U16 MEN DIVISION B
|15 players have been invited to Portugal's first training camp on 21 June, three more are on standby.|
Portugal's Basketball Federation has tried to leave no stone unturned in its bid to find the best talent possible for this year's team at the U16 European Championship Division B in Romania.
Fifteen players have been called into a preliminary squad with three others named on standby.
Among those invited to the camp on 21 June in Caramulo are Benvindo Mendes, Carlos Salamanca, Chris Santos, David Jorge, Diogo Araújo, Diogo Brito, Francisco Amiel, João Lucas, João Neves, João Oliveira, Luís Câmara, Ricardo Monteiro, Rodrigo Soeiro, Rui Nery and Sérgio Silva.
The trio of youngsters on standby are Francisco Bento, Gonçalo Ramos and Guilherme Pires.
"We believe that these are the best players and more importantly, with whom we will be able to construct a better national team," coach Rui Alves said.
"It is a group of players that allows us to use different tactics, to have an offensive framework and more depth on the offense and explore different advantages."
As for the possibility that some bright, young talent was overlooked, the coach said: "Clearly the choices are always under scrutiny and that's normal, but when you select players it's not work done by just one person.
"I take responsibility of the mistakes but the choices are down to two years of intensive observation and the work of many of my (coaching) colleagues, as well as technical directors.
"It's the long process. We trained more than 180 players of this generation from north to south of the country. I admit that we can make mistakes in the analysis but we did everything we could for that not to happen."
Portugal will only have a month to get ready for the Division B event Bucharest.
"This is the known reality and we have to overcome it with a lot of work," Alves said.
"Perhaps, due to this, our motto that we choose for this campaign is, 'in order to arrive where the majority doesn't, you need to do things that the majority doesn't do'."
The squad will remain in Caramulo for the workouts until 10 July before they leave for Romania, where they will take on the host nation in friendly games as part of their warm-up.
The U16 European Championship Division B will take place from 19-29 Jul.
Portugal will face Hungary, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Austria in Group D.