Thursday, 30 June 2022

Bojan Bogdanović and Ivica Zubac Discuss Croatia's Chances Against Slovenia Tonight

June 30, 2022 - The Croatia basketball team's last training before leaving for Slovenia was held on Wednesday night. The upcoming matches decide whether Croatia will qualify for the second round of FIBA World Cup qualifications. Croatia's NBA stars Bojan Bogdanović and Ivica Zubac spoke about their chances against Luka Dončić and Slovenia. 

Croatia captain Bojan 'Babo' Bogdanović emphasized: “Both victories are very important to us because the points are transferred to the second round. I hope we will play well, first in Stožice and then in Rijeka, and try to achieve both victories. I'm looking forward to the atmosphere in Stožice; I think it will be great basketball. But we are not complete, we lack a lot of good players, especially players on the ball. We miss Simon, Krušlin; Šarić has not yet recovered… We are quite handicapped by that, but even with those absences, we are strong and quite good, and there are a lot of young players." 

Bogdanović gave his thoughts on Luka Dončić: “He is one of the best players in the world; there is also Goran Dragič, they are very good at pick and roll, and I think we will have a hard time defending one on one, so we have prepared several team defenses that we will try to play against the two of them, and I hope we get results. If we come out with the right energy, I think we have something."

The match in Rijeka is certainly no less important than in Slovenia. Moreover, this match is crucial for entering the second round of qualifications.

"I hope we will come to the match in Rijeka in a good mood and atmosphere. I hope for a great game in Stožice, and then against Finland, it is imperative to win regardless of Thursday's game."

Ivica Zubac, who has not been with the national team for a long time, spoke about what he expects from the upcoming matches: "Victory! We have been preparing for several days. Unfortunately, Bojan and I did not have much time, but we prepared individually and worked well these days. If we stick to what we did in training, both offensively and defensively, we have a chance to win." 

About Luka Dončić: “The plan is to make it as difficult as possible for him, to be as aggressive as possible, to make him work in defense and to attack him in that way. We will not stop him for sure; we can try to slow him down and hope for the best." 

And how does Zubac see himself for Croatia? "I think I've made a lot of progress in the last three or four years, I have more games in my legs and I think I can help a little more than last time."

Coach Damir Mulaomerović, despite his proverbial objectivity, is optimistic: “For me, the most important thing is that we are as ready as we can be. My only regret is that we didn't have Bojan and Zubac for longer. The guys are ready; we know what awaits us - a great game, a strong Slovenia, Luka Dončić… we know what awaits us. I believe in these guys, and what I ask of them is to give their maximum, in the wake of what we did against Sweden for the last twenty minutes and two overtimes, to leave our hearts on the court, and that is what can put us in a positive situation. We were already in a tough situation; we got out, and now we have Bojan, Zubac, and Žiža. We can hope for a good game, and what is important to me as a coach is that we are compact on the court and react well defensively. It is certain that Slovenia also has the pressure to win because each of these matches can decide who goes next."

How to stop Dončić?

"He is a great player, so everyone is asking that question. With individual and team defense, we will try to stop him or force him to shoot as many bad shots as possible. Because of his talent and all that he gives in the NBA and his national team, he is getting better and better. It won't be easy, but we are very motivated. Maybe it is more important that we do not let the rest of their players develop. There are a lot of strong individuals, so I would not say that only Dončić should be stopped."

All 16 players from the preparations went to Slovenia, but only 12 will play at Stožice.

Croatia player list:

  • 1 Toni Perković
  • 2 Goran Filipović
  • 4 Roko Prkačin
  • 8 Mario Hezonja
  • 10 Lovro Gnjidić
  • 11 Tomislav Zubčić
  • 17 Dragan Bender
  • 23 Mateo Drežnjak
  • 32 Roko Rogić
  • 40 Ivica Zubac
  • 41 Ante Toni Žižić
  • 44 Bojan Bogdanović

Both matches are broadcast live by Sport Klub televizija. Tickets for Croatia - Finland can be found at

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

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Dražen Anzulović Announces 24 Players for Final World Cup Qualifiers

Ahead of the Croatia basketball team are two crucial qualifiers for the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China. The Croatia basketball team coach Dražen Anzulović released a list of 24 candidates he will count on in the last qualifying games for the upcoming competition, reports on February 13, 2019. 

The first game will be played on February 22 in Varaždin against Poland (6 pm), while on February 25, Croatia will play away against Hungary in Szombathely.

Anzulović said he could not release a shorter list due to several questionable players. As you probably assumed, none of Croatia’s NBA players can participate due to their ongoing season. 

"We know our opponents, and we have to believe in what we can, and show it on the court. In any composition, even without the NBA players who are still the backbone of our quality, we can never be sure that we are the favorites in any game. However much effort we put on the court will be returned to us, but it is certain that to get Hungary in Hungary, we have to be at the top of our team’s capabilities,” Anzulović said. 

"At this point, the players who are questionable for the national team are Tomislav Zubčić, Ivan Ramljak and Pavle Marčinković. The captain of the last qualifying round, Marin Rozić, asked to be released from the national team duties because of family obligations," he added.

Toni Nakić and Roko Prkačin, the silver and gold medalists from the U20 and U16 national teams, are new to the senior list of candidates.

"It is a vision that we have in the Federation for the future of Croatian basketball, and this can certainly be an incentive for them to be even better," Anzulović said and urged fans to support them in Varaždin.

Croatia still has a theoretical chance of qualifying, though their chances do not only depend on themselves. 

The Croatian basketball team must win both games and hope Poland loses at home against the last-placed Netherlands. Croatia must compensate for their defeat against Poland in the first game (79:74) to have a better mutual ratio in the event of a tie.

Croatia's list of 24 players














PERIĆ Hrvoje










ZUBČIĆ Tomislav

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

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Bojan Bogdanović Talks Season of his Career, Fate of Croatia

Croatia’s best basketball player Bojan Bogdanović is shining this season in the Indiana Pacers jersey, though things for his beloved Croatia team and their chances of going to the FIBA World Cup in 2019 are getting slimmer, reports T.portal on December 11, 2018. 

This season, 29-year-old Bojan Bogdanović picked up his game to an even higher level. He is currently averaging 16.6 points (the highest in his career), 3.9 rebounds, and is shooting 49% of three-pointers (3rd in the league) - and we also have to remember that a dozen or so games have been without the Pacers' best player, Victor Oladipo. But, despite Indiana's problems, they are currently fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

"I have the confidence of my teammates and we can say that this is the best season of my career," Bogdanović told

However, it seems that Bojan and Dario Šarić have not been adequately exploited in the Croatia national team jersey, who, after several defeats in the 2019 World Cup qualifiers (ratio 4-6), are in a very tough position. 

Again, with Croatia’s recent defeat to Lithuania (79:62) and Poland’s win over Italy (94:78), Croatia will no longer decide their fate in the remaining two qualifiers at the end of February (against Hungary away and Poland at home). The chances of going to the World Cup are now reduced to theory. Particularly, Poland now has two more wins than Croatia, which means that beating Poland at home is still not enough for Croatia -  they will also need the Netherlands, the weakest team in the group, to pull an upset against Poland. 

Unfortunately, because Bogdanović and Šarić have obligations in the NBA league, they will miss the final two crucial FIBA World Cup qualifiers in February, 

"We are far away from the tournament, but I still hope we will be able to secure our place and play there next year," Bogdanović said.

Asked what he thinks about the qualifications for the 2019 World Cup and the fact that many teams could not play with players in Euroliga and the NBA, Bogdanović answered sincerely:

“It really does not make sense, not that way. Slovenia, who is the current European champion, will not be at the World Cup in China. And probably several strong national teams like Turkey and Croatia will miss out on the World Cup. We are far away from playing in China, and I repeat that it does not make sense to play it this way,” Bogdanović, the best shooter in the history of the Croatia national team, said truthfully. 

To read more about Bojan Bogdanović, follow TCN's dedicated page

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Captain Bogdanović: I Don't Know Who Will Stay if Croatia Misses World Cup

The Croatia men’s basketball team lost to Poland in their 2019 World Cup qualifier game earlier this week, leaving a big question mark on whether the team will advance to the tournament at all next year. 

Thursday, 30 August 2018

NBA Stars Ready: Croatia Begins Preparations for 2019 World Cup Qualifiers

The Croatia men’s basketball team continue with their qualifying games for the 2019 FIBA World Cup which will be held in China next summer.

Friday, 29 June 2018

NBA Players Lead Croatia in Win Over Italy for FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

In the 5th round of Group D’s first qualifying round for the World Cup, to be held in China in 2019, Croatia defeated Italy in Trieste 78-72 (21-24, 20-15, 24-13, 13-20).

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

All NBA Players Included on Croatia Basketball Team Preliminary List for World Cup Qualifiers

Croatian national team coach Dražen Anzulović announced a preliminary list of players he can count on in the next qualifying round for the 2019 World Cup. 

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

FIBA World Cup Qualifiers: Croatia Defeats Netherlands to Secure First Win, Is There Still Hope?

In a game without the chance for a single mistake, the Croatia men’s basketball team achieved their first win in the FIBA World Cup qualifiers in Zadar. 

Monday, 26 February 2018

FIBA World Cup Qualifiers: After Romania Defeat, Skelin Offers New Lineup Against Netherlands

Last weekend in Zadar, the Croatia men’s basketball team suffered a shocking defeat against Romania in the FIBA World Cup qualifiers. Tonight, Ivica Skelin's team welcomes the Netherlands. 

Friday, 23 February 2018

Croatia Basketball Team Suffers Shocking Defeat to Romania in FIBA World Cup Qualifications

The Croatia men’s basketball team has suffered another shocking defeat in their qualification for the FIBA World Cup set to take place in 2019.