|15 July 2013|
|Beno Udrih will not suit up for Slovenia. It would have been the first time since 2006|
EuroBasket 2013 hosts Slovenia have suffered a major shock ahead of the start of their preparations as guard Beno Udrih has reverted his initial decision and will not play for his country in September's big event.
Udrih informed the national team general manager Matej Avanzo via sms message, in which he also thanked head coach Bozidar Maljkovic and wished the team the best of luck at the EuroBasket.
"Given the experience of past years, we believe that the fact that we were informed of [Beno Udrih's] intention prior to the start of preparations, is certainly preferable than a failure to appear at the training camp," the Slovenian Federation (KZS) commented in a statement on their website.
"None the less, it is not fair towards the Basketball federation of Slovenia, nor towards the Slovenian public, that this decision was delayed so much.
"Past experience also says that his decision to decline the cordial invitation to the national team does not make sense.
"We now know that the players who will compete at the EuroBasket at home will try to do everything possible to meet the objectives we have set for ourselves.
"We are certain that with a good atmosphere, a clear hierarchy and with the great support of our fans we will still realise our aim for a top result."
Udrih, who is currently a free agent in the NBA, last suited up for the national team at the 2006 World Championship but had told Maljkovic and the federation that he would make his long-awaited return this summer, to represent his country in the biggest sporting event on home soil since its independence.
His absence is added to that of star power forward Erazem Lorbek, who underwent underwent arthroscopic surgery in both knees in late June and was forced to renounce playing at the EuroBasket
KZS has also announced that veteran guard Nebojsa Joksimovic has been called upon and will replace Udrih in the preliminary squad.
Slovenia's training camp gets under way on 19 July with Mirza Begic, Bostjan Nachbar and Jaka Blazic, who is recovering from an injury, joining their team-mates three days later.
The EuroBasket hosts were drawn into First Round Group C and will do battle with reigning European champions Spain, Georgia, Croatia, Poland and the Czech Republic for a top-three finish that leads to the next phase of the tournament.