|08 June 2011|
U20 European Championship
|Nikola Mirotic has had a phenomenal season with Real Madrid and he is expected to make the difference under the boards for Spain at the U20 European Championship |
Spain have included rising star Nicola Mirotic of Real Madrid in their squad for the U20 European Championship.
Mirotic, a member of the All-Tournament team last year in Croatia, thrust himself into contention for a spot in the senior team with some clutch performances for Madrid in the Euroleague.
For now, he is in the squad for Spain as they host the U20 event in Bilbao from July 14-24
Three other players in the Real Madrid youth set-up - Alberto Jodar, José María Gil and Víctor Arteaga - are in the 17-strong preliminary squad.
DKV Joventut Badalona have also placed four players in the preliminary group.
They are Josep Franch, Alex Barrera, Albert Ventura and Nacho Llovet.
Unicaja Malaga have the third biggest representation in the side with Pepe Pozas, Miguel Lorenzo and Malick Fall named.
Jose Simeon, a Eurocup winner with Power Electronics Valencia two seasons ago, is the lone player from 'La Taronja' with a chance to make the team.
The coach of the Spain team is former international Juan Antonio Orenga.
"This is a beautiful event to enjoy players of a great level," he said.
"In the last four years, the (Spain) national team has always achieved a medal.
"We've had players that are now in the senior side like (Sergio) Llull, Carlos Suarez, (Fernando) San Emeterio, among others.
"The base of the U20 team is conformed of players that take over from those of last year's where we had seven players in their first year and from that age we want to create a group able to compete."
Spain will compete in Group C with Austria, Greece and Turkey.
Looking ahead to the preparations, Orenga said: "We will have 17 players at the first get-together in Logrono.
"We will then discard two players to have 15 for the tournament in Logrono and in Poland.
"Then we will drop three further players for the tournament in Barakaldo.
"We have a hard group and complicated rivals, such as Turkey and Greece.
"The favorites are Lithuania, France - the reigning champions - as well as Turkey and of course, Spain."