By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Dario Saric is the leader of the Croatian national team which enters the second phase of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers with a 3-3 record in Europe’s Group J and can’t afford any other missteps.
Croatia is the only European team which has four NBA players available for the September qualifiers in Saric, Bojan Bogdanovic, Ante Zizic and Ivica Zubac.
That’s why the target is simple according to Saric who talked to FIBA: “I have a different status here compared to Philadelphia, where I’m some sort of a third-or-fourth option while being a primary option here, with Bojan (Bogdanovic). We have to get all the other players involved, and that suits me completely. I hope I’ll play a couple of good games for the team now, and that we will find our way to two wins.”
Lithuania on the other hand, which has a 6-0 record so far, will compete without many key players, missing the member of EuroLeague Final Four participant Zalgiris Kaunas and also the NBA frontline duo of Jonas Valanciunas and Domantas Sabonis.
“They may be without some key players, but they can hit you with a small-ball lineup and create some problems, especially if they play with a center to stretch out our big guys (Ante) Zizic and (Ivica) Zubac, who aren’t the kind of guys to play from the outside,” Saric warned. “They are more comfortable in the deep. There could be some problems, but the two of them will be ready, and we’ll be here to help.”
Photo credit: FIBA