Greece go big, let go of Vasileiadis 28  august  2013
Greece are set to announce a EuroBasket 2013 squad including just four players below 2.03m of height, after Kostas Vasileiadis and Dimitris Katsivelis were informed that they will not travel to Slovenia for the big event.
Head coach Andrea Trinchieri decided to cut the two players from his preliminary squad for the EuroBasket after the return of the Greeks on Monday to their base in Athens from Germany.
The Hellenic squad had participated in the warm-up tournament in Ulm over the weekend, where they lost to F.Y.R. Of Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, before defeating the hosts on the final day.
"I want to say that both [Vasileiadis and Katsivelis] put all their efforts into helping the national team, they are good players and good team-mates," Trinchieri said.
"They deserved to be with us in Slovenia and for me, being in the position to announce such decisions is like drinking poison.
"This is however my responsibility, to make decisions for the team, and I would like to thank them from the heart as human beings above all."
While Katsivelis is a two-time Euroleague champion with Olympiacos, he is still 22 years old and his inclusion in the team was always going to be difficult because of the competition he faced from more experienced team-mates.
The exclusion of Vasileiadis however came as a surprise to many, as the sharp-shooting guard was coming off an excellent season with Spanish club Bilbao Basket.
The 29-year-old averaged 13.9 points per game in Liga Endesa this year and finished as the Spanish league's eighth-leading scorer and 11th overall on the efficiency rating index table.
Vasileiadis also scored 14.5 points per game on average in the Eurocup and led the Basque team to the final of the competition, where they eventually lost to Lokomotiv Kuban.
Trinchieri is now left with a preliminary squad of considerable size at his disposal, as only four players, namely guards Vassilis Spanoulis, Nikos Zisis and Kostas Sloukas and winger Michail Bramos, are under 2.03m tall.
The rest of the players in the Greek training camp are all forwards and centers: Kostas Papanikolaou, Ian Vougioukas, Kostas Kaimakoglu, Loukas Mavrokefalidis, Yannis Bourousis, Giorgos Printezis, Antonis Fotsis and Stratos Perperoglou.
The above 12 players could make up Greece's final squad for EuroBasket 2013, unless young big man Vassilis Kavvadas makes up for a surprise last-minute inclusion.
Kavvadas, a 2.05 center, had initially joined preparations in July as cover for the injured Sofoklis Schortsanitis, and stayed on the team as Yannis Bourousis later fractured a rib and was sidelined for about three weeks.
He was not included in the 14-strong team that travelled to Germany, but Trinchieri has asked him to re-join the squad ahead of the Acropolis friendly tournament, which starts on Tuesday.
During the famed tournament, the Greeks will face Lithuania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Italy in their last warm-up games before the start of the EuroBasket.
Greece were drawn in First Round Group D at EuroBasket 2013, together with Italy, Russia, Turkey, Finland and Sweden.