By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Getting the right picks for a 12-player roster is one of the main issues that national team coaches have to solve before major FIBA tournaments.
With the Eurobasket around the corner, however, Dimitris Itoudis made a suggestion that may be applied in the future.
Speaking about his decision about his final roster after the game against Georgia, the Greek national team coach added that in his opinion, the rule must change and more players must be included in the national team rosters: “It’s important for this rule to change. The national teams should be able to have 14 players available in the FIBA tournaments. We are leaving in an era of pandemics, the level of competition is more than high in most tournaments and there are also injuries and the fatigue factor. It’s not fair for a team to end up having 11 players because of an injury. And I can’t think of a reason not to have 14 available players. FIBA makes decisions based on the progress of the sport. Back in 2000 in the EuroLeague Final Four (ed.note: which at the time was a FIBA competition) we had 10-player rosters. We went to 12 players and now I think it’s time to get to 14. I really believe that there’s a strong argument for this evolution”.
It’s a suggestion that truly has merit and it remains to be seen if it can be implemented. And also, the 11-player roster due to an injury is something that has happened in the past for the Greek and the Spanish national team in the FIBA World Cup of 2006. Greece played all the knock-out games including the historic semifinal against the USA with 11 players. Nikos Zisis, the current director of the national team, was missing after getting elbowed in the face by Anderson Varejao in the group stage game against Brazil.
And also in the final, Spain which beat Greece and won the title, had 11 available players because Pau Gasol was injured in the semifinal game against Argentina.