By John Rammas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Berlin, Germany – Ηaving Luka Doncic on your teams, makes you an automatic favorite in any competition.
That’s the case with Slovenia, but as Edo Muric explained to Eurohoops, things are not easy for anyone in this Eurobasket.
“I don’t think we are THE favorites”, explained Muric. “I think we are one of the favorites. There are quite a few favorites in this tournament, France especially after the win over Turkey because this is a boost. They are candidates for first place, like Greece and Serbia. We are also there, but in the Top 8 everyone can beat everyone… So I think that everybody from the Top 8 can win the Eurobasket. I hope that this will be us, but everyone is dangerous”.
The 30-years old Slovenian forward also talked about the scoring contest between Giannis and Luka, who said he said he was betting on the Greek superstar to have a new scoring record and then he did it himself.
According to Muric, that happened by necessity: “Luka had a great day, they are both great players, they are next level. So if they want they can score 50. In the game against France, we played without our starting center (ed. note: injured Mike Tobey) so Luka had to step up. That proves he is a very big player, beating France almost by himself, and Giannis is right there too. I don’t think they are betting on that, I think their bet is who will win”.
Speaking on bets, Muric also has his own shooting contests with Doncic in Slovenia’s practice and while the bets are small, the comradery and the chemistry that is built on those moments can be keys to success: “It’s fun to have him. He is not a star inside the team, he is a normal guy, who respects everybody. I am very happy he is Slovenian, he is my friend and we will fight together until the end. And sometimes I let him win because I don’t want to win every time”.
Despite being the defending champions, Slovenia has a devil-may-care attitude on the court, mirrored in Doncic’s game.
And that’s why events like the infamous taxi ride to the arena on the first day of the tournament, don’t rattle the team.
In Muric’s words: “I don’t think that anything was done on purpose. But if it happens before the game then you get angry and nervous, but it also fires you up. This can happen, but we go on. Everyone is human, everyone makes mistakes”.
Photo Credit: FIBA.BASKETBALL