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Nets players start FIBA push with heavy schedule of “friendlies”

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Olympics Day 16 - Basketball Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Those Nets lucky enough to play for their countries national teams have already started competing overseas. Aleksandar Vezenko, the Nets stash taken in in June’s Draft, had 13 points, 13 rebound and five assists for Bulgaria on Wednesday vs. Portugal in the FIBA World Cup Pre-Qualifiers. That’s a competition primarily for small countries.

And starting Friday, Timofey Mozgov of Russia and Yakuba “Billy” Quattara of France, the Nets two-way, will be busy playing in “friendly” games —warm-ups for the FIBA Europe tournament— some single events, some part of tournaments.

Mozgov’s Russia, for example, with play nine games in two Russian cities; Hamburg, Germany and Helsinki, Finland over a three week period before heading off to Istanbul for the FIBA Europe tournament. That starts at the end of the month and runs almost three weeks.

Ouattara’s schedule is no less daunting, with eight games in three weeks before the real Eurobasket games begin.

Both Mozgov and Ouattara will face off against Germany whose coach, Chris Fleming, is a Nets assistant and offensive guru. Germany plays Russia twice and France once in the friendlies.

Here’s a schedule. If we can find video, we’ll let you know ...

RUSSIA

August 4 - Finland vs. Russia

August 6 - Israel vs. Russia

August 11 - Germany vs. Russia

August 12 - Hungary vs. Russia

August 13 - Iceland vs. Russia

August 18 - Germany vs. Russia

August 19 - Serbia vs. Russia

August 20 - Poland vs. Russia

August 25 - Finland vs. Russia

FRANCE

August 4 - Finland vs France

August 5 - Tunisia vs. France

August 8 - Croatia vs. France

August 15 - Lithuania vs. France

August 18 - Belgium vs. France

August 19 - Montenegro vs. France

August 20 - Italy vs. France

August 27 - Germany vs. France

In other FIBA news, Juan Pablo Vaulet, the Nets Argentine stash, was cut from the national team on Thursday. No surprise. He’s rehabbing from his latest ankle surgery. Although he was named to the 18-man preliminary squad, no one thought he be ready for the FIBA Americas tournament later this month.