Serbia’s Bjelica will miss the World Cup opener, roster confirmed

2019-08-30T15:51:16+00:00 2019-08-30T16:04:53+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

30/Aug/19 15:51

Nemanja Bjelica won’t play the opening game of the 2019 FIBA World Cup

By Stefan Djordjevic/

Injury woes hampered Serbia during the training camp forcing Milos Teodosic and Dragan Milosavljevic to withdraw from the 2019 FIBA World Cup while Bogdan Bogdanovic, Vladimir Lucic and Nemanja Bjelica had to skip the last couple of prep games.

Serbia boss Aleksandar Djordjevic announced that although Bjelica has recovered from his knee inflammation, he won’t play against Angola in the opening World Cup game: “On Saturday we will only play without Bjelica. He will have strong individual practice on Saturday before the game, but he will not be ready to meet Angola. He has a problem with a cyst that occurs to him in the knee area, so we take care. But we solved that problem, that’s why he didn’t play in China. We reacted preemptively.”

Djordjevic also explained that Bogdanovic is ready as he recovered from his back problems while Lucic recovered from the hit to the thigh he suffered in prep game vs. Lithuania. Both are ready to step on the floor against Angola.

The following 12 players will play for Serbia in China: Stefan Bircevic, Nemanja Bjelica, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Marko Guduric, Nikola Jokic, Stefan Jovic, Vladimir Lucic, Boban Marjanovic, Vasilije Micic, Nikola Milutinov, Miroslav Raduljica and Marko Simonovic.

Serbia’s first Group D match is on Saturday versus Angola. On September 2nd the contest against the Philippines will follow and Italy on September 4th will be the last foe at Foshan.