|30 July 2014|
EUROBASKET 2015 2ND QR
|Matthew Lojeski has been confirmed to play for Belgium in the EuroBasket 2nd Qualification Round |
The Belgian Basketball Federation (FRBB) was delighted to announce on Wednesday that Matt Lojeski will take part after all in their senior national team's qualification campaign for EuroBasket 2015.
The sharp-shooting winger is expected to join his Belgium team-mates on 7 August, three days before the EuroBasket 2015 2nd Qualifying Round tips off.
Belgium were convinced as recently as last week that they would go into the battle to qualify for their third consecutive EuroBasket tournament without counting on either Lojeski or star point guard Sam Van Rossom.
Belgian national team manager Jacques Ledure however dismissed on Wednesday any hopes that the change in Lojeski's situation also leaves open a window for Van Rossom to play this summer.
"We are sensitive to his [Van Rossom's] wishes, we know how much he has already invested in the national team, but at the same time, we also know how crucial he is to this team and how we were already struggling with the injuries to Jonathan Tabu, Quentin Serron or Niels Marnegrave," Ledure said on the Valencia Basket point guard.
"We had several discussions, trying to understand if his decision was personal or induced by his club or his coach, and we finally decided to let him rest this summer.
"All coaches, players and officials, we accept Sam's decision and expect to see him at EuroBasket 2015."
With regards to Lojeski though, Ledure continued to work in the backstage to address any concerns by the player and secure his consent to join the Belgian training camp, even on the eleventh hour.
"The Matt Lojeski case was quite different," Ledure stated.
"We were convinced all along he would come finally, because he had previously announced it himself.
"Then the news of his change of mind was perceived as a forfeit, and we needed to know more.
"His club, Olympiacos, did not object to his participation.
"I was in contact with his agent and Matt himself.
"There were some hurdles but we kept contact and finally today we can confirm his arrival."
Lojeski, who acquired Belgian nationality last year, is consequently expected to make his official debut with his adopted country on 10 August, against F.Y.R of Macedonia on the road, in the opening game of Group D action.
The Olympiacos player had previously only played for Belgium in warm-up games, as he picked up an injury during preparations for EuroBasket 2013 last summer and missed out on the big event.