Finland name 26-strong draft for World Cup

Finland have named a 26-man preliminary squad as they prepare for the 2014 FIBA World Cup of Basketball.

The Finns have also announced that they will be playing Lithuania on August 4 in the capital Helsinki to celebrate 75 years of Finnish Basketball. The two teams first faced each other back in 1939, with the Baltic giants coming out on top 112-9.

“The Finnish men’s basketball team played the first Test match in its history in Lithuania at the European Championship in 1939,” said Finland national team coach Henrik Dettmann.

“From an historical point of view, it is right that we celebrate the 75th anniversary by meeting Lithuania.

“Lithuania has for many years been among the brightest and best when it comes to style of play, training, and exercise frequency and quality.”

Finland will be based in Group B in Bilbao where they face current world champions USA, New Zealand, Turkey, Ukraine and the Dominican Republic.

Finland preliminary squad for FIBA Basketball World Cup: Roope Ahonen, Joonas Caven, Samuel Haanpaa, Shawn Huff, Antti Kanervo, Ville Kaunisto, Mikko Koivisto, Petteri Koponen, Tuukka Kotti, Gerald Lee Jr, Antero Lehto, Carl Lindbom, Oskar Michelsen, Alex Murphy, Erik Murphy, Kiummo Muurinen, Vesa Makalainen, Hanno Mottola, Antto Nikkarinen, Antti Nikkila, Matti Nuutinen, Anton Odabasi, Julius Rajala, Teemu Rannikko, Sasu Salin and Samuli Vanttaja.

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