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Satoransky, Vesely top 20-man Czech Republic list for World Cup in China
PRAGUE (Czech Republic) - The Czech Republic have named an expanded list of 20 players that will contend for spots in this year's team for the FIBA Basketball World Cup in China.
Tomas Satoransky, Jan Vesely, Jaromir Bohacik, Ondrej Balvin, Pavel Pumprla, Blake Schilb, Vojtech Hruban, Martin Kriz and Patrik Auda are among the veterans included that are all but certain to be on the plane to China, where coach Ronen Ginzburg will lead the team in Group E against the United States, Turkey and Japan.
Ginzburg, with an eye on FIBA EuroBasket 2021, also has newcomers in the squad like former U20 star Jakub Tuma, and big man Petr Herman, who is back in Europe after playing college basketball in the United States.
|Czech Republic's 20-man list for FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019|
|Patrik Auda||Ondrej Balvin||Jaromir Bohacik||Petr Herman|
|Vojtech Hruban||Vit Krejci||Martin Kriz||Michal Mares|
|Lukas Palyza||Martin Peterka||Viktor Pulpan||Pavel Pumprla|
|Simon Pursl||Tomas Satoransky||Blake Schilb||Petr Safarcik|
|Jakub Sirina||Jakub Tuma||Jan Vesely||Tomas Vyoral|
The presence of both Washington Wizards star Satoransky and Fenerbahce pivot Vesely will give the team an emotional lift in China.
Both were vital in the 80-78 home triumph over Russia last September in the European Qualifiers that helped the Czechs book the country's first appearance at a World Cup since 1982, when former Czechoslovakia played in Colombia.
The Czechs will launch their preparations at a training camp on July 23 though some players will arrive late.
"Of course this is not the ideal situation when we don't all start together on July 23, but we need to take into account health, fatigue after the season and the age of some players," Ginzburg said. "I decided to allow them to join later."
Ginzburg wants his players to peak at the right time, when they square off against the United States in Shanghai in their World Cup opener.
The Czechs will be a dangerous team for any opponent
"I understand that in the first two, three weeks (of preparations), players will not be in top form," he said. "But our goal is to have the best form as a team on September 1. If we can have good workouts, I'm sure it will be good."
On the schedule of warmup games are clashes with Tunisia (August 9), Poland (August 10) and Jordan (August 11) in Prague.
"It's amazing that we can play (friendly) games in the Czech Republic," Ginzburg said. "I'm glad that we have managed to find opponents that will come to Prague. It's great for players and fans alike. I hope people will enjoy it - the atmosphere, the games. I guess we're not going to be in 100 percent form, it's still part of the training. But I'm glad we can have it in front of our fans."