Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Croatian Basketball Federation Finalizing Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Split

March 17, 2021 - Croatia basketball will compete at the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Split, to be held at Spaladium Arena from June 29 to July 4, 2021. 

As part of organizing the Olympic Qualifying Tournament, which takes place from June 29 to July 4 at the Spaladium Arena in Split, the Croatian Basketball Federation (HKS) delegation consisting of President Stojko Vranković, Vice President Nikola Rukavina, and Secretary-General Josip Vranković held meetings in Split-Dalmatia County and the City of Split. Prefect Blaženko Boban, accompanied by the county head for social activities, sports, and culture Tomislav Đonlić, made all county resources available to organize it.


Ivica Čavka/HKS

"From Split to Tokyo, let that be the motto of our meeting. This is a demanding project, the biggest sporting event this year, and we are happy that it is being held in Split," said Boban.


Ivica Čavka/HKS

HKS President Stojko Vranković added: “Thank you for the hospitality of the County, thank you to the Government of the Republic of Croatia and Prime Minister Plenković for their support in organizing this tournament. We at HKS believe that a real Croatian basketball festival will take place in Split.”

Mayor Andre Krstulović-Opara is also happy that the Croatia national team will play in Split.

“I support the organization of the tournament with great passion and participation. When the tournament takes place, there will be another mayor, but the size of this event is significant for the City of Split and Croatia. I regret that there will probably be no fans; I’m sure the atmosphere would be fiery. The arrival of the national team in our city is a great thing. You can see from our KK Split that basketball is taking big steps forward, that is, returning to where it was," said Krstulović-Opara, who received the HKS delegation together with the head of social activities Mato Omazić, head of the sports service Igor Maretić and president of the Supervisory Board of BC Split Domagoj Maroević.


Ivica Čavka/HKS

HKS Secretary Josip Vranković presented several ideas to present Croatia basketball during the tournament.

"There will be a lot of accompanying content, which will also depend on epidemiological measures, and as an overture to this great event, we will organize the preparations of the women's national team for the European Championship and the tournament to be played at Gripe," said Vranković.

Source: HKS

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

Saturday, 20 February 2021

EuroBasket Qualifiers: Croatia Records their First Loss to the Netherlands

February 20, 2021 - Croatia records their first loss to the Netherlands in the EuroBasket qualifiers. 

The Croatia basketball team lost to the Netherlands 57:65 in the Eurobasket qualifiers on Saturday. However, Croatia has already qualified for the European Championship and will play the final game of the tournament against Turkey on Monday. 

After the Netherlands initially led 2:0, Croatia equalized and only increased their advantage. After seven minutes of play, they led +7, 11:4. Mršić's team also had an advantage of 13 points, 19:6, and they finished the first quarter at 19:11.

Although they were equal in the second quarter (16:16), Croatia managed to keep the advantage from the first quarter and went into halftime with a score of 35:27.

In the third quarter, the Netherlands played harder and reduced the gap to 43:44, and with a three-pointer, they took the lead at 49:48. The Netherlands continued ahead in the decisive quarter in which they lead +6, 54:48.

In the first match of the 5th round in Group D, Turkey defeated Sweden 88:80 in Istanbul and remained in the game to qualify for the final tournament. Sengun with 24 points and Tuncer with 19 was the best for Turkey, while Jerebko led Sweden with 21 points.

Croatia leads the group and has already qualified for EuroBasket 2022. The three best national teams will qualify for the final tournament.

1. Croatia 5 4 1 364-314 9
2. The Netherlands 5 3 2 345-340 8
3. Turkey 5 2 3 368-389 7
4. Sweden 5 1 4 371-405 6

In the last round, scheduled for Monday, February 22, Sweden-Netherlands (15:00) and Turkey-Croatia (18:00) will meet.

Source: HRT

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


Tuesday, 2 February 2021

Tokyo Olympics: Serbia and Australia Potential Croatia Basketball Rivals

February 2, 2021 - If the Croatia basketball team qualifies for the Tokyo Olympics this summer, they could face Serbia and Australia in Group B!

HRT reports that IF they manage to qualify for the Olympic Games at the tournament in Split, the Croatia basketball team will play in Group B in Tokyo together with Australia, Nigeria, and the winner of the qualifying tournament in Belgrade, where the Serbia national team is the biggest favorite. This news was announced after a draw was held at the International Basketball Federation in Mies, Switzerland.

Croatia, Tunisia, and Brazil will meet in the group stage of the qualifying tournament in Split in June, which crosses over with Germany, Russia, and Mexico. The Split tournament and the other three hosted by Belgrade, Kaunas, and Victoria in Canada are scheduled from June 29 to July 4, 2021. Only one winner qualifies from each tournament, 

The competition format has changed in Tokyo, in both the men’s and women’s competition. Instead of how it was previously held, in which 12 national teams were divided into two groups of six, where the four best from the group stage continued to compete in the quarterfinals by a knockout system, the new system divides the teams into three groups of four.

The first two national teams from each of the three groups will advance to the quarterfinals and will be joined by the two best of the three third-placed teams. With this system, each match of the group stage becomes even more important, and to win an Olympic medal, it is now necessary to play six instead of the previous eight matches.

FIBA tried to distribute the quality among the groups evenly for this draw. Thus, in Group A, the US national team will fight for their fourth consecutive Olympic gold in Tokyo against France, Iran, and the winner of the qualifying tournament in Canada. The biggest favorites are Greece, along with Canada, the Czech Republic, and Turkey.

Group C boasts the current world champions and runners-up, Spain and Argentina, host Japan, and the winner of the qualifying tournament in Kaunas, where Lithuania is the biggest favorite. However, Slovenia is right up there if they have their strongest team.

The qualification process for the female basketball players has been completed. The draw has determined that South Korea, Serbia, Canada, and Spain will compete in Group A. Group B will consist of Nigeria, Japan, France, and the United States. Group C will include Australia, Puerto Rico, China, and Belgium.

The basketball competitions at the Tokyo Olympics will begin on July 25, two days after the grand opening, and will end on August 8, the last day of the Games.

Men's Olympic Basketball Tournament Group Draw:

Group A: Iran, France, USA, KT Winner (Victoria)

Group B: Australia, KT Winner (Split), KT Winner (Belgrade), Nigeria

Group C: Argentina, Japan, Spain, KT Winner (Kaunas)

Women's Olympic Basketball Tournament Group Draw
Group A: South Korea, Serbia, Canada, Spain
Group B: Nigeria, Japan, France, USA
Group C: Australia, Puerto Rico, China, Belgium

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

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Croatia Basketball Team Returned to Zagreb, Olympic Qualifiers on Horizon

December 1, 2020 - After an excellent November qualifying campaign for EuroBasket 2022, in which they have already secured their spot in the competition with two games to go, the Croatia basketball team returned to Zagreb.

The Croatia basketball team has already qualified for the European Basketball Championship, which will be played in 2022. After a long time, Croatia deservedly advanced to another big competition, without keeping us on the edge of our seats. 

Coach Veljko Mršić could not use NBA and Euroleague players due to the rigorous rules in force, but was able to use basketball players from the Croatian league and those who play in Europe. Mršić put together a very good team that demolished Turkey (+17) and Sweden (+15). The stars included Ukić, Bilan, Šakić, Prkačin, Drežnjak, Marčinković and other promising talents. 

"We are happy and satisfied with what we have done, we have four wins and no defeats - unlike the previous World Championship qualifiers where we did not advance. Finally, we did it without stress. Two games are left. We will see what will happen with the pandemic in February, but we will certainly try some young players," said Mršić in an interview for Dnevnik Nova TV.

Croatia played the qualifiers without the great NBA stars, Bojan Bogdanović, Ivica Zubac, and Darijo Šarić.

"We will continue these qualifications without NBA players and those from the Euroleague. When the big competitions and qualifiers for the Olympics come then we will surely step up with our best players but we don’t want to lose the chemistry in the team. We will only take those who will submit to the team," says Mršić.

Croatia plays the qualifying tournament for the Olympic Games in Split in June. If there is luck in the Spaladium Arena, Bogdanović, Šarić, Zubac, Šamanić, Bender, Žižić and other well-known names in Croatian basketball will play. However, some players won't be available in June if they are in the conference finals and NBA League Finals.

Croatian fans are secretly hoping that Utah Jazz will not go that far this season because that would make Bogdanović available for Croatia. The national team is twice as strong with him.

"We will certainly try to take our best players from the NBA league who will be available. We depend a lot on the NBA league because we don’t know how far our players will go. Likely, those who will play the conference finals and the NBA league finals will not be with us, but we will certainly take whoever is available," concluded Mršić.

Bogdanović is the best Croatian basketball player of the 21st century. Although he is a big star in the NBA league, he has never refused to play for Croatia in his career, unlike some others. His help would make it easier for Croatia to qualify for the 2021 Olympic Games.

Source: HKS

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

Sunday, 29 November 2020

Croatia Basketball Qualifies for EuroBasket 2022!

November 29, 2020 - By defeating Sweden in the Istanbul bubble on Sunday evening, Croatia basketball qualifies for EuroBasket 2022.

The Croatian basketball team celebrated 87:72 against Sweden in Istanbul in their fourth-round match of the 2022 European Championship qualifications. With their fourth victory in four games, they have secured their spot at the EuroBasket in two years.

Croatia was led by Marcinkovic, who scored 20 points and recorded eight rebounds.

After 14 and a half minutes of play, Croatia had a 35:23 advantage with a three-pointer by Filip Krušlin and had a 48:31 lead at halftime.

Croatia weakened a little at the beginning of the second half, but soon recovered and in the 26th minute, gained a 60:43 advantage. Ahead of the last quarter, Croatia was leading 68:53.

After a 19-point lead, Sweden reduced the result to 80:70 just before the last two and a half minutes. Croatia coach Veljko Mršić called a timeout to kick Croatia into gear in the final minutes. They immediately responded, and a three-pointer by Marčinković and two-pointer by Bilan took Croatia to 85:70, ultimately declaring the winner a minute and a half before the final buzzer. 

No matter how they play in the last two rounds against Turkey and the Netherlands, even if Croatia loses both games, they will finish in one of the top three places in Group D in the qualifiers, leading directly to EuroBasket 2022.

The last qualifying round is scheduled for February 19-22, 2021, and three of the four national teams will win a place at EuroBasket, which will be held in 2022 (September 1-18). The hosts are the Czech Republic, Georgia, Italy, and Germany.

Source: HRT

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

Saturday, 28 November 2020

EuroBasket 2022 Qualifiers: Croatia Basketball Topped Turkey, One Step Closer to Euros

November 28, 2020 - In the third qualifying match for EuroBasket 2022, Croatia basketball topped Turkey in the Istanbul bubble on Friday evening.

The Croatia national team defeated Turkey 79:62 in the third qualifying match for the European Championships in 2022!

In the previous cycle of qualifications, Croatia beat the national teams of Sweden and the Netherlands, and Friday's game continues their perfect qualifications - three wins, no defeats.

On Sunday, November 29, at 18:00, Croatia will play against Sweden (broadcast on HRT2 and SportKlub), and in February 2021, the qualifiers will end with two more return matches against Turkey and the Netherlands. These matches will also be played in a bubble, and the host of Croatia's group has not yet been determined.

The most effective player of the match was the fantastic Miro Bilan with 30 points and 12 rebounds, followed by Željko Šakić with 17 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists. Roko Rogić also hit double figures with 12 points.

It should certainly be noted that Roko Prkačin made his debut for the Croatia national team with 6 points. Filip Krušlin also made an important contribution with 9 points and 4 assists, while captain Roko Leni Ukić, who recorded 5 assists and 2 rebounds, was an important and experienced support.

Croatia started the game strong, and their power over Turkey extended to the entire first half. 

Croatia ended the first quarter with a 16-0 series advantage, which grew to +17 (24-7) thanks to Roko Rogić's three-pointer. 

Nothing changed in the second quarter either, which was opened by a three-pointer by Filip Krušlin for +20 (27-7).

In the 27th minute, Croatia came to an unexpected 25-point advantage (40-15), when Miro Bilan nailed two free throws.

In the last minute of the first half, Turkey hit a three-pointer (43-24), but Bilan made it +21 (45-24) at half time.

Turkey recovered from the shock experienced in the first 20 minutes and opened the second half with a 9-0 series, leaving Croatia without a steal for a full three and a half minutes.

However, Veljko Mršić's team did not allow Turkey to get closer than 11 points (47-36) in the third quarter.

In the second half, there was a lack of a little more flow and precision in Croatia's attack, and Turkey continued to gain the advantage.

With a triple by American Shane Larkin, Turkey was eight points behind (70-62) just under two minutes before the end.

However, a possible turnaround was prevented by Bilan (4), Sakić (3), and Rogić (2), who finished the game with a 9-0 Croatia series for the final +17 (79-62).

In the second game, the Netherlands beat Sweden 78-76.

Saturday is a day off for the basketball players in the "Istanbul Bubble", and the remaining two games are scheduled for Sunday.

Turkey - the Netherlands will play from 3 pm, and at 6 pm Croatia will look for a victory against Sweden to confirm their placement in the EuroBasket.

Source: HRT

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

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Olympic Qualifying Tournament Dates Set for Split, NBA Stars to Help Croatia

May 14, 2020 - Croatia will have the help of NBA players in the qualifications for the Olympic Games next summer. reports that the qualifying tournaments for national basketball teams to participate in the Olympic Games in Tokyo, which have been postponed for the summer of 2021, hosted by Split, Belgrade, Kaunas and Canadian Victoria, will be played from June 29 to July 4 next year. The news was decided after consultations between the World Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

At the meeting of the FIBA Executive Board in early April, changes were voted in the competition calendar, where the qualifying tournaments were scheduled from June 22 to July 4, with the representatives of the umbrella basketball organization advocating the start of the competition as late as possible, so that the national teams and players have more time to prepare.

The biggest problem for the realization of this idea was the deadline for the completion of Olympic qualifications for all sports, set by the IOC on June 29, 2021. However, the working group of the IOC Executive Board accepted the arguments put forward by FIBA representatives in talks on qualifying tournament dates and on Wednesday, it was confirmed that the date for all four tournaments would be from June 29 to July 4, according to a district letter sent to national federations on Wednesday by FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis.

Recall, Croatia is one of the hosts of the tournament. Thus, in Split, the Croatia national team will face off against Brazil and Tunisia in the first round, and Russia, Germany and Mexico in the second group. The two best national teams will advance to the semifinals, and only the winning national team of each of the four tournaments will win a place among the 12 national teams that will play at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

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

Friday, 10 April 2020

FIBA Confirms: Olympic Basketball Qualifying Tournament Moved to 2021 in Split

April 10, 2020 - The Executive Board of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has decided on the terms of the next three major tournaments. Thus, the Olympic qualifying tournament in Split has been moved to June 2021. reports that the basketball qualification tournament for the Olympic Games will now be held in Split from June 22 and July 4, 2021, and the EuroBasket, which is due to be held next year, has been postponed for September 1 to 18, 2022, confirmed the Executive Board of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) at Thursday’s meeting held via video conference.

"After a detailed analysis of all possible scenarios and following the recommendations of the Regional Offices and the Competition Commission, the FIBA ​​Executive Board made the following changes to the calendar: Olympic Qualifying Tournaments for men will be played from 22 June to 4 July 2021 (the exact date is pending approval from the International Olympic Committee); FIBA ​​EuroBasket 2021 and FIBA ​​AmeriCup 2021 have been moved to 1 to 18 September 2022,” FIBA said in an official statement adding that the first two FIBA World Cup 2023 qualifying matches, which were to be played in September 2022, will be rescheduled in August, when the European and US national teams will prepare for EuroBasket and AmeriCup, while all other qualifying dates, including those for continental competitions, remain unchanged.

The FIBA Afrobasket (August 24 - September 5) and the FIBA Asia Cup (August 17-29) will be held next year, but will be shifted by one week to avoid overlapping dates with the Tokyo Olympics.

The FIBA EuroBasket for women’s basketball remained in the scheduled period from June 17 to 27, 2021, and in a similar period (June 20-27, 2021), the FIBA AmeriCup will be held. With four continental competitions, 16 teams will compete in the FIBA Women's World Cup Qualifying Tournament, scheduled for February 2022.

"All other senior competition dates scheduled between 2020 and 2023 remain unchanged," the statement said.

"I am very pleased that we have been able to conduct internal consultations and confirm changes to the competition calendar within two weeks of the IOC's announcement of a new Olympic Games date," FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis said in a statement.

"The result is that the calendar of major FIBA events remains very attractive to our fans, with a balanced schedule of major tournaments and keeping in mind the well-being and availability of players. I look forward to the day when the basketball community will be able to return to the court again," Zagklis added.

"As for the EuroBasket to be played in September 2022 and its preparatory period - I think we can be pleased.

As the World Cup Qualifiers were moved into the preparation period of the European Championships, we certainly have a pool of players," said HKS President Stojko Vrankovic, who, among other things, was a FIBA Europe Board member and participated in conversations about calendar changes.

"There was talk that the Olympic Qualifying Tournaments would move to September this year, but my position was that, given the current situation with the pandemic, the economic situation that follows, and given the consequences of the earthquake in Zagreb, it would not be feasible. FIBA has looked at the overall situation, listened to many and decided to postpone these tournaments for next year."

The FIBA Executive Board continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic daily and assesses all options for the possible continuation of the competition once all the preconditions have been created.

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

Friday, 27 March 2020

Hajduk, Croatia Basketball and More Donating to Fight Against Coronavirus

March 27, 2020 - Hajduk Split and Croatia basketball are the latest to join the Croatian humanitarian chain, which includes more and more athletes and clubs by the day.

Namely, Hajduk players and employees have decided to raise money for the needs of KBC Split, reports 24 Sata.

The humanitarian action is in the beginning phase, and details are still unknown, but it is alleged that about 250,000 kuna was raised immediately at the start of the first day, and that amount will surely increase when all club leaders, coaches, players, employees are involved.

The intention at first was to raise funds to buy one respirator and then to launch a bigger action to buy at least one more. However, because of the high demand globally and the lengthy delivery, Hajduk instead decided to raise money to be used for the needs of KBC Split.

Just last week, Hajduk employees collected all the remaining food in the closed club restaurant and donated it to the MoSt Association, which takes care of the homeless. The club also regularly responds to the actions of Split sports journalists '4N', who once a year collect donations for social services. A few months ago, a campaign involving numerous Split clubs raised 110,000 kuna.

There are also numerous individual examples at Hajduk, like player Stefan Simic who donated to the Crisis Headquarters in Supetar on Brac to combat the coronavirus in Croatia. Mayor Ivana Markovic publicly thanked him. 

Furthermore, the players and staff of the Croatia basketball team decided to raise funds collectively and paid over two million kuna to fight the coronavirus and repair damage at Petrova Hospital in Zagreb.

"We want to support the most sensitive part of the system at the moment - the health sector, so that patients and medical staff who are on the front lines of defense in this crisis are taken care of. We initiated this action with the hope that we would help in the fight against the coronavirus, as well as with the renovation and rehabilitation of the Petrova Hospital building, as well as procuring necessary apparatus, medicines, or anything assessed to be primary. Although we are not physically together at the moment, our hearts are in the same place - with Croatia and Zagreb,” said the players and the staff of the national team.

Many national team members, some of them former, as well as members of the staff, took part in the action.

GNK Dinamo also decided to help fight the coronavirus pandemic and the aftermath of the Zagreb earthquake, reported a few days ago.

The club will donate 250,000 kuna for the reconstruction of the Zagreb Children's Disease Clinic on Klaićeva Street, which was damaged in the earthquake, as well as 250,000 kuna for the KBC Zagreb, a clinic for women's diseases and childbirths in Petrova Street, which also suffered in the devastating earthquake.

It will also allocate funds to purchase two fully-equipped ambulances, valued at half a million kuna, so the donation totals one million kuna

Follow TCN's live updates on the coronavirus crisis in Croatia.

Monday, 24 February 2020

EuroBasket Qualifiers: Croatia Basketball Tops Netherlands Away in Almere

February 24, 2020 - The Croatia basketball team beat the Netherlands away 69:59 in the second round of EuroBasket qualifications. 

It was a duel of two teams that won the first round of Group D. While Croatia celebrated at home against a weak Sweden, the Netherlands shocked Turkey with an away win.

The Croatia basketball team and the Netherlands played in qualifiers for the last World Cup in China. Croatia's defeat in the first round was the beginning of the Croatian basketball downfall. The Netherlands, on the other hand, has progressed year after year.

After desperate past qualifications, Veljko Mrsic led a team that looked good in their debut against Sweden. Croatia finally had harmony and chemistry between the players again in the locker room. The approach was right after a long time. The defense was perfect, and the attack was played fast and easy. 

The Netherlands led after the first quarter, with Croatia leading 38:35 at halftime, followed by the fall of Veljko Mršić's team in the third leg and a period in which only 9 points were scored.

In the last 10 minutes, however, Croatia rose to the occasion and eventually celebrated by 10 points. 

Croatia's most efficient player was Ukic with 14 points, Dreznjak scored 13 and Planinic scored 12. The most efficient for the Netherlands was Franke with 11 points, while Kloof and Van der Vuurts each scored 10 points.

With this victory, Croatia has made a big step towards qualifying for the EuroBasket. 

Recall, Croatia defeated Sweden 72:56 (18: 6, 23:14, 17:25, 14:11) in the first round of the Group D qualifiers for EuroBasket 2021. Turkey and Sweden are also in Group D.

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


Netherlands: Charlon Kloof, Yannick Franke, Worthy de Jong, Mohamed Kherrazi, Jito Kok

Croatia: Roko Ukić, Filip Krušlin, Mateo Drežnjak, Željko Šakić, Miro Bilan


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

Page 4 of 7