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Luka Lapornik (SLO)
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SLO - Zdovc bolsters squad with 'B' team standouts

LJUBLJANA (FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Slovenia coach Jure Zdovc will take a closer look at Luka Lapornik, Mateja Krusic, Matej Rojc and Mitja Nikolic in the coming days after adding the four 'B' team players to the preliminary squad for the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

The hoopsters raised eyebrows with their performances for Slovenia's 'B' team this summer and now have a fighting chance to make the final roster that will compete in World Cup Group D in Gran Canaria.

Slovenia's director of national teams, Matej Avanzo, said: "Coach Jure Zdovc, after seeing some (video) footage of the 'B' team tour of China, chose four players according to their position and how they blend in with his concept of the game."

Zdovc expects to add one or two more players from the country's team competing at the U20 European Championship in Crete, Greece, a tournament that wraps up 20 July.

The coach will gather with the players for the first time on Thursday.

Part of the preparations includes a trip to China and participation in the Stankovic Cup, which will mean games on 31 July, 1-2 and 4 August.

Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic and Barcelona big man Erazem Lorbek will not be in the 14-man Slovenia group that travels to the Far East but instead remain in Slovenia and work out under a special program.

To get ready for the World Cup Group Phase games against Lithuania, Angola, Mexico, Australia and Korea, Slovenia will have plenty of friendly games.

Included in that warm-up period is a trip to Kaunas (16-18 August) to take on New Zealand, Greece and Group D rivals Lithuania.

Immediately afterwards, Slovenia host a tournament at their Stozice Arena in Ljubljana and take on Iran, Brazil and once again, Lithuania.

Iran are led by former Slovenia coach, Memi Becirovic.

A friendly that all Slovenia fans have circled on their calendar is the last one before the World Cup against the USA in Gran Canaria on 26 August.

Slovenia preliminary squad for FIBA Basketball World Cup: Jure Balazic, Jaka Blazic, Goran Dragic, Zoran Dragic, Jaka Klobucar, Matej Krusic, Luka Lapornik, Domen Lorbek, Erazem Lorbek, Edo Muric, Mitja Nikolic, Alen Omic, Klemen Prepelic, Matej Rojc, Uros Slokar and Miha Zupan.