Media day of the national basketball team before the World Cup qualifiers, November 7, 2022, Poděbrady. Patrik Samoura, David Böhm and Marek Vyroubal.
Prague – The Czech basketball players also have rookie Jakub Slavík from Opava nominated for the end of the unsuccessful qualification for the World Cup. Half of coach Ronen Ginzburg's 14-member squad consists of participants from last year's European Championships in Prague and Berlin, including pivot Patrik Auda from Yokohama. The nomination was announced by the home federation. The Czechs will play against France on Thursday at 18:45 in Pardubice and against Černá Hora on Sunday in Podgorica (19:00).
Photo gallery: Qualification of basketball players for the World Cup 2023
In November, when the Czech team lost hope of advancement in duels with Montenegro and Hungary, David Pekárek from Pardubice and Ondřej Švec and David Böhm from USK Prague saw their first matches in the national team. Now the twenty-three-year-old winger Slavík can look forward to his first meeting. After participating in the preliminary matches, Ondřej Hanzlík from Girona and Czech-Canadian James Karnik from Geneva could also expect to fight in FIBA duels.
“James is injured and hasn't played for a while, but we wanted to see him. We also decided to check Jakub Slavík in terms of his potential, and as for Ondřej Hanzlík, we could have invited him last time, but he wasn't that ready yet,” he said Ginzburg in a press release. “I am in regular contact with Girona's assistant Luboš Barton, and Ondřej has already received some minutes in the Spanish league, he is training with the team, so we agreed to try him,” added the coach.
In addition to Auda, the Eurobasket participants also include captain Vojtěch Hruban from London, Martin Kříž with Ondřej Sehnal from Nymburk, Ondřej Balvín from Prometeje, Tomáš Kyzlink from Limoges and Martin Peterka from Strasbourg.
“We could have taken some older players who at the moment are maybe a bit better than some of the nominated youngsters, but those nominated should be important in the national team in two or three years and we have to give them time on the pitch to learn , even with the mistakes they are making so far,” added Ginzburg. In addition to Vít Krejčí from Atlanta from the NBA, the stars from Euroleague Barcelona Tomáš Satoranský and Jan Veselý are also not available.
Against France, the Czechs are also preparing for duels with supertalent Victor Wembanyama. The 19-year-old main candidate for the number one pick in this year's NBA draft, who is 219 centimeters tall, already made his debut in the national team in November against Lithuania and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“For some of our players, a match against such a fighter will be an experience of a lifetime and I believe the same will be true for the fans. From what I have seen so far, it is enough for me to know that at his age he is already ruling the French league, which is completely unique. He is definitely not an ordinary player,” Ginzburg said of the Boulogne-Levallois player.
“If other players like him play one day, it will be necessary to consider changing the rules, maybe it will be necessary to increase the hoop or enlarge the field. And now I am not kidding. Even if our fans will be curious about such a player, he is still our opponent and they will support us,” added Ginzburg, who is scheduled to train in Poděbrady from Sunday.
“Although France, like us, lacks some of its biggest stars, it has great quality, most of them play in very good leagues and with this with the roster, they could easily finish somewhere between fifth and eighth at last year's EuroBasket,” said Ginzburg. Montenegrins are fighting for advancement to the World Cup. “Given their situation, I assume they will make the strongest possible lineup,” he added. February):
Centers: Richard Bálint, Viktor Půlpán (both Brno), Ondřej Sehnal (Nymburk).
wings : Jakub Slavík (Opava), Petr Šafarčík (Pardubice), Ondřej Hanzlík (Girona/Sp.), Vojtěch Hruban (London/Brit.), Tomáš Kyzlink (Limoges/Fr.).
pivots: David Böhm (USK Prague), Martin Kříž (Nymburk), Patrik Auda (Jokohama/Japan), Ondřej Balvín (Prometej/Ukr.), James Karnik (Geneva/Switzerland), Martin Peterka (Strasbourg/Fr.).