Vasilje Micic will not play for Serbia in the crucial upcoming game with Turkey

2022-11-12T13:57:06+00:00 2022-11-12T15:02:42+00:00.

Aris Barkas

12/Nov/22 13:57

The Serbian national team was waiting for Vasilje Micic to join the roster for the FIBA World Cup qualifiers, but as it turned out that wasn’t the case

By Aris Barkas/

In a strange turn of events, EuroLeague back-to-back champion and Final Four MVP Vasilje Micic will not play on Monday’s game between Serbia and Turkey for the FIBA World Cup qualifiers, as was expected.

Micic was expected to arrive today in Serbia, but the Serbian national team was informed that the player will not travel and will prepare for the upcoming EuroLeague game between Anadolu Efes and Barcelona, which is also not letting the Turkish big man Sertac Sanli to join the Turkish national team.

The fact that Ergin Ataman is both the coach of the Turkish national team and of Anadolu Efes further creates bad faith and complicates things, considering the importance of Monday’s game since Micic is the top player of Serbia outside de facto unavailable NBA MVP Nikola Jokic.

If Serbia (4-3) beats Turkey (3-4) at home and also Greece (4-3) gets the road win against Belgium (3-4), then both Serbia and Greece qualify for the FIBA World Cup 2023, leaving Turkey and Belgium out.

This is one more incident in the long conflict that comes together with the winter FIBA Windows in Europe. Until recently EuroLeague players were generally not included in the national team rosters, due to the scheduling conflict with the EuroLeague season.

However this time around, many clubs permitted players to join their national teams as a gesture of goodwill.

In most cases, however, that courtesy was extended only to local players and not foreigners creating a lot of questions about the fairness and the balance of the competition of the FIBA qualifiers.

It has to be noted that two EuroLeague players who are not playing for Serbian clubs, Vladimir Lucic from Bayern Munich and Marko Guduric from Fenerbahce, have already arrived in Belgrade and will play against Turkey.