Serbia have high hopes going into the World Championships this summer. With coach, Dusan Ivkovic leading his young team to a silver medal at EuroBasket last year, he has been looking forward to showcasing his young squad in Turkey.
But, for the second time in his career, Ivkovic has been appointed as the new coach of Greek giants, Olympiacos.
Despite this though, the legendary coach will lead his Serbian squad this summer, but is yet to decide if he should stay on coaching Serbia and manage Olympiacos – or, concentrate solely on the Greek side?
“My greatest obligation is an obligation to the players that I have, since I took over this function, training and selecting, so that the conduct of the Serbian national team at the World Championship in Turkey is not in question.” Said Ivkovic.
Serbia are in Group A, alongside: Argentina, Angola, Australia, Germany and Jordan.
Staying with Group A – and Germany most famous player, Dirk Nowitzki is rumoured to of signed a new contract with the Dallas Mavericks. Which could free him up to join Germany this summer.
Nowitzki didn’t feature for Germany last year and the German fans are hoping that he will play for his side in Turkey in August.
His long-time friend and advisor Holger Geschwindner, according to Associated Press, told the news agency that Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Nowitzki had agreed to “to get it done.”
Nowitzki’s new deal is reported to be for four years worth $80million.
Puerto Rico have had to make a late change to their line-up for this week’s CentroBasket Championship in the Dominican Republic – as 6’7 forward, Carmelo Lee has pulled out, due to passport issues.
Lee though is expected to feature for Manolo Cantron’s side in Turkey in August, where they begin their campaign against Russia in Ankara.
David Cortes of Capitanes de Arecibo, who enjoyed a steady post-season in the Puerto Rican play-offs, will replace Lee for the Centrobasket Championship.
Puerto Rico coach Manolo Cintron said to media outlet, El Nuevo Dia: “David has always been close to being in the national team.
“He has always been ready and will be my only bona fide three (small forward) considering the absence of Carmelo.”
This comes as new boy, Renaldo Balkman injured his foot, during a training session – and as a result, will not travel to the Dominican Republic with the team.
Cantron is still confident that his side will do well at this week’s CentroBasket, where the top four teams automatically qualify for the FIBA Americas Championship in 2011.
“Once we reach our level, we will achieve our aim of gold.” Cantron put very bluntly.
John Hobbs for Talkbasket.net