By Johnny Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Down 1-3 in Group C of the 2023 FIBA World Cup European Qualifiers, Croatia announced the 26-man list for the deciding games of the ongoing stage.
NBA players Bojan Bogdanovic and Ivica Zubac were included but are considered questionable to play, as confirmed by national team selector Damir Mulaomerovic. Roko Rogic, Goran Filipovic, Lovro Gnjidic, Mate Kalajzic, Borna Kapusta, Mario Hezonja, Filip Kruslin, Sven Smajlagic, Mateo Dreznjak, Toni Perkovic, Dominik Mavra, Toni Jelenkovic, Ivan Ramljak, Pavle Marcinkovic, Toni Nakic, Roko Prkacin, Zeljko Sakic, Tomislav Zubcic, Matej Rudan, Dario Dreznjak, Dragan Bender, Ante Zizic, Karlo Matkovic and Danko Brankovic are the remaining players receiving a call.
Croatia will be taking on Goran Dragic and Luka Doncic, among others, in the visit to Slovenia on 30 June. A home fixture opposite Finland and potentially Lauri Markkanen will follow three days later, 3 July. Sitting at 1-3, it will be an uphill battle as Slovenia and Sweden are tied at 2-2 and Finland leads the group thanks to a 3-1 record. The top three national teams will clinch a spot in the next round.
Potentially extending the run in European qualifiers would generate additional fixtures in the summer schedule. In any case, Croatia is slated to feature in the 2022 EuroBasket with the NBA players presumably fully prepared and available. The schedule features games versus Greece, Great Britain, Estonia, Italy, and Ukraine in Milan between 2-8 September. The top four sides will advance to the knockout stage, which will be held in Berlin from 10 to 18 September.
Photo Credit: FIBA.BASKETBALL