Slovenia coach Jure Zdovc has named 12 players in his preliminary squad with five more to follow from the “B” team as the Slovenians prepare for the FIBA World Cup in Spain this summer.
The remaining five to be picked will be chosen just after June 13.
Zdovc, who last coached Slovenia in a major tournament back at Eurobasket 2009 will be unable to call on the services of veterans Jaka Lakovic and Bostjan Nachbar as they both announced their respective returements from the international game.
Also absent from the squad are centers Mirza Begic and Gasper Vidmar, along with defensive specialist Nebojsa Joksimovic.
The Slovenians though will have the NBA’s Most Improved Player in Goran Dragic and his brother Zoran in the team along with veteran Erazem Lorbek, who missed the home Eurobasket last year due to injury.
“I have put the players closest to my philosophy on the list and I stand by this,” Zdovc said in a statement issued by the Slovenian Basketball Federation.
“I do not want to, and will not talk about who is on the list and who is not, because I would like us all to focus on those present.”
Zdovc also paid tribute to outgoing coach Bozidar Maljkovic who coached Slovenia at Eurobasket 2011 and in 2013 as well as the recently retired servants of one of Europe’s top international basketball nations.
“I would like to continue with the work Bozidar Maljkovic started and rejuvenate the team and would like to thank Jaka Lakovic and Bostjan Nachbar, who retired from the national team, for everything they did for Slovenian basketball,” Zdovc said.
Slovenia preliminary squad (12 out of 17 named) : Goran Dragic; Zoran Dragic; Erazem Lorbek; Domen Lorbek; Jure Balazic; Jaka Blazic; Jaka Klobucar; Edo Muric; Alen Omic; Klemen Prepelic; Uros Slokar and Miha Zupan.