2023 World Cup Qualifiers: Krušlin and Mulaomerović Talk Croatia Basketball Ahead of Sweden

By 22 February 2022
2023 World Cup Qualifiers: Krušlin and Mulaomerović Talk Croatia Basketball Ahead of Sweden
Marin Sušić/HKS

February 22, 2022 - Captain Filip Krušlin and coach Damir Mulaomerović discuss the state of the Croatia basketball team ahead of the crucial 2023 World Cup qualifiers against Sweden. 

On Friday, February 25 at 18:30, the Croatia national team will play a crucial qualifying match against Sweden for the 2023 World Cup at the Dražen Petrović Sports Center in Zagreb. Three days later, Sweden will host Croatia.

On that occasion, a press conference was held at the Dražen Petrović Cultural Center, attended by coach Damir Mulaomerović, the new-old captain of the national team Filip Krušlin, and the general secretary Josip Vranković, who started the conference:

"It is my pleasure to announce a new qualification cycle. Right at the beginning, I would like to thank the City of Rijeka and all participants in the Cup final, and I hope that, as in Rijeka, we will have understanding from the epidemiological service because of the interest in this match and will change the percentage of spectators allowed to matches. I would also like to emphasize that the Federation has worked hard on the roster and done everything to keep some players here. Still, some situations that are not within our competence are not in our favor, so about 90% of the players who are at preparations are the ones who will be combined for the matches against Sweden."

Croatia captain, Filip Krušlin, is a returnee to the national team and was asked about the synergy with the national team:

“These are all guys I know, more or less. I played with some of them as a cadet. We are working well and training, and we have a few more days to prepare for the critical first game. After that, we will certainly do the best we can and come ready for the game. I hope for a better performance from our side and a victory. That would be very important to us." 

Coach Damir Mulaomerović did not spare words of praise for his national team members:

“These 15 guys, with their behavior and approach to training, have already shown at the beginning that they are the right team. A difficult match awaits us, and it will be the most difficult to determine the twelve who will run on the floor on Friday because they are all really on the upper limit - with intensity, approach, everything that should adorn one team. We are all aware of our situation, but I am sure that the guys will do their best. "

What is the emphasis on training?

"They are all professionals with experience, so the emphasis is on the tactical part. We have slightly simplified how we will defend and prepare for individual characteristics. Time is short, and we can't go into too much detail. But I can say that I am satisfied with the training so far and the players' reaction. "

Is there an imperative to win, given the first two qualifying matches?

"We put the greatest imperative on ourselves; of course, we go for the victory in every game. But, unfortunately, those first two games went to the other team. There was a lack of luck. However, the most important thing is what awaits us - Sweden is a good team, but I think that with this roster, with the experience brought by some players, we have more options, and I believe we will prepare well and believe in victory." 

Captain Kruslin received a similar question - Is there any pressure before the games?

"Pressure in sports is normal; it is nothing new or different. We need to get the first two games off the sidelines. It’s something that happened and something we can’t change. We have a new opportunity, I am sure we are competitive, and we can win both games. It is not disputed that they have a good team, but so do we. Of course, playing for the national team always carries some pressure, but it's all part of the sport."

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