Finland’s 15-player team for the February qualifying window was named today.
The Finnish men’s national basketball team will start the EC qualifiers at the end of February. In February’s qualifying window, they will meet rock-hard Serbia away and interesting Denmark at home. Georgia also plays in the group.
The qualifiers are exceptional for Finland to the extent that Susijengi will automatically qualify for the autumn 2025 European Championship as the host country of one group. In addition to Finland, two countries from the group qualify for the Games. After February, there are qualifying windows in November and next year in February.
Susijeng’s head coach Lassi Tuovi considers the matches to be important for Finland in any case.
– It has not been in mind in any way that the race place is already certain. It’s been a long time since the World Cup, everyone is very hungry to get to work together. All games matter for the future. Common experiences are the most important. It’s great to be able to play in front of your own fans, Tuovi assured.
Finland’s group is tough and you can also play a lot of crosses in it.
– A really competitive group, where we will play for a high-level basket. Serbia and Georgia are more familiar opponents from the previous qualifiers. Denmark is a little more recent acquaintance. They have a really interesting team at the moment. The players are in their prime and the last time they were one basket away from reaching the European Championships.
Finland’s opening opponent on February 23 on the away field is World Cup silver medalist Serbia. Serbia has not yet announced its team, but a really tough team is coming, because after the internal disputes in basketball in recent years, Euroleague players are now also participating in the European Championship qualifiers.
Denmark will meet Finland in Espoo on February 26. Denmark is not such a familiar opponent for Finland, but Denmark has two tough Euroleague players, Lassi Tuov playing for Virtus Bologna Gabriel “Iffe” Lundberg and Milan Shavon Shields.
– They are among the best defenders in the Euroleague. They are the clear number one figures in Denmark, who are ready to take tough decisions. Denmark’s game has the kind of freshness that has sometimes been seen from Susijeng as well, Tuovi stated.
Experience and youth in the team
Susijeng’s group of 15 players for the February games was announced today. There are eight players from Okinawa’s World Cup team last fall, but also young promises, the youngest being HBA-Märsky’s 204-centimeter born in 2006 Olavi Suutela.
Susijeng’s remote press conference was attended by Tuov, who is playing a good season in Le Portel of the French league Edon Maxhuni. Maxhuni joined the team in the fall in the middle of the season and immediately led the team to the longest eight-game winning streak in the club’s history. At times it was a more difficult phase, but Le Portel is now eighth in the league and fighting for a playoff spot.
– I’m playing a good season. The series is much more physical than the German league, Maxhuni said.
Maxhuni also praised someone who plays in the same league in the ranks of Paris Basketball Mikael Jantus.
– Jantunen is playing his best season. He has found Tuomas Iisalon a good role in the team. The team plays a similar basket as Susijengi.
Tuovi was proud, for example, of Maxhun and the move to Andorra in the Spanish league About Alexander Madsen.
– They do pioneering work. They show that Finnish players can play key roles in the top league. It guarantees them tough games and opens screen spots for others.
In between the EC qualifiers, Susijengi pwl the Olympic qualifiers in July.
Susigengi in the European Championship qualifying window in February
4 Aatu KIVIMÄKI 186 1997 Tigers Tübingen (GER)
9 Sasu SALIN 191 1991 Lenovo Tenerife (ESP)
12 Luukas VAARA 207 2001 Salon Vilpas
14 Henri KANTONEN 198 1997 M Basket Mazeikiai (LTU)
18 Mikael JANTUNEN 204 2000 Paris Basketball (FRA)
19 Elias VALTONEN 200 1999 BAXI Manresa (ESP)
20 Alexander MADSEN 208 1995CB Andorra (ESP)
21 Edon MAXHUNI 188 1998 Le Portel (FRA)
34 Jacob GRANDISON 198 1998 free agent
35 Ilari SEPPÄLÄ 188 1993 Saint-Chamond (FRA)
37 Olavi SUUTELA 204 2006 HBA-Märsky, Helsinki
41 Topias PALMI 196 1994 Karhu Basket
42 Daniel DOLENC 205 1993 M Basket Mazeikiai (LTU)
43 Max BESSELINK 202 2002 Belfius Mons-Hainaut (BEL)
44 Remu RAITAnen 206 1997 CB Caceres (ESP)