Italy Expect Belinelli To Join Squad

14 June 2013

EUROBASKET 2013

11. Marco Belinelli (Italy)
Marco Belinelli last played for Italy at EuroBasket 2011, leading the team in assists-per-game with 3.2

The Italian Federation (FIP) announced on Friday a list of 16 players that have been asked to undergo medical exams in Rome on 23 and 24 July, with a view to begin preparations in July for EuroBasket 2013.

Toronto Raptors big man Andrea Bargnani and shooting guard Marco Belinelli, who competed this season with the Chicago Bulls, are headlining the list after being absent from last summer's Qualification Round, where Italy finished with a perfect 8-0 record.

While Bargnani recently stated that he is looking forward to rejoining the national team, Belinelli, who is now a free agent in the NBA, has said that ideally he would prefer his contractual situation to be clarified before deciding whether he will play for the Azzurri at the EuroBasket.

Meanwhile Italy's third big star, small forward Danilo Gallinari of the Denver Nuggets, is not on the list as he just underwent a second operation in the United States to repair the torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee and is expected to return to action late into the new season.

Gallinari, who had led Italy in scoring and rebounds in the Qualification Round, sustained the injury in a game against the Dallas Mavericks in April, just days before the end of the NBA Regular Season.

Meanwhile the name of Travis Diener, the American-born point guard of Dinamo Sassari who recently acquired Italian citizenship, is not included on the list.

Diener however is eligible to play at the EuroBasket and reports in Italy suggest that Italy head coach Simone Pianigiani will include him in the preliminary squad that gathers in July for the start of the training camp.

The 16 players that have been asked to report at the medical centre in Rome are Pietro Aradori, Andrea Bargnani, Marco Belinelli, Daniele Cavaliero, Andrea Cinciarini, Marco Cusin, Luigi Datome, Alessandro Gentile, Angelo Gigli, Daniel Hackett, Stefano Mancinelli, Nicolo Melli, Giuseppe Poeta, Achille Polonara, Guido Rosselli and Luca Vitali.


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