By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Ante Zizic and Dragan Bender are not included in the new provisional roster of the Croatian national team. The same applies to veteran Krunoslav Simon.
This can’t be considered a surprise in the case of Simon, who ended the season injured, and also for Bender who was inactive also after injury.
Coach Damir Mulaomerovic justified his decision to cut Zizic: “Zizic is a great player and a great guy, but he and Zubac have the same player profile. It is my decision to give preference to Zubac at this moment. We will have three different profiles of players in the ‘5’ position; there is also Matkovic, who is the future of our national team, regardless of whether I am the coach or someone else. And, of course, there is Dario Saric at 5, where we can attack in different ways, but also defend.”
The 16 players who will fight for a spot in the upcoming Eurobasket are the following:
Bojan Bogdanovic (Utah Jazz)
Mateo Dreznjak (SC Derby)
Goran Filipovic (Cedevita Olimpija)
Lovro Gnjidic (Cedevita Olimpija)
Mario Hezonja (Real Madrid)
Pavle Marcinkovic (Zadar)
Karlo Matkovic (Cedevita Olimpija)
Dominik Mavra (Zadar)
Toni Nakic (Rio Breogan)
Toni Perkovic (Split)
Roko Prkacin (Girona)
Ivan Ramljak (Slask Wroclaw)
Roko Rogic (Acqua S.Bernardo Cantu)
Dario Saric (Phoenix Suns)
Jaleen Smith (Alba Berlin)
Ivica Zubac (Los Angeles Clippers)
Dario Saric is set to return to action for the first time since the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee suffered in Game 1 of the 2021 NBA Finals. Getting back in shape ahead of the next NBA season is combined with representing his country in the EuroBasket.
Croatia is part of Group C in the preliminary round. Playing in Milan, it will face Greece, Great Britain, Estonia, Italy, and Ukraine from 2 to 8 September. The top four national teams will advance to the next round and compete in the knockout stage stretching from 10 to 18 September in Berlin.
Despite featuring NBA players Bojan Bogdanovic and Ivica Zubac, Croatia was recently knocked out of the 2023 FIBA World Cup European Qualifiers after being forced to last place in Group C behind Finland, Slovenia, and Sweden.