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Page last updated at 07:16 GMT, Tuesday, 12 August 2008 08:16 UK

Gordon missing from Britain squad

Chris Finch
Chris Finch has been forced to make changes

Great Britain have named seven new caps for this summer's campaign, which will culminate in six European Championship qualifying ties.

Ben Gordon, whose contract status with the NBA's Chicago Bulls is uncertain, is not among the 14 players named.

But Great Britain head coach Chris Finch confirmed that Gordon can join the squad at any stage.

"I never really planned for him to be here," said Finch. It would have been a bonus if he'd been here"

Great Britain have been hit by the withdrawal of two other key players from last season's squad as they prepare to start their summer programme with a tournament in Sardinia from 13-15 August.

Robert Archibald, the Scottish forward who averaged 10 points per game in last season's Division B qualifiers, has decided to rest after moving to Spanish club Malaga.

Mike Lenzly, who played for Finch at Mons in Belgium last season, has also decided not to join the squad after moving to an Italian side.

"We've lost a couple of guys, but the goal was always to find new players once we had made it into Division A."

The good news for Finch is that Luol Deng, who recently signed a lucrative new contract with the Bulls, is expected to be given clearance in time for the team's first game.

Deng had been awaiting notice that his NBA insurance would cover his period with the GB squad.

Among the debutants who will travel to Sardinia, Belgium and Turkey for a total of eight warm-up matches are former NBA player Pops Mensah-Bonsu and Steve Leven, who passed up the option of playing for Australia to represent GB.

Joel Freeland, who last played for the side two years ago, returns after impressing with Spanish side Gran Canaria.

GB take on Bosnia-Hercegovina, Israel and the Czech Republic in their September qualifying games, with a place at next year's European Championship finals at stake.

GB men's squad: Kieron Achara, Andy Betts, Eric Boateng, Flinder Boyd, Luol Deng, Nick George, Joel Freeland, Jarrett Hart, Dzaflo Larkai, Steve Leven, Richard Midgley, Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Nate Reinking, Andrew Sullivan (capt)

The goal was always to find new players once made it into Division A

GB coach Chris Finch


see also
Deng believes Britain can qualify
10 Aug 08 |  Basketball
Deng agrees 40m Chicago contract
30 Jul 08 |  Basketball
Basketball results
12 Oct 00 |  Basketball


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