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Rogkavopoulos, Sotiriou among 2001-born sextet out to make U19 team at home
ATHENS (Greece) - Nikos Rogkavopoulos and Aristotelis Sotiriou were among a sextet of players from the 2001-born generation that have been nominated for hosts Greece’s 16-man preliminary roster for the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2019.
Rogkavopoulos was the leading scorer for Greece at the FIBA U18 European Championship 2018, averaging 19.7 points to go with 6.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.4 steals despite playing a year younger.
Rogkavopoulos, who plays for AEK Athens, was one of four 2001-born players on that team along with Zois Karampelas and Chrysovalantis Kourtidis. The other players from that generation in the U19 World Cup preliminary pool are Konstantinos Kadras, Aristotelis Sotiriou and Fotis Georgalas while Tilemachos Vissariou was born in 2002. Kadras and Sotiriou both joined Rogkavopoulos in helping Greece win the FIBA U16 European Championship 2017, Division B title to get Greece back into Division A. Rogkavopoulos was the MVP of that tournament, averaging 18.0 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game while hitting 44.1 percent of his three-pointers.
|Greece's preliminary roster for the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2019|
|Giorgos Arnokouros||Nikos Arsenopoulos||Periklis Bazinas||Manos Chatzidakis|
|Nikos Chougaz||Dimitris Ermeidis||Vassilis Gargalis||Fotis Georgalas|
|Konstantinos Kadras||Zois Karampelas||Chrysovalantis Kourtidis||Nikos Ragkavopoulos|
|Chysostomos Sandramanis||Aristotelis Sotiriou||Tilemachos Vissariou||Efstratios Voulgaropoulos|
"It’s the first call for this U19 team. We begin our training camp and our first goal is to create a team with chemistry," said Greece coach Giannis Kastritis, who will call his team together on May 28 at the OAKA arena in Athens.
"We want the players to enjoy the game itself and the team to get better and better, game by game. We know that our players are going to give 100 percent each time they step on the floor for themselves, for the team but also for the fans, since the FIBA U19 World Cup will be hosted in Greece. It’s a big motive for all of us," added Giannis Kastritis, who coached Greece at the FIBA U20 European Championship 2018 and helped the country to 13th place and avoid relegation to Division B.
Giannis Kastritis coached Greece at the FIBA U20 European Championship 2018
Greece have been drawn into Group C at the home FIBA U19 World Cup along with Argentina, Philippines and Russia.
The Greek club with the most players in the player pool is Peristeri, who has sent Giorgos Arnokouros (on loan at Dafni Dafniou), Kadras, Karampelas and Vissariou to the camp. There are two players each from AEK - Rogkavopoulos and Manos Chatzidakis (on loan to Maroussi) - and Aris - Kourtidis and Efstratios Voulgaropoulos.
Another of the main players will be Nikos Arsenopoulos, who is with Olympiacos but playing on loan with A2 second division Psychico. He is one of nine players who were on the U18 team last summer.