Gentile returns; Abass, Sacchetti, Luca Vitali set to play in front of home Brescia crowd in Qualifiers
ROME (FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 European Qualifiers) - Alessandro Gentile is fit and back in the Italy squad for the vital fifth window European Qualifiers against Lithuania and Poland.
The Azzurri will clinch their place in next year's 32-team World Cup in China if they win against the Lithuanians in Brescia on November 29 and Poland in Gdansk on December 2.
Veteran Gentile featured in the first couple of wins of the European Qualifiers over Romania and Croatia but has not been with the team since. Gianpaolo Ricci has also been rewarded for his outstanding performances at Cremona, where he plays for national team coach Romeo 'Meo' Sacchetti, with inclusion in the squad.
|Italy 16-player squad for FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 European Qualifiers|
|Awudu Abass||Pietro Aradori||Paul Biligha||Christian Burns|
|Andrea Cinciarini||Ariel Filloy||Diego Flaccadori||Simone Fontecchio|
|Alessandro Gentile||Achille Polonara||Giampaolo Ricci||Brian Sacchetti|
|Amedeo Tessitori||Stefano Tonut||Luca Vitali||Michele Vitali|
Achille Polonara, with four appearances in the Qualifiers but not selected for the fourth window, when Italy beat Poland (101-82) and Hungary (69-63), is back.
Awudu Abass, Brian Sacchetti and Luca Vitali, all players with Leonessa Brescia in the Italian league, should get an extra charge out of playing in front of their home crowd while the game also has special significance for squad member Pietro Aradori, who was born in the city.
Aradori, in the Italy squad, was born in Brescia
Italy's leading scorer in the Qualifiers, Amedeo Della Valle, is injured an unavailable. Also out of the game after playing in the last couple of windows are Gigi Datome and Nicolo Melli.
The Azzurri are trying to make it back to the World Cup for the first time since 2006 when they received a wild card to take part in Japan.