Lucic on the decisive defense on Wilbekin: It wasn’t my idea to guard him

2022-11-15T11:41:55+00:00 2022-11-15T11:45:07+00:00.

Nikola Miloradovic

15/Nov/22 11:41

Captain of the Serbian national team Vladimir Lucic talked about the crucial defensive play and stopping Scottie Wilbekin that lead to an important victory

By Eurohoops team/

The Serbian national team got on the verge of qualifying for the FIBA World Cup 2023, after beating Turkey in Belgrade 77-76. Scottie Wilbekin had a chance to win the game for Ergin Ataman’s team in the final moments, but his heavily contested shot at the buzzer just glanced at the rim and went out.

The captain of the Serbian national team Vladimir Lucic ended up guarding the Fenerbahce Beko playmaker on the last possession of the game and did a great job making it as tough as possible for the naturalized Turkish player.

I knew how important it was to stop Wilbekin. The only way to match him defensively is to not leave him too much space and be as aggressive as possible. Fortunately, he missed that flouter and we got an important victory,” Lucic said after the game.

As he explained, not everything went according to plan, but Lucic and Crvena Zvezda’s Luka Mitrovic read the floor well and stopped the last attempt of the Turkish national team.

It wasn’t my idea to guard Wilbekin. They played a pick’n’roll with Kabaca, so we switched. Luka Mitrović and I recognized they were going with a pick and we realized it was better for me to stay with Kabaca so that I could take over. There was no agreement”.

Bayern Munich’s captain wasn’t aware that the ball almost went in.

Honestly, I thought the ball wouldn’t be close to the hoop, given that he was behind the backboard, taking a shot over two sets of hands… I didn’t have the impression that he could be so close to scoring. Afterward, I saw the ball jump around the hoop a little”.

Thanks to Greece beating Belgium in Mons, and punching a ticket for the World Cup, Serbia needs just one more win to qualify as well.

The result of Greece vs Belgium matched. It is important that we continued with the victories that started in August when we won against Greece and Turkey with full squads. An important win for the guys who played against Great Britain, but also now. The Turks came with an extraordinary team. They play together in clubs and know each other very well, better than we know each other. They are very talented in attack… With amazing support from the stands, we deservedly celebrated,” Vladimir Lucic concluded.