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Giant center Marjanovic still in Serbia squad after it's trimmed to 16
BELGRADE (2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments) - Ognjen Kuzmic and Dragan Milosavljevic will not follow up last summer's EuroBasket appearances with another at the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) in Belgrade after being left out of the country's latest preliminary squad.
|Serbia 16-player squad for 2016 FIBA OQT in Belgrade|
|Nemanja Bjelica||Bogdan Bogdanovic||Nemanja Dangubic||Marko Guduric|
|Nikola Jokic||Stefan Jovic||Nikola Kalinic||Milan Macvan|
|Boban Marjanovic||Stefan Markovic||Nikola Milutinov||Nemanja Nedovic|
|Miroslav Raduljica||Marko Simonovic||Milos Teodosic||Rade Zagorac|
NBA centers Nikola Jokic (Denver) and Boban Marjanovic (San Antonio) are among the 16 players with a chance of playing at the OQT, as well as Milan Macvan (Milan), who hasn't featured for the national team since the qualification round for EuroBasket 2013.
Though the 2.22m Marjanovic will soon be a free agent and may not sign a contract before the OQT, the country's basketball federation is doing everything it can to make sure he can play. Marjanovic has even told Djordjevic that he wants to compete with Serbia this summer.
"We found a way to insure Marjanovic and he could be the first player playing for the national team to be insured in this way," federation president Dragan Djilas said to kss.rs.
Players that did not feature at last year's EuroBasket but are still in the preliminary squad after strong seasons with their Serbian clubs are Crvena Zvezda trio Marko Guduric, Stefan Jovic and Nemanja Dangubic and Mega Leks' Rade Zagorac.
The four players that ultimately do not make the OQT squad will still be considered for the Olympic squad if Serbia clinch a spot in Rio. They would rejoin the team after the tournament in Belgrade to resume training.
Serbia have had strong runs the last couple of years at the FIBA Basketball World Cup and at EuroBasket 2015.
At the OQT, they will go up against Angola and Puerto Rico in Group A and in the knockout round, potentially face Japan, Latvia and the Czech Republic. Only the winner of the OQT will clinch a place at the Rio de Janeiro Games.