|20 June 2012|
|Ante Tomic is one of the big-name players Croatia expect a lot from and coach Repesa wants to see at full speed from day one|
Croatia's football team at the European Championship in Poland and Ukraine inspired sports fans back home with their hard-working, well-organized and skillful play.
Even though they came up short of the Quarter-Finals of the tournament after finishing third behind Spain and Italy, Slaven Bilic's side has received a lot of praise for their approach and effort.
Among those to take notice was men's national team boss Jasmin Repesa, who has just named his 24-man preliminary squad for the EuroBasket 2013 Qualification Round.
Looking ahead to his team's preparations, Repesa said: "The goal is to look great, to make the necessary team spirit as it was in the football team and with my squad at Cibona."
Repesa just led Cibona Zagreb to the Croatian title.
The Croatian basketball team has some big names in its group like Roko Leni Ukić, Bojan Bogdanović, Luka Žorić, Lukša Andrić, Ante Tomić, Stanko Barać, as well as a host of other excellent players.
Most important for Repesa is that all 24 players that show up for the preparations are ready physically, and mentally.
The team will gather 15 July, but preparations will start two weeks earlier.
"The program is short compared to the previous preparations, so from the 1st of July, all candidates must be prepared for individual programs with trainers who will organize them in order to be ready for the first day of meetings," Repesa said.
"They must be in good shape to be able to immediately start working on game tactics."
Repesa says the expectation is for Croatia not only to earn a place in the Final Round, but to create a foundation that will serve as a launch pad for a strong campaign next year.
"The goal is not just to pass the qualifications," Repesa said, "but also make a good base for the EuroBasket in Slovenia."
Croatia will take on Ukraine, Cyprus, Austria and Hungary in Group C of the Qualification Round.
The first game will be at home against Cyprus on 18 August.
Croatia preliminary squad: Roko Leni Ukic, Rok Stipcevic, Dontaye Draper, Marko Car, Krunoslav Simon, Bojan Bogdanovic, Fran Pilepic, Marin Rozic, Goran Vrbanc, Ivan Ramljak, Luka Babic, Jakov Vladovic, Damjan Rudez, Hrvoje Peric, Damir Markota, Dario Saric, Goran Suton, Luka Zorić, Luksa Andric, Ante Tomic, Stanko Barac, Leon Radosevic, Miro Bilan, Darko Planinic.