Aleksej Pokusevski and Nikola Jovic will not represent Serbia in EuroBasket

2022-08-03 12:38
Credit: USA TODAY Sports - Scanpix
Credit USA TODAY Sports - Scanpix

The Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat did not allow their players Aleksej Pokusevski and Nikola Jovic to represent Serbia in the upcoming EuroBasket.

While Serbia's superstar Nikola Jokic is excited to return to the national team, the younger NBA players did not have such an option. 

Svetislav Pesic, during the press conference officially launching preparations for the upcoming international fixtures, revealed that the NBA teams did not give permission for their young players to join the national team.

Aleksej Pokusevski

Aleksej  Pokusevski
Position: SF, PF
Age: 20
Height: 214 cm
Weight: 94 kg
Birth place: Belgrade, Serbia

"For [Aleksej] Pokusevski and [Nikola] Jovic, we did not get permission from their teams," said Pesic.

"The teams want the players to work there and get ready for the new season," he added.

The Serbian head coach also mentioned two more names that are out of the roster, but due to different a reason.

"[Balsa] Koprivica and [Borisa] Simanic are ill. They are being treated. I hope we will get them in the next couple of days," Pesic said. 

The biggest Serbia loss, however, remains to be Bogdan Bogdanovic, who was not called up for the national team due to right knee surgery that he had at the end of the 2021-22 season. Atlanta Hawks guard's focus is on recovering in time for the next NBA season.

In Group D of EuroBasket 2022, Serbia will face the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Finland, Israel, and Poland from 2 to 8 September in Prague. The top four teams in every group will advance to the Round of 16. The knockout stages will begin on September 10 in Berlin, Germany. 

As for the 2023 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers, Serbia will face Greece at home on August 25 and Turkey on the road on August 28.

Carrying a 1-3 record in Group I from the previous round, Serbia must be in top shape to have a chance to qualify for the 2023 World Cup.

Preliminary Serbian NT 20-man roster:

  • Aleksa Avramovic
  • Nemanja Bjelica
  • Dejan Davidovac
  • Ognjen Dobric
  • Marko Guduric
  • Marko Jagodic-Kuriza
  • Ognjen Jaramaz
  • Nikola Jokic
  • Nikola Kalinic
  • Balsa Koprivica
  • Vladimir Lucic
  • Vanja Marinkovic
  • Vasilije Micic
  • Nikola Milutinov
  • Nemanja Nedovic
  • Filip Petrusev
  • Dusan Ristić
  • Borisa Simanic
  • Alen Smailagic
  • Milos Teodosic

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