By Aris Barkas/ email@example.com
DONGGUAN — Serbia forward Nemanja Bjelica made his self-criticism while praising his team’s camaraderie following the eliminating loss to Argentina in the World Cup quarterfinals.
“We weren’t ready for this game. Especially mentally. Especially myself. I take complete responsibility for it. I know we are a team but as one of the leaders… I must say I played like s–t,” Bjelica said in the post-game presser.
Serbia entered the tournament as the favorite to win the gold medal, even gaining preference over Team USA in predictions. The “Orlovi” entered the race at the top spot in two FIBA World Cup Rankings but were ultimately left out of the podium zone.
“I want to apologize to our country and the people who believed in us. We have a very good team but you know how it is. In this kind of tournament doesn’t mean anything. Maybe we were a better team than Argentina but they showed us and wanted this victory more than us. In this moment.”
Bjelica admitted that Argentina was the superior team on the floor in this particular knockout match.
“They deserved this victory today. What I can say for us is that we are a great group of guys. We didn’t lose this game because are arrogant or we think that we are something special. We just didn’t prepare ourselves the right way. I can talk for hours but this loss is very tough. It’s hard. But it’s basketball.”
“We are a great f—ing group of guys. We are great people. We wanted to win this but we tried to win in a wrong way,” Bjelica added.
Photo credit: FIBA.Basketball