Slovenia keeps Goran Dragic fresh for the next games

2022-08-18T12:43:01+00:00 2022-08-18T13:05:58+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

18/Aug/22 12:43

Expect more Goran Dragic with official games just around the corner for Slovenia

By Johnny Askounis/

So far, Goran Dragic has logged a brilliant performance in the overtime win against Turkey and a five-minute outing in the overtime win against Serbia. That’s it.

Keep in mind that the Dragon came out of retirement to play in FIBA’s recent international window and was initially undecided on extending his run in the 2022 EuroBasket.

Dragic, 36, recorded 19.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 0.5 steals per game, helping the senior national team of his country jump to Group J of the 2023 FIBA World Cup European Qualifiers on a 4-2 W-L tally, earlier in the offseason. But limited action in the prep games toward the next international window and batch of World Cup Qualifiers fixtures leading into September’s 2022 EuroBasket was a troubling note for Slovenia fans.

“Everything is fine with Goran,” reassured the head coach of the defending EuroBasket champions, Aleksander Sekulic, “He was set to play five or six minutes and get some rest, so he gets in form for the next games. We don’t want any unnecessary injuries to occur.”

The prep games don’t actually count for anything apart from tuning up the team in question ahead of official games. In this case, the coaching and medical staff of Slovenia focus on spreading playing time further down the list of available options opting to keep the Chicago Bulls newcomer fresh and ready to potentially contribute in next week’s Qualifiers versus Estonia and Germany, and from there in Group B of EuroBasket’s preliminary round in Cologne.

“Goran gives us extra energy and motivation,” added Vlatko Cancar of the Denver Nuggets, “Every single with him on the court is important.”

Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic and international teammates are slated to wrap up the series of friendly games hosting Croatia in Celje Saturday.

Photo: KZS