Croatia pulled away from the start in their opening game at the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain, and it looked like it would be a routine win to start off the tournament. The game would turn out to be a thriller. Croatia led 23-9 after one quarter, but the Philippines fought back for the rest of the game and looked the better team in the final three quarters. Led by naturalized citizen Andray Blatche, who scored 28 points, the Philippines played some good basketball as Croatia struggled but ultimately had enough to take a crucial win in their tough Group B.
With the team down three with two minutes to go in the fourth quarter, Krunoslav Simon nailed a three to tie it and quiet the crowd. The teams traded baskets in the next minute and both missed good opportunities to win in the final thirty seconds, with Simon missing a contested layup. In overtime, the sides traded baskets once again, until the final minute, where star man Bojan Bogdanovic knocked down four free throws to push Croatia into the lead. Damjan Rudez hit a pair of free throws in the last ten seconds to seal the win for Croatia.
Leading Scorer Bojan Bogdanovic
It was hard to pick an outstanding performer from the Croatian side, as four players played well. Bojan Bogdanovic led all scorers, picking up 26 points from 18 shots, but he also turned the ball over six times. Ante Tomic had a very efficient game, scoring eight points from four shots, picking up eleven rebounds, and adding four assists. 20 year old Dario Saric put up ten points, nine rebounds, and five assists before he fouled out in the overtime period. Lastly, Kruno Simon had 12 points off of seven shots, seven rebounds, and three assists.
Croatia will go against #3 in the world Argentina tomorrow in a game where they will be certain underdogs against the 4th placed team at the London 2012 Olympics. Manu Ginobili is not playing at the World Cup, which will give Croatia hope of coming out on top.
I feel ya man, but at the same time, I feel that a national team shouldn’t buy talent. $$$ is to be made playing at clubs not for the national team. No chance that Andray can sing your national anthem. Best of luck to your team. Thanks for the comments.
The sad reality for us is that baskeball is a big man’s game so in order for us to compete we needed someone who can play big for us. I’m fine having a naturalized player in our team as long as he embrace our Filipino heritage and not as a “I am your guy so I’ll do what I like” primadonna type of player.
Yes, I read that a few days ago. Grantland has good stuff.
What are your thoughts? Are you fine ok with having a non Filipino representing you guys?
Pretty long article though. You can skip to the last half of the story.
I think this article pretty sums it up on how Philippines accepted Andray as a naturalized player.
Hope you get a copy of the contributor’s book about Phil basketball. : ) Peace
wanna bet on that????
Fantastic win! Our confidence must be extremely high now. Next win will be a blowout!
Nice win for the bball team
Off topic but pletikosa gave up another touchdown in goal today. At least CSKA missed the extra point
I should probably specify that i would object to blacks being on the Croatian NT, not in general
Anyone else watching the game right now? Croats playing good, but does Lafayette know how to pass or shoot? He’s missed so many when he could have easily passed the ball
im not a huge basketball fan, and i would probably object to a black player even if it was lebron james, but this guy is terrible
Croatia now knows how the Philippine team or Gilas Pilipinas play ball. Sometimes not pretty execution, oftentimes scrappy players, but gets job done. Even if very little height, they play hard. Heart sometimes makes up for lack of height.
What are your people saying about Andray? Have they accepted him?
For the most part, I think most Croatians havent accepted oliver lafauyette. I think that one nationalized player is bullshit.
Much respect for your team for the good performance.
You dont have a clue even about your own players.
I dont know if there is a real rift between Serbians and Croatians, its between you guys. Anyway congrats to Croatians. Peace out.
2 crucial referee error calls that stole Gilas win…1st is during the last 2 sec 3 pt shot by Chan no foul was called and a technical foul called during OT….oh well!
Novak is 25% Serb.
His dad is half Serb, half Crnogorac. His mom is full Croat from Vinkovci.
Fark off you majmun.
Kalinic and Stimac Serb names, spending a bit too much time in amsterdam?
Some mothers do have em.
Appreciate all the coverage around this tournament.
@ pinoy hoops
Gilas Filipinas came correct on the court today.
Jasmin is my man but he could have went smaller in the second half and given Hezonja some minutes at the 3, slide over Bogdanović to the 4 and Šarić at the 5. Simon took us home at the 2 and Lafayette was staying infront of their quick little guards.
Arapović looked good. Hezonja would add a bit more explosiveness to the floor for us. We need to get some easy buckets in transition.
Tomorrow will be a real test as it looks like the Veterans from Argentina are going all out for their swan song.
Love Šarić and is overall game but his shot has a hitch and is real flat on the release. Compared to Bogdanović and Rudez he looks like disjointed in his shooting motion.
Hezonja needs to play his part if we are going to beat the elite of this group. I pray Repesa is not drinking the jugo Cedevita and is playing pecking order politics. Hezonja can be the extra spark we need.
denis if he did not score those 4 points philippines would have won 78-77 croatia only win because of him
kalinic and stimac are both serbs and both are serb names just some of the kalinic and stimac converted to roman catholicism
novak is 100% serb
Blatche is an above-average NBA player. One guys should not have made the game go to overtime. Not a good start.
could of won $12099
man utd tie burnley
stoke win man city
lille tie monaco
@peter north and Poglavnik
Good one guys. Still laughing about the water Buffalo.
“serbia does not have a SINGLE non serb player”
That’s because not a single non-Serb would ever want to live in that shit hole!
Not even Africans!
Re: your “serbia does not have a SINGLE non serb player” comment….
Not so fast there buddy.
Your starting small forward Nikola Kalinic is a Bunjevac Croat from Vojvodina.
Also, with last names like Stimac and Katic on that team, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more Croats (or Crnogorci) on your team.
Don’t forget…The best Serbian athletes are always the ones that always have the least amount of Serbian in them.
(ie. Novak Djokovic)
@Karadžić je Heroj,
“oliver lafauyette only croatian player who scores”
Lafayette scored 4 points buddy.
Welcome! Thanks for signing in. Great performance by the Philippine team. We sure did squeak one out.
@Karadžić je Heroj,
Your name says it all.
I am not happy with the “naturalized players”. However, that is the way the world is going. Serbia is next.
I’m pretty sure that was Karadzic’s mother…
What a woman!
I’ve worked with a few Serb women in the porn industry and they are very hairy from head to camel toe.
Also, they have huge heads.
The Hedgehog and Jamie Gillis absolutely refuse to work with them. I’m taking the same approach after the last Serb chick I had to bang sweated worse than a water Buffalo in the African heat.
serbia does not have a SINGLE non serb player
the team is 200% serbian
meanwhile croatia needds a black american to win
black american scored 2 baskets =4 points
without black it would be 78-77
croatia will not make it veryr far even with there black (why do they need black they cannot find ONE decent croatian who can shoot in a hoop)
serbia will go further than croatia in the tournament and we do not need blacks to win because we have the serb
nobody is stronger then the serb
Blatche is a naturalized player, and so is Lafayette.
Blatche is a Naturalized Player of the Philippine Team. Every Team in the World Cup is entitled to have at least one (1) Naturalized player.
why andray blatche is on the Philippines squad, i don’t know…He has no ties to them at all. Good game overall. Excited to see what we can do vs Argentina tomorrow.