|20 June 2013|
|Euroleague regular season MVP Vassilis Spanoulis is supposed to lead Greece to glory|
Newly-appointed Greece head coach Andrea Trinchieri could be spoiled for choice in the run-up to September's EuroBasket, after naming on Thursday an 18-strong preliminary squad of remarkable depth.
Guard Vassilis Spanoulis, who led Olympiacos Pireaus to back-to-back Turkish Airlines Euroleague trophies in London last May headlines the list, which also features small forward Kostas Papanikolaou and a further four Olympiacos players.
Greece captain Nikos Zisis and sharp-shooter Kostas Vasileiadis who reached the Eurocup Final with Uxue Bilbao, are other main options in the backcourt along with point guard Nick Calathes, who conquered that competition with Russian side Lokomotiv Kuban.
The only Greek player to have pulled out of the EuroBasket was Denver Nuggets center Kostas Koufos, but Trincheri can counterbalance his absence in the frontcourt with the returns of Sofoklis Schortsanitis and Loukas Mavrokefalidis, while the Emporio Armani Milano duo of veterans Antonis Fotsis and Ioannis Bourousis remain in the mix.
Meanwhile the duo of youngsters Nikos Pappas and Vladimiros Jankovic, who only on Wednesday joined Greek champions Panathinaikos from Panionios, will try to carve up a spot on the EuroBasket roster for their first ever appearance with the senior national team.
It can be argued that the Greeks last had such depth at all positions at the 2008 Olympics, when the likes of Dimitris Diamantidis, Theo Papaloukas and Kostas Tsartsaris last played together for a national team which they had previously guided to gold at EuroBasket 2005 and silver at the 2006 World Championship.
Diamantidis retired from the national team after the 2010 World Championship in Turkey, while Papaloukas and Tsartsaris ended their decorated basketball career at the end of this season.
The 18 players that received the Italian tactician's call will undergo medical tests on 22 and 23 July and commence preparations on Wednesday 24 July.
Greece were drawn in First Round Group D at EuroBasket 2013, together with Russia, Italy, Turkey, Finland and Sweden.
Greek Preliminary Squad: Kostas Vasileadis, Kostas Papanikolaou, Ian Vougioukas, Vladimiros Jankovic, Nikos Zisis, Kostas Kaimakoglou, Dimitris Katsivelis, Loukas Mavrokefalidis, Nick Calathes, Ioannis Bourousis, Michael Bramos, Nikos Pappas, Stratos Perperoglou, Giorgos Printezis, Kostas Sloukas, Vassilis Spanoulis, Sofoklis Schortsanitis and Antonis Fotsis.