Thursday, 25 August 2022

Will an American Guard save Croatian Basketball?

25th August 2022 - According to the Croatian Basketball Federation (HKS) news, Croatian Basketball National Team Coach Damir Mulaomerović has presented his final 12 man rosters for the pre-qualifiers and the Euros before tonight's pre-qualifier match against Poland.

Roko Rogić, who did not play at the tournament in the Czech Republic, had already left the national team earlier and now the coach removed and thanked Pavlo Marčinković, Mateo Drežnjak and Goran Filipović.

 

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Croatian Basketball National Team Coach Damir Mulaomerović (Photo: HKS / Marin Sušić)

The Croatian jersey will be worn like this during the next weeks:

  • 1 Toni Perković
  • 3 Jaleen Devon Smith
  • 4 Roko Prkačin
  • 7 Krunoslav Simon
  • 8 Mario Hezonja
  • 9 Dario Saric
  • 10 Lovro Gnjidic
  • 17 Karlo Matković
  • 27 Ivan Ramljak
  • 30 Dominik Mavra
  • 40 Ivica Zubac
  • 44 Bojan Bogdanović

Biggest surprise for many is probably the nomination of american national Jaleen Devon Smith. The 193cm guard who just extended his contract with ALBA Berlin after winning the german championships against Euroleague team Bayern Munich in the finals has been naturalized (a fancy word for beeing granted Croatian Nationality which you would not be granted if the country did not expect to benefit from it). The decison came after the dissolution of the National Federation's so called "Expert Council for Men's Basketball", which acted as an advisory body of the Board of Directors. The group, headed by Dino Rađa was expressly against bringing a foreigner into the national team. The association led by Stojko Vranković, however hopes that a new American in the position of play maker can make the nation's problems disappear. Slobodna Dalmacija reported in detail on July 22nd, 2022 but until now the newly added Croatian's debut has not been given. 

 

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Croatia's new No. 3 Jaleen Devon Smith (Photo: ALBA Berlin / Daniel Löb)

 

After dropping out of the World Cup 2023 Qualification by finishing last in its group with Slovenia, Finnland and Sweden, Croatia now needs to first earn the right to be allowed to try to qualify for the World Cup in 2025 in a group with Poland, Switzerland and Austria. The official matches for Croatia that are now coming up, are:  two pre-qualification matches for EuroBasket 2025 (August 25 in Poland and August 28 against Switzerland in Opatija) and the European Championship from September 1 to 18.

Tickets for  Croatia - Switzerland (August 28 at 20:00)  can be purchased through the udnice.hr system  or  at the box office of the 'Marino Cvetković' hall in Opatija on the day of the match.

The pre-qualification matches are broadcast by Sport Klub, and the European Championship by Sport Klub and HRT.

 

OFFICIAL MATCHES OF CROATIA

PRE-QUALIFICATIONS FOR EURO 2025
• August 25, 2022 Poland - Croatia August 25, 2022 at 18:30 (broadcast available on SK 3)
• August 28, 2022 Croatia - Switzerland August 28, 2022 at 20:00

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP, 1.-18. September 2022
• Croatia - Greece September 2, 2022 at 17:00
• Great Britain - Croatia September 3, 2022 at 14:15
• Croatia - Estonia September 5, 2022 at 14:15
• Italy - Croatia September 6 2022 at 21:00
• Croatia - Ukraine September 8, 2022 at 14:15

Thursday, 30 June 2022

FIBA World Cup Qualifiers: Croatia Loses in Slovenia 97:69 (54:35)

June 30, 2022 - Slovenia secures the next-round spot behind Finland, and Croatia needs help to stay alive in the FIBA World Cup qualifiers.

Tonight’s match-up being found at the bottom of Group C was a big surprise to most basketball fans. Finland and Sweden were able to celebrate big wins against highly-favored Slovenia and the expected runner-up Croatia earlier in the competition. With an 85:69 home win over Sweden, NBA youngster Lauri Markkanen’s team even secured position one in the group and a ticket to the next round of the qualifiers just before tip-off in Ljubljana.

To make up for missed opportunities, the Slovenian national basketball team around NBA star Luka Dončić put on a big show against Croatia for their 12,480 sold-out home crowd at Arena Stožice. An impressive 7-minute 20:0 scoring run in the first quarter already decided the game early and gave the crowd plenty of reason to celebrate. Coach Aleksander Sekulić was able to hold back his horses for most of the remaining 30 minutes.

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 FIBA

While NBA sharpshooter Bojan Bogdanović still seemed to suffer from jet lag, only Mario Hezonja seemed to have problems facing a loss, or maybe he was the only player tonight on the team with the checkers who had the skill to put up a fight. Croatia came back in the second quarter by outscoring the hosts 21:27. 15 of Croatia’s first half 35 points were delivered by Hezonja to make it 54:35 at half-time.

Croatian coach Damir Mulaomerović was not able to pull a rabbit out of his hat, but a miracle was just what his team would have needed to come back after Slovenia pulled away to 76:51 by the end of the third quarter. Luka Dončić (18) did not even need to do all the work with Mike Tobey (16) and Goran Dragić (17) chipping in plenty of points for the home team within the first 30 minutes.

  boja.jpg

FIBA

So it was no surprise all three of them were given a well-deserved rest at the start of the final 10 minutes. With few minutes left to play, Dončić must have decided that he does not want to give the top-scoring honors to Hezonja and polished up his stats to finish the night with a double-double of  21 points, 10 assists, and 8 rebounds. Goran Dragić finished with 19 points, 8 rebounds and Mike Tobey also finished with a double-double consisting of 16 points and 13 rebounds.

Mario Hezonja led the Croatian team with 22 points and 9 rebounds, just short of a double-double. Bojan Bogdanovicć’s not very convincing game with 13 points was topped by Ivica Zubac’s 14 points and 7 rebounds. Slovenia outscored Croatia in the final quarter by 21:18 to finish the game 97:69. 

Doncic.jpg

 FIBA

Now Croatia not only needs to win against Finland at home on Sunday in Rijeka at 20:00 to keep a minimal chance to still qualify for the World Cup tournament in 2023, but also needs the help from Slovenia to win their away game in Sweden, which will be played also on Sunday but already at 17:00.

Referees: ROSSO, Yohan (France), CASTILLO, Luis (Spain), PROC, Michal (Poland)

Result by quarters: 33:8, 21:27, 22:16, 21:18.

Boxscore: https://www.fiba.basketball/basketballworldcup/2023/european-qualifiers/game/3006/Slovenia-Croatia#tab=boxscore 

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated sports section

Tuesday, 14 June 2022

Bogdanović and Zubac on Croatia Team for 2023 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

June 14, 2022 - Croatia will kick off the next round of 2023 FIBA World Cup qualifiers against Slovenia away and Finland at home later this month. Croatia will have its NBA starts available for both matches. 

At the end of June, a new qualifying round for the 2023 FIBA World Cup will begin, which will be played in Japan, Indonesia, and the Philippines next year. Croatia will play an away match in Slovenia and a home match against Finland in Rijeka.

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 FIBA World Cup.

Coach Damir Mulaomerović has shortened the previously published list of players for the national team, and 17 players will participate in the preparations that start on June 15 (NBA players will join later due to NBA rules). 

"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 on June 7. 

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Croatia player list:

  • Roko Rogić
  • Goran Filipović
  • Lovro Gnjidić
  • Mate Kalajžić
  • Bojan Bogdanović
  • Mario Hezonja
  • Sven Smajlagić
  • Mateo Drežnjak
  • Toni Perković
  • Ivan Ramljak
  • Roko Prkačin
  • Dario Drežnjak
  • Tomislav Zubčić
  • Dragan Bender
  • Ivica Zubac
  • Ante Toni Žižić
  • Karlo Matković

Source: HKS

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated sports section

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

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated sports section

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

Wednesday, 30 June 2021

Olympic Basketball Qualifiers in Split: Brazil Outshines Croatia 94:67

June 30, 2021 - Brazil outshines Croatia in their first game of the Olympic basketball qualifiers in Split on Wednesday 94:67. 

Croatia opened their Olympic qualifying campaign on Wednesday against Brazil at Spaladium Arena in Split. After three years, Croatia's best basketball player Bojan Bogdanović played an official game in the Croatia jersey again. 

The tournament opened on Tuesday, June 29. In Croatia's group, Brazil, led by the former Croatia coach Aco Petrovićconvincingly defeated Tunisia 83:57. In the other, Group A, Germany beat Mexico 82:76. 

1st quarter

Brazil led 4:0 at the start of the 1st quarter until Ukić scored Croatia's first basket and a 3-pointer for 4:3 with 8:20 to go. An Ukić field goal made it 10:5 before Sakić and Dreznjak came back for 12:10. With 3:37 to go, Croatia was down 23:10 before Žižić scored for 23:12 and 23:14. 

Žižić was on fire with a 2pt driving layup for 23:16!

A personal foul saw Hezonja make both free throws for 24:18 with just under two minutes to go. A 2pt jump shot from Rogić put Croatia just 4 behind at 24:20. The 1st quarter ended 25:20 for Brazil. 

2nd quarter

The 2nd quarter started with a foul drawn on Hezonja who scored both free throws to reduce Brazil's lead to +3 (25:22). Hezonja's 2pt driving layup made it 28:24 with 7:38 to go. Bogdanović re-entered the game straight after. 

Marčinković nailed a stunning 3-pointer for 31:27 with 6 minutes left. Brazil had a 10-point lead with 4 left (37:27). Ukić assisted Bilan for 37:29. 

An Ukić 3-pointer gave Croatia life again as they were behind by 5 with just over 2 minutes to go (37:32). 

Bogdanović made up for his poor play in the game thus far by nailing a 2pt jump shot for 37:34. Croatia called a timeout at 40:34 and 45 seconds to go. Brazil ended the 2nd quarter with a 3-pointer for 45:34. 

3rd quarter

The 3rd quarter started with Brazil leading 49:34. Ukić missed two free throws, but Hezonja made two soon after for 49:36. 

A Bogdanović 3-pointer made it 51:41, followed by a 2pt fadeaway jump shot for 54:43. A Žižić dunk and free throw saw Croatia come back for 54:46. 

A 3pt jump shot by Jordano slighted reduced Croatia's gap to -12 (61:49) with 3:16 to go. Bogdanović reduced it to -10 moments later (62:52). 

Bogdanović scored both free throws for 63:54 with 2 minutes to go. The 3rd quarter ended 71:55 for Brazil. 

4th quarter

Ukić opened the final quarter with a stunning 3 points for 71:58. With 7 minutes left in the game, Brazil led 79:59. 

Bogdanović nailed a 3-pointer for 84:62, but Brazil's lead was too hard to catch. It was 90:62 with just over two minutes left in the game. 

Bilan scored for 92:64, but Brazil kept increasing their lead. In the final minute of the game, it was 94:66. Dreznjak scored 1/2 free throws, and the game ended 94:67. 

Croatia plays against Tunisia at the same time tomorrow. After the group stage, there is a day of rest, and on July 3, the semifinal matches are scheduled. The final match is scheduled for July 4 at 7:30 pm. Only the winner of the tournament will qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. Croatia's group crosses over with Germany, Russia, and Mexico.

 The Split tournament and the other three hosted by Belgrade, Kaunas, and Victoria in Canada are all scheduled from June 29 to July 4, 2021. 

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Saturday, 21 November 2020

Croatia Basketball Team Begins European Championship Qualifications, Player List Announced

November 21, 2020 - The Croatia basketball team travels to Istanbul on Sunday, November 23, for a new cycle of qualifications for the European Championship.

According to stringent rules, the qualifications will be played in a 'bubble, so as not to risk the health of players, coaches, referees, and the rest of the delegations. Croatia national team members will only move from the hotel to the hall and back, in a special bus and without interacting with anyone outside their own delegation, except, of course, during the official game.

Before the team heads to Turkey, Croatia national team coach Veljko Mršić, despite all the challenges that are unquestionably posed to the national team, but also sports in general, is determined and currently focused on only one goal: going to the European Championship.

"I expect to provide good games and, given the good outcome of the previous windows, our goal is to secure a place in the European Championship now," the coach began.

"But it’s hard to plan. There are many unknowns, another round of coronavirus testing awaits us before departure, there are very few days of preparation, and we will only see the strength of the rival teams on the spot. In this cycle, we will play against Turkey and Sweden. It is a pity that we are in this current epidemiological situation because we were supposed to play Turkey at home, in front of our audience. As for the list of players, we waited to announce it until the first test results. Fortunately, only a small number of players were positive, so more or less everyone we wanted is on the list. "

In the upcoming qualification cycle, coach Veljko Mršić will count on the following players:

BILAN, Miro - Dinamo Sassari

DREŽNJAK, Mateo - Cibona

GABRIĆ, Tomislav - Enea Astoria

JORDANO, Antonio - Vrijednosnice Osijek

KRUŠLIN, Filip - Dinamo Sassari

MARČINKOVIĆ, Pavle - Split

MARIĆ, Marin - BC Lietkabelis

MAVRA, Dominik - Zadar

PERKOVIĆ, Toni - Split

PRKAČIN, Roko - Cibona

RADIĆ, Ivica - Anwil Wloclawek

RAMLJAK, Ivan - ŚLĄSK

ROGIĆ, Roko - Mitteldeutscher BC

ŠAKIĆ, Željko - Avtodor

STIPČEVIĆ, Rok - Krka Novo Mesto

UKIĆ, Roko Leni - Cedevita Olimpija

VRANKOVIĆ, Antonio - Split

* There are 17 players on the list, and 14 travel to Istanbul.

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFICATION MATCHES

11/27/2020 at 17:00 (19:00 in Istanbul): Croatia - Turkey
11/29/2020 at 18:00 (20:00 in Istanbul): Sweden - Croatia

Source: HKS

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

Saturday, 29 February 2020

Croatian Basketball Player Mateo Dreznjak Named Rising Star of EuroBasket Qualifiers

February 29, 2020 - The umbrella organization has recognized the energetic Mateo Dreznjak as a promising young player in European basketball.

Probably the best player of HKK Široki, young Mateo Dreznjak has attracted the attention of the wider sports public thanks to his excellent appearances in Croatia’s first two Eurobasket 2021 qualifying matches against Sweden and the Netherlands, HRT reports.

His performances have certainly not been missed by FIBA, who named him one of the top 10 upcoming Eurobasket stars.

The young shooting guard was truthfully mistaken for his birth date (he was born on March 8, 1999), but was listed as Croatia's best scorer in the first qualifying block, despite being the youngest on the roster.

“Despite being the youngest on the roster, Dreznjak stepped up for Croatia as their leading scorer through the first window in which they came through unbeaten. The 20-year-old opened with 16 points on 88 percent shooting to go with 4 steals and 3 assists in a win over Sweden before hitting double figures again in helping his side beat the Netherlands,” said official media partner of the Euroleague, Eurohoops.net.

While Dreznjak is one of the highlights for Croatia and the future of Croatian basketball, FIBA also recognized Denny Avdi (one of the candidates for the first draft pick this year), Christian Kullamae, Arturs Žagars, Rokas Jokubaitis, Vit Krejci, Carlos Alocen, Rati Andronikashvili, Melwin Pantzar (a young Swede who played against Croatia in the first round) and Keye Van der Vuurst de Vries.

The Croatia basketball team beat the Netherlands away 69:59 in the second round of EuroBasket qualifications and defeated Sweden 72:56 (18: 6, 23:14, 17:25, 14:11) in the first round of the Group D qualifiers. Turkey and Sweden are also in Group D.

With these victories, Croatia has made a big step towards qualifying for the EuroBasket. 

EuroBasket 2021 will be held in Georgia, the Czech Republic, Italy, and Germany. The three first-place teams will qualify for the EuroBasket.

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

Thursday, 20 February 2020

Want to Catch Bogdanovic & Co. in Split? Croatia's Olympic Qualifying Games Announced

February 20, 2020 - Croatia will open its first game of the Olympic Qualifying Basketball Tournament in Split against Brazil, and play its second game a day later against Tunisia.

FIBA has announced the schedule and times for the final basketball qualifiers for the Olympic Games, which will be played in Croatia, Canada, Lithuania and Serbia from June 23 to 28. 

Croatia will thus play its first game in Group B on June 24 at 8 pm against Brazil, and the second game on June 25 against Tunisia at 8 pm. Germany, Russia and Mexico will play in Group a. If Croatia makes it to the semifinals, they will play against the national teams in Group A on the weekend of June 27.

The qualifiers are played in four different tournaments, each with six participants, and only the winners of the tournament will qualify for the Olympics. Argentina, Australia, France, Iran, Nigeria, Spain, the United States and Japan have already qualified for the 2020 Olympics.

In addition to Split, other cities hosting the qualifying tournament are Belgrade, Kaunas and Victoria. A total of 24 nations will compete in the tournaments, with only tournament winners going to the Olympics.

"The tournament in Split is one big event and promotion not only for basketball but for the whole of Croatia. We hope for a good atmosphere and once again thank the Government of the Republic of Croatia, the City of Split and Split-Dalmatia County. We hope that the team will be complete and that everyone will be healthy and we can look forward to the Olympic Games. We are about to begin qualifying for the European Championships that await us in 2021. On Friday, we play against Sweden, after which we play with the Netherlands. These two games are extremely important for us. After that, we expect the HT Premier League championship finals, and then we are preparing for this tournament.”

All fans looking to cheer on Croatia in Split can purchase tickets from February 26 through system.hr.

“The Split tournament is, in my opinion, the most important event in Croatian sport in 2020, and the importance and weight are in the opponents, system and organization. FIBA has risen to a higher level of quality since EuroBasket in 2015. We recognized this tournament as a top event that has the opportunity to be played in Croatia. I want to take this opportunity to thank the Prime Minister and the Government of the Republic of Croatia for recognizing this. What awaits us in Split is the ultimate spectacle for all sports fans, especially basketball. Until the tournament, we will work on the animation and promotion of basketball and take this opportunity to raise basketball to another level,” said the Secretary-General of the Croatian Basketball Federation, Josip Vranković.

Qualifying for the Olympic Games and representing their country is a dream of all athletes, which guarantees that exciting basketball awaits us in Split. The Croatia national team will have a slight advantage as they will have support from the Split stands.

‘’I hope we can show a good game in front of our home crowd on Friday and win. We expect that the Drazen Petrovic hall will be packed to the last place and that together with our fans, we will have a positive atmosphere before this last Euro qualifier against the Netherlands and before the Olympic tournament in Split in June.

When we finish these games, we will start preparing for the Split tournament, talk to all the players to get ready for the summer,” said Croatian basketball team coach Veljko Mrsic.

The Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 24 to August 9. The Croatia basketball team has qualified for the Olympic Games four times, with the highest success being the silver medal in 1992. At the last Rio Olympics, Croatia took 5th place. The tournament in Split is an opportunity for all basketball lovers and fans to accompany their national teams on the road to the Olympics, but also to enjoy top-notch basketball. In addition to Split, other host cities are Belgrade, Kaunas and Victoria. A total of 24 teams will compete in the tournaments, with only the tournament winners going to the Olympics.

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

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Olympic Qualifying Basketball Tournament in Split Officially Presented

February 19, 2020 - The Olympic qualifying tournament in Split is the last chance to fight for a spot in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The Croatia national team has a slight advantage, as they will be playing in front of a home crowd.

HKS reports that one of the four Olympic qualifying basketball tournaments will be played in Split from June 23 to 28 at the Spaladium Arena. Croatia will fight against the national teams of Germany, Russia, Tunisia, Mexico and Brazil for a spot in Tokyo.

"The tournament in Split is one big event and promotion not only for basketball but for the whole of Croatia. We hope for a good atmosphere and once again thank the Government of the Republic of Croatia, the City of Split and Split-Dalmatia County. We hope that the team will be complete and that everyone will be healthy and we can look forward to the Olympic Games. We are about to begin qualifying for the European Championships that await us in 2021. On Friday, we play against Sweden, after which we play with the Netherlands. These two games are extremely important for us. After that, we expect the HT Premier League championship finals, and then we are preparing for this tournament.”

All fans looking to cheer on Croatia in Split can purchase tickets from February 26 through system.hr.

“The Split tournament is, in my opinion, the most important event in Croatian sport in 2020, and the importance and weight are in the opponents, system and organization. FIBA has risen to a higher level of quality since EuroBasket in 2015. We recognized this tournament as a top event that has the opportunity to be played in Croatia. I want to take this opportunity to thank the Prime Minister and the Government of the Republic of Croatia for recognizing this. What awaits us in Split is the ultimate spectacle for all sports fans, especially basketball. Until the tournament, we will work on the animation and promotion of basketball and take this opportunity to raise basketball to another level,” said the Secretary-General of the Croatian Basketball Federation, Josip Vranković.

Qualifying for the Olympic Games and representing their country is a dream of all athletes, which guarantees that exciting basketball awaits us in Split. The Croatia national team will have a slight advantage as they will have support from the Split stands.

‘’I hope we can show a good game in front of our home crowd on Friday and win. We expect that the Drazen Petrovic hall will be packed to the last place and that together with our fans, we will have a positive atmosphere before this last Euro qualifier against the Netherlands and before the Olympic tournament in Split in June.

When we finish these games, we will start preparing for the Split tournament, talk to all the players to get ready for the summer,” said Croatian basketball team coach Veljko Mrsic.

The Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 24 to August 9. The Croatia basketball team has qualified for the Olympic Games four times, with the highest success being the silver medal in 1992. At the last Rio Olympics, Croatia took 5th place. The tournament in Split is an opportunity for all basketball lovers and fans to accompany their national teams on the road to the Olympics, but also to enjoy top-notch basketball. In addition to Split, other host cities are Belgrade, Kaunas and Victoria. A total of 24 teams will compete in the tournaments, with only the tournament winners going to the Olympics.

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

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