|10 July 2013|
|Juan Orenga: "Our challenge is to achieve something that so far only the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia have achieved, to win the gold medal three times in a row."|
Spain head coach Juan Orenga has chosen to announce directly a 12-man preliminary squad for the EuroBasket, accompanied by three reserve players, with forward/center Serge Ibaka not included on the list.
"Following the long NBA play-offs in 2012, the Olympic Games and the last regular season in the NBA, the medical team of Oklahoma City Thunder suggested I take some rest this summer," Ibaka said in a statement.
"I would like to thank all the support that I have received by the Spanish Federation and especially the president Jose Luis Saez and the coach Juan Antonio Orenga.
"Even if I am not on the court in Slovenia, all my team-mates know that I will be with them in mind and spirit."
While Ibaka's announcement did not come as a surprise, many had expected that his absence would open the doors of the senior national team to Real Madrid power forward Nikola Mirotic.
The MVP of the regular season in the Spanish Liga Endesa however, is not on the squad.
"We know that Mirotic would not come since 5th of July," Orenga explained.
"It was offered to him to come and he did not want to, he should be the one to explain the reasons for his decision.
"We will keep counting on all eligible players and we are not closing the door to anyone," the new coach of the two-time EuroBasket champions stated.
Veteran German Gabriel and Pablo Aguilar, who last played for Spain at U20 level in 2009, are the two new additions to the frontcourt to make up for the absences of Pau Gasol and Ibaka.
Meanwhile 34-year-old small forward Alex Mumbru makes a return to the national team three years after his last appearance in a red jersey, at the 2010 World Championship.
"It is a group of 12 players and three more that will assist us in preparing for the championship," Orenga said.
"The aim of this team is always the same, to win.
"Our challenge is to achieve something that so far only the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia have achieved, to win the gold medal three times in a row."
Spain preliminary squad for EuroBasket 2013: Jose Calderon (Detroit Pistons), Ricky Rubio (MinnesotaTimberwolves), Sergio Llull (Real Madrid), Sergio Rodríguez (Real Madrid), Rudy Fernandez (Real Madrid), Alex Mumbru (Bilbao Basket), Fernando San Emeterio (Laboral Kutxa), Víctor Claver (Portland Trail Blazers), Marc Gasol (Memphis Grizzlies), German Gabriel (BilbaoBasket), Xavi Rey (Gran Canaria 2014) and Pablo Aguilar (Valencia Basket). Reserves: Xavi Rabaseda (FC Barcelona), Nacho Martin (Blancos de Rueda) and Alberto Corbacho (Blusens Monbus).