|25 August 2013|
|NBA star Goran Dragic headlines Slovenia's squad for EuroBasket 2013|
Slovenia head coach Bozidar Maljkovic announced on Sunday the 12-man squad that will represent the host nation at EuroBasket 2013, which starts on 4 September.
The team that will try to fulfil the home fans' wishes and hopes for a historic first EuroBasket medal consists of Nebojsa Joksimovic, Goran Dragic, Jaka Lakovič, Jaka Blazic, Zoran Dragic, Edo Murić, Bostjan Nachbar, Domen Lorbek, Jure Balažič, Mirza Begic, Uros Slokar and Gasper Vidmar.
"I have made this decision because I think that each of the 12 players that stays on the team has the necessary quality and deserves to play at the EuroBasket," Maljkovic said.
The Serbian coach of the hosts has opted for experience and a proven track record in choosing his final squad, as the only big-name absences at the home EuroBasket will be those of power forward Erazem Lorbek and guard Beno Udrih.
Lorbek will miss the big event due to the fact he is still recovering from the arthroscopic surgery he had in both his knees at the end of the club season, while Udrih decided just before the start of preparations to not suit up for his nation at the EuroBasket.
The last players to be cut by Maljkovic were Luka Lapornik and the youngsters Gezim Morina and Klemen Prepelič, who were all hoping to make their debut with the senior national team in September's big event.
"All three players will be waiting to step in the event that, God forbid, we have an injury to one of the first 12 players prior to the start of the Eurobasket," Maljkovic specified.
"All three of them certainly continue to count to us, and this is not just a figure of speech."
The announcement of Slovenia's final squad came after the completion of the friendly Adecco Cup on Saturday, which took place in Koper, one of the EuroBasket host cities.
Slovenia defeated Italy 92-84 on Saturday to win the warm-up event, behind 19 points from each of Goran Dragic and Bostjan Nachbar, while Marco Belinelli finished with 18 points for the Italians.
On Friday, the EuroBasket hosts, who have been in superb form this summer during the build-up to the big event, had prevailed 81-74 over Montenegro, on the back of a 16-point display by Nachbar.
Slovenia were drawn in First Round Group C at the EuroBasket, together with Poland, Georgia, the Czech Republic, Croatia and reigning European champions Spain.