MUNICH. The opponents of the Slovakia men’s basketball team in the D group of the second stage of the Euro 2025 prequalification are North Macedonia, Denmark and Norway.
That was decided by the draw in Munich. The first matches are scheduled for the end of August.
The Slovaks have played in qualifying for the 2023 World Cup in recent months, in the A group they took a non-progressive fourth place with a match record of 0:6.
After qualifying, the executive committee of the Slovak Basketball Association (SBA) dismissed Oleg Meleščenko from the position of head coach, the national team will be managed under a new name in the next round of competition.
The draw awarded the well-known North Macedonia to the Slovak selection.
Our basketball players last met him in the pre-qualification of the 2023 World Cup, in the August “bubble” in Skopje, they first lost 47:69 and then won the promotion after the result of 88:72.
Denmark may reach a major event after 70 years, having last played at the 1955 European Championships.
The biggest success is the gold at the European Championship of small countries in 2010.
It reached the second stage of pre-qualification as the winner of the C group with a 3:1 record.
Just like in the first phase, the Danes will also meet Norway in the next round. Norway, like our next opponent in Group D, has not yet played in a major event.
Interestingly, it was absent from events under the banner of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) from 2012 to 2018 due to financial difficulties.
The return to the international scene came in 2018, at the European Championship of small countries, the Norwegians won silver.
It secured promotion from second place, with 2 wins and 2 losses.
The second phase of the Euro 2025 pre-qualification is divided into three groups of four and will be played in a home away system in August 2022, November 2022 and February 2023.
The winners of the groups and Cyprus, as organizer of the final tournament, ensure a place in the regular qualification, the other teams have one more chance.
In the third stage of the pre-qualification, which should start in August 2023, the last places are at stake, this part will add the unsuccessful teams from the first and second stages.
In the event of promotion to qualifying for the European Championship 2025, Slovakia has a good chance of taking part in the premiere among the European elite.
The first three teams from the four-man groups advance to the final tournament in Latvia, Finland and Cyprus.
“North Macedonia is an opponent with whom we have experience from last summer, where we managed to win one match against them in the ‘bubble’ and advance. This is an old well-known opponent with decent quality, and we rank them among the group’s main favorites We know what to expect.
Denmark and Norway are countries with a similar basketball mentality. Northerners tend to play hard and fair basketball. When the new coach of the national team is known, the coaching staff will work intensively to get as much information as possible about these opponents.
I believe the draw was successful for us and our ambition can only be to fight again for promotion to the main part of qualifying. I hope it works,” the manager of the national men’s team, Michal Ondruš, told TASR.