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Finland looking to have Markkanen for EuroBasket 2022 Qualifers in Espoo
HELSINKI (Finland) - Lauri Markkanen has been included by Finland in their 25-man squad for the upcoming FIBA EuroBasket 2022 Qualifiers against Georgia and Serbia.
The Chicago Bulls star is one of several stalwarts that national team coach Henrik Dettmann is looking to have at his disposal for the November window, with both games in Espoo as part of the Group E bubble.
Other prominent names in the Finland squad are Petteri Koponen, Shawn Huff, Mikko Koivisto, Tuukka Kotti, Erik Murphy, Sasu Salin, Jamar Wilson and Carl Lindbom.
Markkanen's performance at FIBA EuroBasket 2017, when Finland hosted a Group Phase, and especially in a thrilling victory over France, is still something the fans of the Susijengi talk about. He was utterly sensational.
Finland want all hands on deck, including those of Markkanen, against very good Georgia and Serbia teams next month.
Markkanen's last game in the NBA was on March 10, with the Bulls not among the teams to play in the NBA bubble in Orlando, where the Los Angeles Lakers recently captured the title.
"It has been more than half a year since the last game and the mind is working hard to return to the court," Markkanen, who is working out in Chicago, said to basket.fi.
"As long as it's possible under the circumstances, I'd definitely like to represent the Susijengi at the November games."
|Finland 25-man squad for FIBA EuroBasket 2022 Qualifiers|
|Aapeli Alanen||Max Besselink||Daniel Dolenc||Shawn Hopkins||Shawn Huff|
|Mikael Jantunen||Antti Kanervo||Henri Kantonen||Mikko Koivisto||Petteri Koponen|
|Tuukka Kotti||Carl Lindbom||Alexander Madsen||Lauri Markkanen||Edon Maxhuni|
|Alex Murphy||Erik Murphy||Juhu Nenonen||Matti Nuutinen||Topias Palmi|
|Remu Raitanen||Sasu Salin||Ilari Seppala||Elias Valtonen||Jamar Wilson|
Finland began their EuroBasket 2022 Qualifiers campaign on February 20 with an 80-58 defeat to Serbia in Espoo. On February 23, they rebounded with a 69-64 triumph over Switzerland in Fribourg.
Two spots at EuroBasket 2022 are up for grabs in Group E since Georgia are among the four Group Phase hosts in the Final Round.
As the world continues its fight against the coronavirus pandemic, the FIBA Europe Board approved Espoo, close to the Finnish capital Helsinki, as one of the venues to host qualification games in a protected environment tournament format (bubble) for the November window.