By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
Fenerbahce Beko guard Nick Calathes, Olympiacos Piraeus forward Kostas Papanikolaou and guard Giannoulis Larentzakis, along with Panathinaikos Athens guard Lefteris Bochorides and wing Lefteris Bochorides have joined the Greek national team ahead of the important World Cup Qualifiers game against Belgium Monday (14/11).
Panathinaikos center George Papagiannis was also summoned but his club didn’t allow him to join the national team, the Greek Basketball Federation says. The Federation mentions that they still hope that the All-EuroLeague big man will be permitted to travel to Belgium for the match.
The other notable absence from Greece’s roster is Olympiacos star guard Kostas Sloukas who isn’t mentioned among the summoned players. Peristeri forward Dimitris Agravanis is one of the returnees after the recent EuroBasket.
“Sloukas‘ name isn’t anywhere in the official notice of the Greek national team,” Panathinaikos communications director Dimitris Kontos said to Sport Fm. “And we’re talking about the best Greek guard. Unless Dimitris Itoudis hadn’t summoned him. It makes an impression on us that Sloukas’ name doesn’t appear on the roster.”
“On one hand, there’s no information regarding Sloukas and on the other, we say that Panathinaikos doesn’t let Papagiannis play,” Kontos added. “We shouldn’t blame the players. Instead of discussing what’s happening with the games, we talk about Papagiannis.”
Panathinaikos owner Dimitris Giannakopoulos posted the following reaction on his Instagram profile:
“For many years, Panathinaikos, the management and club representatives have proven that they put the national team above all. After all, Panathinaikos has always been the backbone of the national team during a period of successes that are, unfortunately, part of the past.
Other teams are the ones that didn’t make their players available for years without any reason.
The completely unsuccessful, thus fair, management of the Greek Federation and its institutions should make their self-criticism, resign and not push – blackmail from every direction in order to prepare excuses and culprits for a potential failure to achieve what – based on pre-history – should be absolutely granted.”
Greece comes from a 60 – 80 home loss to Latvia that dropped them to 4-3 in Group B.