Injury-plagued Greece enlist center Dimitris Kaklamanakis for game vs. Belgium

2022-08-27 08:27

Although Dimitris Kaklamanakis wasn't in Dimitris Itoudis plans for the game against Belgium and the upcoming EuroBasket, the absences of Giorgos Papagiannis and Kostas Antetokounmpo brought Promitheas Patras big man back to the squad.

Credit: FIBA Media

On June 27, coach Dimitris Itoudis cut Dimitris Kaklamanakis from Greece's preliminary squad ahead of the 2023 World Cup qualifiers game against Great Britain in Larissa.

The 28-year-old center, who had played with the team in the February FIBA windows, wasn't included in the 23 players who made the preliminary squad ahead of the preparation for the EuroBasket. 

But now, with Itoudis facing a series of problems highlighted by Giorgos Papagiannis' long-term absence and Kostas Antetokounmpo's injury during Greece's game in Belgrade against Serbia, things have changed. Dealing with an immensely undermanned frontline, the Greek coach decided to call Kaklamanakis back to the national team.

Up until yesterday, Kaklamanakis had been in the city of Ioannina, preparing for the next season with Promitheas Patras. The Cretan big man averaged 9.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 24 minutes with Lavrio last season.

Apart from Papagiannis and Antetokounmpo, who will make the 12-man squad for the EuroBasket if they're healthy, center Kostas Gontikas left the training camp with a fracture in the second metacarpal, while Dinos Mitoglou is still waiting for his sentence to be announced after failing to pass a drug test last March.

In the game against Belgium at a packed OAKA arena (a sold-out is on the cards) on Sunday night (19:00 CEST), Greece will have to make do without guard Kostas Sloukas and forward Ioannis Papapetrou, who are also facing injury problems.



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