The four Group C teams, Lithuania, Germany, Serbia and Slovenia enter the 2012 Championship with clearly distinct aims and aspirations.
Domantas Sabonis and Antanas Krimelis look set to have important roles in the team. The former, a 2.05m center, is the son of Lithuania legend Arvydas Sabonis. Domantas was especially effective in a 77-69, 12 July loss against Spain, when he had 14 points and nine rebounds. Lithuania came back strong from the loss with a 74-63 victory over Italy on 15 July.
|Constantin Ebert stayed unbeaten with Germany for four games before falling five straight times in 2011|
The player causing a stir in Germany is Jan Niklas Wimberg of Oldenburger TB. Wimberg is a 2.02m forward who played last year at the U16 event and averaged 4.1 points and 5.6 rebounds. Germany are also expecting big things from small forward Joschka Ferner and Constantin Ebert, a point guard in last year's team.
Coach Marko Icelik is not short of enthusiasm, and who can blame him with talents like shooting guards Vukan Stojanovic, Stefan Peno, Slobodoan Jovanovic and power forward Milos Glisic. "They have great energy, great heart, team spirit and never give up," he said of his team. There is also Nikola Pavlovic, a 1.99m power forward who had 20 points in a 90-75 friendly triumph over Ukraine.
Slovenia return to Division A for the first time after 2007. Milos Sporar's side claimed first place in the Division B championship in 2011 and the coach can bring back three players in Matej Kavas, Aljaz Slutej and 2.03m small forward Nejc Zupan, who featured prominently with 5.7 points and 3.4 rebounds per contest. Nevertheless, the biggest aim for Slovenia will be to avoid a return to Division B.