Finland Squad Reunites Surprise Package

05 June 2013

EUROBASKET 2013

Petteri Koponen (Finland)
Petteri Koponen led Finland in points (19.9 ppg) and assists (4.8 apg) during last summer's Qualification Round

All but one players on the roster of the Finnish national team that reached a ninth-place finish at EuroBasket 2011, their best showing in 45 years, have been included in the preliminary squad for next September's EuroBasket.

Finland head coach Henrik Dettmann announced his 23-strong list on Wednesday and the only player from the 2011 team that will not have the chance to make a second consecutive EuroBasket appearance is Petri Virtanen, the Joensuun Kataja point guard.

The bulk of that team were also on international duty last summer, in the EuroBasket Qualification Round, when they won six of their eight encounters to punch their ticket to the upcoming big event in Slovenia.

Sharp-shooting guard Petteri Koponen of Russian Euroleague side Khimki headlines the list, while center Gerald Lee Jr. of Buducnost, 22-year-old sensation Sasu Salin and 36-year-old veteran Hanno Möttölä are also included.

One of the new additions to the squad is 2.08m center Erik Murphy, who graduated from the University of Florida (NCAA) this year and is expected to make his debut appearance with the senior national team of his mother's native country.

"Erik informed me immediately of his willingness to represent Finland," Dettmann said.

"He is currently preparing for the NBA Draft and will have try-outs with teams across the United States."

Finland's summer camp gets under way on 22 July and will see the team play two warm-up games in front of their fans, against Great Britain on 15 August and with Latvia on 28 August.

The Scandinavians will already have faced EuroBasket silver medallists France in a friendly game away at the beginning of their round of friendly games.

They will also participate in a four-nation tournament in Vilnius from 21 to 23 August, where they will measure forces against hosts Lithuania, Russia and the Czech Republic.

Finland were drawn in First Round Group D at the EuroBasket, which tips off on 4 September, and they will do battle with Italy, Greece, Turkey, Russia, and their western neighbours Sweden.

 

Finland's preliminary squad for EuroBasket 2013: Roope Ahonen, Joonas Cavén, Samuel Haanpää, Shawn Huff, Antti Kanervo, Ville Kaunisto, Mikko Koivisto, Petteri Koponen, Tuukka Kotti, Gerald Lee Jr., Carl Lindbom, Erik Murphy, Kimmo Muurinen, Vesa Mäkäläinen, Hanno Möttölä, Antto Nikkarinen, Antti Nikkilä, Matti Nuutinen, Teemu Rannikko, Sasu Salin, Emir Sulejmanovic, Samuli Vanttaja, Ilkka Vuori


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