EuroBasket News: Valančiūnas and Sabonis free to join Lithuainian national team practices

The Lithuanian basketball federation announced that Jonas Valančiūnas and Domantas Sabonis are now free to practice with the rest of the team. The insurance policy between FIBA and the NBA was the primary obstacle in the two getting on the court sooner.

Antigoni Zachari from sheds some light on now the rule prevented Valančiūnas and Sabonis from getting on the court sooner:

The current agreement between FIBA and the NBA, which covers a maximum of 28 days of insurance for players who wish to join their respective national teams.

Therefore, if international NBA stars wish to participate in the June qualifiers (June 27 – July 5), then they could only join the preparation of their national teams for the August Qualifiers (August 22 – 30) and the FIBA EuroBasket (September 1-18) a few days before tip-off, otherwise, the insurance can no longer cover them. While it’s still possible for players to join their national teams even without insurance, it certainly increases the risk factor, e.g. in case of an injury.

In case they wish to skip the June window, then full team training, plus August and September games will all be covered.

Sans the two big men, Lithuania defeated Estonia 84-70 in their initial EuroBasket 2022 preparation game.

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