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Lithuania announce 15-player squad for World Cup Qualifiers
VILNIUS (FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 European Qualifiers) - Lithuania head coach Dainius Adomaitis presented his squad for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 European Qualifiers featuring a plethora of new faces, as well as some experienced veterans.
Having announced an extended list of candidates last week, the playcaller narrowed down the list to 15 players who will get together for training camp in Palanga before the first games.
|Lithuania preliminary squad for FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 European Qualifiers|
|Eimantas Bendzius||Laurynas Birutis||Arnas Butkevicius||Vaidas Cepukaitis|
|Mindaugas Girdziunas||Deividas Gailius||Rokas Giedraitis||Marius Grigonis|
|Adas Juskevicius||Evaldas Kairys||Arnoldas Kulboka||Ksistof Lavrinovic|
|Gediminas Orelik||Renaldas Seibutis||Sarunas Vasiliauskas|
"There are a couple of players on the list with some health issues and their status and availability isn't clear to a full degree yet," Adomaitis said during a press conference on Tuesday.
"Other candidates were considered as well, but sport can be ruthless sometimes. We were considering Deividas Dulkys, but he got injured and you can never be sure in that regard."
Having last played for Lithuania at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2014, 38-year-old Ksistof Lavrinovic is ready to make his national team comeback and so is the 32-year-old Renaldas Seibutis, who decided to sit out this past summer.
"I have had the chance to speak with Ksistof. Like his brother, he is always fully devoted to basketball, the national team and their clubs. Devoted not just 100 percent, but 1000 percent. There are no questions regarding him," Adomaitis explained.
At the other end of the age spectrum, after an excellent start to the season with Capo d'Orlando in the Basketball Champions League, 19-year-old Arnoldas Kulboka has also drawn interest from the national team coaching staff and has been included on the list.
"It's great that he chose the right team, where he gets plenty of playing time both in Europe and in the domestic championship. It's a good experience for him. It will be interesting to see how he looks in training camp," Adomaitis said of the youngest player on the squad.
Eimantas Bendzius, Marius Grigonis and Adas Juskevicius are the only returning players from the team's FIBA EuroBasket 2017 roster, clearing the way for players like Mindaugas Girdziunas, Rokas Giedraitis, Arnas Butkevicius, Gediminas Orelik, Vaidas Cepukaitis, Laurynas Birutis and Evaldas Kairys to potentially make their official national team debuts.