Tuesday, 7 June 2022

Croatia Player List for Upcoming 2023 Basketball World Cup Qualifications Published

June 7, 2022 - At the end of June, the 2023 Basketball World Cup qualifications will take place, in which Croatia will play against Slovenia and Finland. 

The Croatia basketball team expects an away match in Slovenia and a home match against Finland in Rijeka later this month. 

June 30, 2022, at 20:15 Slovenia - CROATIA (Arena Stožice, Ljubljana)
July 3, 2022, at 20:00 CROATIA - Finland (Zamet Center, Rijeka)

Coach Damir Mulaomerović led Croatia in the last cycle in February, when the national team recorded a defeat and a victory against Sweden. With that victory, Croatia remains in the race for a spot at the 2023 World Cup.

"We have decided on a wider list of 26 players. There were a lot of unknowns about playing NBA players, and in the meantime, we got confirmation that they can train from June 27 onwards, so only three days before the game. So we have a wider list, and all the players deserve to be on it. From that base, we will select those who will come to the preparations on June 15. So we will invite a few more players because we will not be able to use NBA players until the 27th. Of course, we will also watch who finished the competitions and refresh some guys and I hope that as many of us as possible will come to the initial gathering. We have certain problems because, for example, Karlo Matković is in training in the NBA, but we will solve some problems on the fly and soon publish a short list of players for preparations in Opatija," said coach Mulaomerović eight days before the start of preparations.

The 2023 Basketball World Cup will be played in Japan, Indonesia, and the Philippines next year. 

3rd cycle 2023 Basketball World Cup qualifications 

  • Roko Rogić
  • Goran Filipović
  • Lovro Gnjidić
  • Mate Kalajžić
  • Borna Kapusta
  • Bojan Bogdanović
  • Mario Hezonja
  • Filip Krušlin
  • Sven Smajlagić
  • Mateo Drežnjak
  • Toni Perković
  • Dominik Mavra
  • Toni Jelenković
  • Ivan Ramljak
  • Pavle Marčinković
  • Toni Nakić
  • Roko Prkačin
  • Željko Šakić
  • Tomislav Zubčić
  • Matej Rudan
  • Dario Drežnjak
  • Dragan Bender
  • Ivica Zubac
  • Ante Toni Žižić
  • Karlo Matković
  • Danko Branković

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Monday, 28 February 2022

2023 Basketball World Cup Qualifiers: Croatia Celebrates in Double-Overtime against Sweden!

February 28, 2022 - It was a double-overtime win for Croatia against Sweden in the 4th round of the 2023 Basketball World Cup qualifiers!

Croatia and Sweden met in Norrköping on Monday, with Croatia celebrating after double overtime 105-98 (14-21, 12-20, 24-18, 29-20 / 9-9, 17-10). Their first victory in the group keeps their chances alive of advancing to the next round.

In the marathon match in Norrköping, Croatia reached their first victory in the group, winning after two overtime periods. Filip Krušlin scored in the first overtime five seconds before the buzzer, and Goran Filipović scored a three-pointer in the second overtime.

Croatia was behind for almost the entire game, and Sweden led by 15 points at halftime (25-41). However, Croatia was able to turn things around in the last quarter. 

Three minutes before the end, Croatia took the 73-70 lead to bring the game to the dramatic finale. Sweden's Hackanson hit three free throws for 79-77 just 27 seconds before the end, but Filip Krušlin equalized five seconds before the final buzzer and took the game into overtime.

Sweden was ahead in the first five additional minutes, but Goran Filipović scored a three-pointer for 88-88 with 16 seconds to go. Ramljak then blocked Hackanson, and the second overtime came into play. 

With three-pointers by Ramljak and Krušlin, Croatia gained an advantage of 96-90. A new three-pointer by Tomislav Zubčić two minutes before the end put Croatia ahead 101-95, an advantage they managed to keep until the final buzzer. 

Goran Filipović was the best for Croatia with 29 points, Filip Krušlin scored 21, and Karlo Matković 16, while Ludvig Hakanson led Sweden with 31. 

In this group, Finland previously beat Slovenia 83-79 away.

Finland has three victories, Slovenia and Sweden two, and Croatia one. The first three national teams in the group move to the next round of the competition.

Croatia still needs to play Finland and Slovenia.

Source: HRT

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Friday, 25 February 2022

2023 World Basketball Cup Qualifications: Sweden Tops Croatia in Zagreb 70-64

February 25, 2022 - The Croatia national team recorded their third defeat in Group C of 2023 World Basketball Cup qualifications. Sweden celebrated 70-64 in Zagreb (18-15, 17-20, 17-10, 18-19).

At the moment, Croatia is in an extremely difficult situation in the standings, although three of the four teams go to the next round of qualifications. However, Finland, Sweden, and Slovenia have a 2-1 ratio, and Croatia 0-3.

Croatia fell behind from the beginning of the game, with Sweden up 6-0 and 9-3. Croatia managed to reduce the gap relatively quickly but also got into new problems after Sweden took the 24-15 lead.

Croatia struggled, especially in the attack, but somehow held their own and went into halftime at 35-35.

The third quarter caused a lot of trouble for Croatia, and in the opening eight minutes, Croatia scored only five points (all five by Šakić). Sweden was close to a double-digit advantage during most of the quarter. Nevertheless, Croatia found the strength for a new comeback. 

With a three-pointer by Gnjidić, Croatia equalized to 60-60 six minutes before the end. Smajlagić also reduced the score thanks to a three-pointer for 63-65, but in the end, Damir Mulaomerović's side was ultimately left without the win.

Croatia's shooting average was below 37 percent and the team struggled in the attack. Tomislav Zubčić was the only one to reach 20 points and four rebounds. No other Croatia player reached double-digits. Gnjidić, Krušlin, Smajlagić, and Šakić scored eight each, with Krušlin adding six rebounds.

Viktor Gaddefors scored 16 points for Sweden with five rebounds, while Simon Birgander added 12 points. 

The three best national teams from each group will move on to the next phase of the competition. The top three teams in Group C will create a new group with the top three teams in Group D. Points from the first round are carried over to the rest of the competition.

Croatia and Sweden meet again on Monday, February 28, in Norrkoping.

Source: HRT

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page


Tuesday, 15 February 2022

Croatia Lineup Published for Upcoming 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup Qualifiers

February. 15, 2022 - The second set of qualifying matches for the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup starts in ten days. Croatia coach Damir Mulaomerović has published the list of players he will use for the next two games. 

On Friday, February 25, starting at 18:30, the Croatia national team will host Sweden in Zagreb, and on Sunday, February 28, starting at 19:00, Croatia will finish the second set of matches in the Swedish town of Norrkoping.

The coach of the national team, Damir Mulaomerović, published a wider national team list with 24 candidates. The coach conducted many interviews and sent an invitation to all representative candidates who, given the competition system, can participate at all. For example, Miro Bilan thanked Mulaomerović for the invitation, saying that he wants to leave the national team jersey to the younger players, while Ivan Buva has a hip injury. Mario Hezonja and Kruno Simon, Croatian Euroleague players who would mean a lot to the national team, are also on the wider list.

List of players

Roko Badžim – Szolnoki
Darko Bajo – KK Split
Josip Batinić – KK Cedevita Junior
Danko Branković – KK Cibona
Filip Bundović – KK Cedevita Junor
Dario Drežnjak – KK Zadar
Mateo Drežnjak – KK Cibona
Goran Filipović – KK Cedevita Junior
Lovro Gnjidić – KK Cibona
Mario Hezonja – UNICS Kazan
Antonio Jordano – KK Zadar
Mate Kalajžić – KK Gorica
Filip Krušlin – Dinamo Sassari
Pavle Marčinković – KK Zadar
Karlo Matković – Mega Mozzart
Dominik Mavra – KK Zadar
Ivan Ramljak – Slask Wroclaw
Roko Rogić – Twarde Pierniki Torun
Matej Rudan – Mega Mozzart
Krunoslav Simon – Anadolu Efes Istanbul
Sven Smajlagić – Nevezis
Željko Šakić – Avtodor
Antonio Vranković – JIP Pardubice
Tomislav Zubčić – Tofaş S.K.
Coach: Damir Mulaomerović
Assistant coach: Aramis Naglić
Assistant coach: Vladimir Krstić

2nd cycle of 2023 Basketball World Cup qualifications
February 25, 2022 at 18:30 Croatia - Sweden (KC Dražen Petrović, Zagreb)
February 28, 2022 at 19:00 Sweden - Croatia (Norrkoping)
*Tickets for the home match against Sweden are on sale at ulaznice.hr, and both matches will be broadcast live by SportKlub.

The 2023 World Cup qualifiers are played in six qualifying cycles of two matches, divided into rounds 1 and 2, as was the case with the qualifiers for the last World Cup. The next cycles are in June 2022, August 2022, November 2022, and February 2023.

The 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup will be held in Japan, the Philippines, and Indonesia next year. 

Source: HKS

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Saturday, 28 August 2021

2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup Qualifiers Draw: Croatia in 4th Strongest Group

August 28, 2021 - Croatia has learned it will be in the fourth-strongest group in the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup qualifiers draw. 

The Croatia national basketball team is placed in the fourth-strongest group for the 2023 World Cup qualifiers draw, which will be held on Tuesday, August 31, at the headquarters of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) in Mies, Switzerland, starting at noon.

Croatian is in the same group as Montenegro, Latvia, and Ukraine and cannot play these teams in the first round of qualifications. The 2023 World Cup will be hosted by the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia from August 25 to September 10, 2023.

Spain, France, Slovenia, and Serbia are in the first strong group of the European part of the qualifications, in which 32 national teams will fight for 12 places leading to the World Cup. The national teams are distributed according to the position on the current FIBA ​​rankings.

The second group includes Italy, Lithuania, Greece, and Germany, and the third includes the Czech Republic, Poland, Russia, and Turkey. In the fifth is Finland, Georgia, Belgium, and Hungary, in the sixth is Great Britain, Israel, Bosnia, and Herzegovina, and the Netherlands, in the seventh is Iceland, Estonia, Bulgaria, and Belarus, and in the eighth is Northern Macedonia, Sweden, Portugal, and Slovakia.

Eight groups with four national teams will be drawn, from which the first three will continue the competition in the second round, transferring all the results from the first part. In the second part of the qualifications, by merging three national teams, four new groups of six teams will be created, of which the three best will qualify for the World Cup.

The same qualification method was applied for the 2019 World Cup in China, the first in which 32 national teams competed and Croatia failed to qualify.

In six qualifying cycles, each national team will play 12 matches, six at home and away.

The first qualifying cycle in which each national team will play two matches is from November 22 to 30 this year. Then, two more matches will be played from February 21 to March 1, 2022, and the first round of qualifications will end from June 27 to July 5 next year.

The second part of the qualifiers will start with two games from August 22 to 30, 2022, continue with the second cycle from November 7 to 15, and end in 2023 with the last two games from February 20 to 28. 

Croatia played their last big competition in 2017 in the European Championship where they were defeated by Russia in the round of 16. Their next big competition will be EuroBasket 2022, hosted by the Czech Republic, Georgia, Italy, and Germany. Croatia is placed in Group C, which is hosted by Milan, with the national teams of Greece, Ukraine, Great Britain, and Estonia.

Croatia has played in the World Cup three times so far. The generation led by Toni Kukoč and Dino Rađa won a bronze medal in Canada in 1994. At the 2010 World Cup in Turkey, Croatia was defeated by Serbia in the round of 16, and four years later in Spain, Croatia lost to France in the same phase of the competition.

Source: HRT 

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