|26 July 2011|
|Obviously the ideal for coach Maljkovic would be to have them both available, but at least Slovenia can now count with their best power forward, Erazem Lorbek, to balance for the loss of their best small forward, Bostjan Nachbar |
Erazem Lorbek has confirmed he will play for Slovenia at the EuroBasket, giving his country a well-timed boost on the same day that Bostjan Nachbar was ruled out with an ankle problem.
After a long-running saga over Lorbek's availability, a deal has now been agreed between the player and the Basketball Federation of Slovenia, ensuring the Regal Barcelona forward is available for coach Bozidar Maljkovic.
At the start of the month, Lorbek had told Maljkovic he did not want to play in Lithuania as he tried to sort out his future, given that he had an agreement with Barcelona that he could leave this summer for the NBA, and he had seen his rights traded to the San Antonio Spurs at this year's draft.
However, he reversed his position two days later, and the two sides have now agreed a deal for Lorbek to play.
"We are very happy that we have been able to sit down with the player and his manager and talk about the situation to find a common language for the benefit of the national team, Erazem, and his team-mates," said the Slovenia Basketball Federation Secretary General, Iztok Rems.
"Erazem was selected as a very important player, along with the other 11, and we need to look after all the players who travel to Lithuania.
"The story is now complete and we look only to the future, starting with the preparation of the team who gather on Wednesday."
Lorbek averaged 16.4 points and 7.4 rebounds per game at EuroBasket 2009, and his presence will significantly boost Maljkovic as he deals with the loss of Nachbar.