In five years, the picture of European basketball has hardly changed. As many as thirteen teams that played in the 2017 European Championship playoffs reached the round of 16 this year as well.
These are Slovenia, Serbia, Spain, Germany, Italy, Greece, Lithuania, Croatia, Finland, France, Montenegro, Turkey and Ukraine.
Five years ago, Russia, Latvia and Hungary played in the round of 16. These three teams have been replaced by Belgium, Poland and the Czech Republic in the 2022 Championship play-offs.
All three changes were inevitable. The national teams of Russia and Latvia, which reached the round of 16 five years ago, did not participate in this year’s European Championships at all. The Latvians fell in the qualifiers, and the Russians were eliminated from all FIBA tournaments.
The Hungarians were drawn this year in the same group as four other teams that played in the playoffs in 2017. Therefore, one of the former participants of the round of 16 had to remain on the sidelines in any case.
The national teams of Belgium, Poland and the Czech Republic returned to the playoffs after a short break. These three teams competed in the round of 16 of the 2015 European Championships.
For the Croats and Poles, this year’s European Championships helped to repair their reputations after the fiasco at the World Cup qualifiers earlier this summer.
Croatian and Polish basketball players did not make it to the second round of selection, in which 24 national teams are competing, and have already lost the opportunity to go to the 2023 world championships.
Not only that, the Croats and Poles had to start the 2025 European Championship qualifying tournament in the preliminary round, with the first match taking place in August.
However, the teams of Croatia and Poland managed to draw conclusions in a short period of two months and now continue the fight for medals at the European championships.