympic tournaments will be held in Victoria, Canada; Split, Croatia; Kaunas, Lithuania; and Belgrade, Serbia. Each tournament features six teams divided into two groups of three. The best two teams in each group qualify for the semifinals played in a final four format and the winner will keep its Olympic dream alive.

Nick Calathes - FC Barcelona - EB20_bdli6a3nd4rim7y5

Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria hosts one of the tournaments. Canada is the tournament's host and it will also feature Greece, Turkey, the Czech Republic, China, and Uruguay. Canada is led by Andrew Wiggins and RJ Barrett. Greece, coached by former Panathinaikos OPAP Athens boss Rick Pitino, features former All-EuroLeague selections Nick Calathes and Kostas Sloukas plus recent AX Armani Exchange Milan signing Dinos Mitoglou and Panathinaikos center Georgios Papagiannis. As in recent years, the Czech Republic will be led by former EuroLeague MVP Jan Vesely and Tomas Satoransky. Turkey features reigning EuroLeague champions Sertac Sanli and Bugrahan Tuncer of Anadolu Efes Istanbul, as well as Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul captain Melih Mahmutoglu. Jayson Granger and EuroLeague veteran Esteban Batista are among Uruguay’s best-known players and Zhou Peng and Zhao Jiwei lead China.

Mario Hezonja - Panathinaikos OPAP Athens - EB20_bf6cssof8uvti8cl

The tournament in Split at Spaladium Arena features Croatia, Russia, Brazil, Germany, Mexico and Tunisia. Croatia will lean on the likes of Mario Hezonja of Panathinaikos and Ante Zizic of Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv. Russia has well-known names in European basketball, such as former EuroLeague champs Andrey Vorontsevich, Ivan Ukhov, Semen Antonov, Mikhail Kulagin and Anon Astapkovich. Brazil features former EuroLeague winner Anderson Varejao and playmaker Marcelinho Huertas as two of its pillars. Niels Giffey of Zalgiris Kaunas, Maodo Lo of ALBA Berlin, Danilo Barthel of Fenerbahce, Johannes Voigtmann of CSKA, among other EuroLeague stars, are on the German national team. Mexico will be led by former All-EuroLeague big man Gustavo Ayon and Tunisia features his former Real Madrid teammate Salah Mejri.

Milos Teodosic - Virtus Segafredo Bologna (photo Giulia Pesino - Virtus) - EC20

Not far away, Belgrade will have its pre-Olympic tournament at the famed Aleksandar Nikolic Hall. Serbia hosts Italy, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and the Philippines, while Senegal was a last-minute scratch due to team's COVID-19 situation. Serbia is led by EuroLeague MVP Vasilije Micic and former EuroLeague winners and two-time 7DAYS EuroCup Regular Season MVP Milos Teodosic as its main options at point guard. Nikola Kalinic of Valencia Basket and former EuroLeague MVP Nemanja Bjelica are some of the big names in the Serbian squad. Achille Polonara of TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz and former All-EuroLeague big man Nicolo Melli play key roles for Italy. The Philippines replaced New Zealand, which was forced to withdraw from the tournament.

Marius Grigonis - Zalgiris Kaunas - EB20_bbvo37ddxysskx9w

Zalgirio Arena will be the home to the pre-Olympic tournament in Lithuania. The host nation will be joined by Venezuela, South Korea, Poland, Angola and Slovenia. Lithuania looks for its eighth consecutive Olympic tournament appearance and brings in its best squad, led by Mindaugas Kuzminskas of Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar, Mantas Kalnietis, Lukas Lekavicius and Rokas Jokubaitis of Zalgiris Kaunas, Marius Grigonis of CSKA, Rokas Giedraitis of Baskonia, Domantas Sabonis and Jonas Valanciunas. Former EuroLeague MVP Luka Doncic leads Slovenia alongside Mike Tobey and Klemen Prepelic of Valencia, Zoran Dragic of Baskonia and Jaka Blazic of Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana, among other EuroLeague and EuroCup stars. Poland relies on EuroCup Rising Star Aleksander Balcerowski and AJ Slaughter of Gran Canaria to lead the team, along with Mateusz Ponitka of Zenit. Venezuela competed at the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016 and looks to get back to the tournament. South Korea had its last Olympic appearance in 1996 and Angola looks to return to the big event for the first time since 2008.


Coach Igor Kokoskov, Fenerbhce Beko Istanbul
Danilo Andjusic, JL Bourg en Bresse
Dejan Davidovac, Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade
Ognjen Dobric, Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade
Nikola Kalinic, Valencia Basket
Vasilije Micic, Anadolu Efes Istanbul
Milos Teodosic, Virtus Segafredo Bologna


Awudu Abass, Virtus Segafredo Bologna
Simone Fontecchio, ALBA Berlin
Riccardo Moraschini, AX Armani Exchange Milan
Alessandro Pajola, Virtus Segafredo Bologna
Achille Polonara, TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz
Giampaolo Ricci, Virtus Segafredo Bologna
Amedeo Tessitori, Virtus Segafredo Bologna
Stefano Tonut, Umana Reyer Venice
Michele Vitali, Umana Reyer Venice

Puerto Rico

Gary Browne, Dolomiti Energia Trento


Nick Calathes, FC Barcelona
Charis Giannopoulos, Promitheas Patras
Leonidas Kaselakis, Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
Giannoulis Larentzakis, Olympiacos Piraeus
Dinos Mitoglou, AX Armani Exchange Milan
Georgios Papagiannis, Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
Kostas Sloukas, Olympiacos Piraeus


Metecan Birsen, Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul
Melih Mahmutoglu, Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul
Sertas Sanli, Anadolu Efes Istanbul
Bugrahan Tuncer, Anadolu Efes Istanbul

Czech Republic

Jan Vesely, Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul


Jayson Granger, ALBA Berlin


Mario Hezonja, Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
Ante Zizic, Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv


Danilo Barthel, Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul
Niels Giffey, Zalgiris Kaunas
Maodo Lo, ALBA Berlin
Johannes Thiemann, ALBA Berlin
Johannes Voigtmann, CSKA Moscow


Semen Antonov, CKS Moscow
Grigory Motovilov, Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar
Ivan Ukhov, CSKA Moscow


Tomas Dimsa, Herbalife Gran Canaria
Rokas Giedraitis, TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz
Marius Grigonis, CSKA Moscow
Rokas Jokubaitis, Zalgiris Kaunas
Mantas Kalnietis, Zalgiris Kaunas
Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar
Lukas Lekavicius, Zalgiris Kaunas
Gytis Masiulis, Lietkabelis Panevezys


Aleksander Balcerowski, Herbalife Gran Canaria
Mateusz Ponitka, Zenit St Petersburg
A.J. Slaughter, Herbalife Gran Canaria


Jaka Blazic, Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana
Ziga Dimec, Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana
Zoran Dragic, TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz
Edo Muric, Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana
Klemen Prepelic, Valencia Basket
Luka Rupnik, Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana
Mike Tobey, Valencia Basket