After a tight first quarter, Croatia pulled away and never looked back Thursday night in Slovenia, defeating Ukraine 84-72 in the Eurobasket quarterfinals. Croatia will now play one of the pre-tournament favorites, Lithuania in the semifinals. This is Croatia’s first appearance in the semis since 1995 and with the berth comes automatic qualification into the World Championships next year and Eurobasket 2015.
The first quarter of the game was up and down, before Croatia went on a huge run in the 2nd to give themselves a lead of 16. Ukraine fought back in the 2nd half, and were able to bring their deficit under ten, but the Croats were ultimately too strong, and took the win 84-72.
Krunoslav Simon had a big game for Croatia, with 23 points, and good guard play from Croatia saw them tally 22 assists, to Ukraine’s 12. Croatia’s semifinal against Lithuania will be played tomorrow at 11:35 ET. Lithuania has allowed the 2nd fewest points in the tournament, at just 66.1 per game.
Drazen Petrovic was our leader and his tragic death in June of 1993 left a hole in our collective heart. At 28 he was at the peak of his prime with 10 more years of high level playing in front of him ( given his game was based on skill and competitive fire). He would have built many schools and facilities in Croatia has he had the power to attract many sponsors to partner on these projects.
It is poetic justice that this team without a superstar has put us back on to the EuroBasket map. They are doing it with the heart and soul of the game: teamwork, defense, rebounding and multiple players stepping up. Now they have captured the psyche of the community.
Croatians are a tall and talented group of people that when they put to collective mind to it can once a again be a power in the basketball world.
Sarunis Marcelonus was the leader that sourced Litva to remain relevant in world basketball. Croatia playing them today is our right of passage as we return to be one of the elite programs in Europe.
Maybe with a bit more rest and home court we can squeak by them today.
Bog I Hrvatska!
I’m not an expert on the subject of basketball in Croatia, but the war definitely took it’s toll and we just haven’t been that competitive in the past decade.
Hopefully someone with more knowledge on the subject can chime in.
Thats right..is it now a big thing in Croatia? Because basket is not so popular in your country? Or im wrong?
@Lithuanian, agreed, both our teams deserve to be there. I almost afraid to watch the game. But no matter what happens it looks like both our countries are rebuilding their basketball programs in the right direction.
Thank you..both our teams deserve it..hope if Croatia will win today you will beat spain or france in finals. To say true we worry in lithuania that croayians mentaly are stronger at this moment to play with us then we are. Our team is realy tired((
Well said !
We have been in basketball oblivion for 18 years.
Repesa has rebuilt our national program from the ground up. I have full faith that we are back. We have young talent coming through the pipeline and a core that will be good for the next 4 years.
@ Bobby V
Thanks for the story. And always great to BS with fellow hrvati around the world.
We will compete, defend and rebound tomorrow. In basketball you will always have a chance to win when you bring this with a deep team that loves to play with each other.
Bog I Hrvati !
@Lithuanian should be a REALLY tough game. As I mentioned before I watched a documentary on your guys when it was the USSR. Great talent. Good luck tomorrow.
Bobby, bring back the Vag beards!!
One of the great things about sports is when the team you root for does the unexpected and you get to enjoy the journey.
For the early half of the 90s it was our basketball team and our basketball players that really put Croatia on the sporting map (along with Goran).
I think the best thing for our guys is to play the next game right away so they don’t have time to sit back and watch all of the coverage they are receiving back home. So, I think the early start works to our advantage.
We don’t have a star player and this has been a collective team effort. Hope we can win the whole fucken thing or at least grab a medal, but the last 2-plus weeks have been fun to watch.
You have a great team. In my opinion, the #2 team in Europe. It should be an interesting game tomorrow. Good luck.
If Lithuania should win, I hope they beat Spain. If Lithuania should lose, I hope they beat France and are up on the medal stage with us.
Hello brothers..cant wait to see your team playing against us tomorrow!!
Bravo nasi najjcai smo jedva nas 4 milliona ali smo jaki
great story, love it, hate the partizans and hate Tito
unlike the morons on this site like Black Zodiac who loves to remind us that Tito and his partizans protected the Hrvati
Lithuania it is…. It wont be easy.
I would set the vegas line at Lithuania -4 points. Lithuanians travel well, however, Ljubljana is right around the corner for our fans. I think Croatian fans will hold a 70-30 advantage.
We have the early game, at least thats what Wiki says.
Great story. A lot had to happen just for you to be here today. Glad we could be part of your life. Thanks for chiming in all the time. You make the site what it is today.
@Ante B – haha, yeah what’s with the shaven beaver nowadays – all looks the same.They were all bearded back then. My hot Albanian girlfriend sported one that reminded me of Artis Gilmore’s.
@Bobby V……….great story, thanks for sharing.
To piggyback something you were saying…..the last time our hoops team made it this was far was 1995. back then there was no internet to follow the game, yet alone watch. I remeber the only way to get live info was by tuning in on shortwave radio.
Looks like we will get Lithuania, which also means the crowd support wont be as big as it was today. We will still have more fans in there, but there will be a good size Lithuanian crowd as well. They travel well when following their team.
I’m assuming we play the late game tomorrow.
Actually, funny you mentioned that Ziva.
I grew up in Chicago and had some pretty cool connections. My father was president of RWB Adria and helped get Eusebio to play for the club during a labor day tournament.
He is also very close friends with Luka Misetic’s father, trial lawyer for Gotovina.
Got to see Toni Kukoc many Sunday’s at our church – St.Jerome.
…and most infamously, my Grandmother’s first cousin was married to Gavrilo Princip. – so, in effect, our family started WWI.
The island my parents live on is called Osljak- 3 miles from Zadar – everyone who owns property there has the same last name – Valcic.
My father escaped in 1953 – 5 guys in a row boat, made it to Italy. They picked a foggy night and managed to evade the Communists who were patrolling the waters. Boat started to take on water half-way across before they were finally picked up by an Italian fishing boat, 8 miles from San Bennedeto Del Tronto.
Mom was from Bosnia. Her entire town’s male population was shot and killed by the Partizans when she was 8. A Catholic orpahnage came thru and picked up the women and kids and brought them to Linz, Austria, where she lived with priests and nuns for 8 years.
Both parents then made it to Chicago and met there in 1959.
I moved to NH (only Croatian in the state, I think) when I was 24 in 1985. So, I’d like to thank this site for the ability to bullshit with fellow Croats – something I have missed since leaving Chicago.
@Bobby V………….How was it like living through both World Wars? (I kid).
The Italy-Lithuania game is highly entertaining.
Dude you were nailing chicks with beards on their virginias when you were 24 and I will still swimming in Tata. I love that and I’m so pissed I wasn’t alive when you were young. I wish I could’ve lived the 60s 70s and 80s as an adult.
@Ante B – thanks, you’re now my favorite on-line nephew.
52?!? Time to hold back any future insult from my end.
@Denis – I’m 52 years old and remember getting soccer scores from Europe through monthly magazines that would catch you up on the previous 4 weeks.
Yes – that was the only way to find them out back in the 60’s-70’s. Your local news wasn’t going to give them.
So, for me to listen to that Croatian crowd through my car speakers live thru the WatchESPN app on my iphone was awesome!
I feel you brotha’. I had goosebumps listening to some of the singing. The atmosphere will be insane tomorrow. One win will take us to the final and a guaranteed medal.
Lithuania is up early. I’m hoping Italy can somehow come back and win. Like ZIva, I’m hoping for triple overtime.
Just turned on the Dinamo game. The half mujo Halilovic gets into the game in the 86th minute (which looks to be the norm for him) and yet our fricken savez leadership thinks he should be on the repka. Insane!!!
Our play has not been a fluke, but the result may be a fluke. Only way that can be confirmed is to see how we play in tournaments down the road. If it takes us every 18 years to make the semis of a major tourney, then yes it would be a fluke.
We benefited a bit from a good draw. We took advantage of it and lets see where it leads. The remaining teams in the tourney all have NBA players on their rosters, we don’t have any. To make it this far is an accomplishment playing team ball. We will have a chance against Italy (we would be favorites) or Lithuania. If we can get by them we would be heavy underdogs against Spain or France. But, you never know in one game setting what can happen.
GNK Mamichi Junajted
I don’t think Ziva likes tattoos 🙂
So awesome listening to the fourth quarter in the car on the way to work. When they started singing “Bjezite Ljudi”, I started singing loudly and fuckin’ shed a tear.
Croatia is the hottest team in the tourny right now – 8 wins in a row. Most well balanced team of the 5 left – great guard play and inside play as well. Simon is an excellent player.
First person to say it’s a fluke that we advanced to the semi-finals, I’m gonna tatoo a Serbian eagle to your ass and punch you in the face.
Its good Mishko
Again, please let me know when I do a semi play by play if people like that or are annoyed by it?
Hopefully Lithuania and Itlay play a triple overtime game..
I think winner of Spain/France wins the gold with Lithuania getting silver.
I see what Ziva was saying, because Ukraine is not a good side. Croatia was definately the favorite. I’m sure before the tournament, Ziva would not say, “If croatia lose in the quarters, they should walk home”
Light celebration, thank you to the fans, and they are off to the locker room. This team has more left in the tank.
great team win…….
I think we had 22 assists.
Maybe we get medal. Who knows. But, great effort.
84 – 72 Final Score.
@ ZIVA . if the players lose this they should have to walk home?
this team has no current nba players on it and has won 8 straight games when no one expected them to . you’re statement seems a little extreme and unappreciative of the efforts they put in.
2) i think tomic could play in the nba despite his frail frame (granted i think hed prob be a fringe player). The nba is a game of height and length. there are plenty of successful bigs in the nba that are skinny
With a Dinamovac leading the way…bravo Simoneeee!
SIMONO! SIMONO! SIMONO!
Shut up Denis.
Playing well so far
oh wait, Dinamo Zagreb is playing…… 🙂
“veceras je nasa festa”… heard around the stadium…
Our heart and fans can lead us to the final.
Ukraine falling apart. 78 – 68 with a minute
Were in and we qualified for the worlds next year 🙂
First time in semis since ’95. I dont think anyone expected Croatia to top the group and make the semis. Ukraine is not a good side, but making the quarters and qualifying for the world cup is success for croatia. So even today’s win was “extra”
Congrats to the boys! However, they have more left in the tank. A final appearance or 3rd place win is not out of the question.
Spain will win and is the only side that will be a long shot for croatia to beat. France/Lithuania/Italy all beatable.
Zach I’m looking at the board. Now it’s 78 – 68 with 1:44 on the clock.
BTW – Our Leroy needs a translator.
Mishko I’m following haha
Well its wrong lol. 77-65 I think you meant
78 – 65 with 2 minutes left. Made a mistake earlier.
Im interested to see how the croatian players celebrate this win. If they act like they’ve won the gold, then it will be difficult against Italy/Lithuania. I hope they celebrate the win briefly and remain hungry for more.
Just curious are my updates annoying? If so I’ll stop.
77 – 55 with 3:40 left
“Well the croatian fans have found their voices. It is a dificult environment for Ukraine to play in.”
“smelling smoke in here. Must be a flare or something in the house”
12 point lead with 5 minutes left.
our hero SIMON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
the good news is that Tomic and Bogdanovic have not played at their best in this game….Some room for improvement
already foul trouble thats not good
i cant believe they blew a +19 point lead in the 3rd wtf???
Ukraine already in the bonus with over 7 minutes left….watch out now
Damn back up to 14 points.
9 point lead going into the last quarter.
Yikes, gotta close this out
Now it’s a 11 point lead.
haha yea i heard that too too funny Mishko
man our guys got comfy with the lead and stopped moving the ball around, were still getting lucky they are missing some easy shots
LOL, the Croatian coach just said they’re playing like pussies.
This is awesome.
See now it’s a 12 point lead.
Good job, time out kill the rally.
Simon is 3 point shooting SOB. WOW
SIMON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! again 🙂
Looks like the dinamovac is taking the game over 🙂
@Ziva, just checked, and you are correct it was the Lithuanians all from the same town that grew up together.
Yeh @ mishko it’s fukd man, there’s an app starting with p that’ll wrk but I forget the fkn name
Oh boy, Croatia with the 3 to start the game.
Misko, I think you got that wrong. Back in the USSR days, the best players were from Lithuania. Sabonis, Marcelonis, etc…
I watched a documentary on Russian basketball when it was still the USSR and all the best players came from the Ukraine.
Grant you we’ve got 16 point lead, but that can be washed away pretty easily. Crossing fingers.
dont remind us of the bad memories 🙁 we can erase all that with a win over italy/lithuania, like i said i would preferably play Lithuania even tho we beat Italy already but then again this Italian team is a bit depleted but still had managed to go i think it was like 5-0 or something till we beat them
We are playing absolutely amazing considering this team has no legit superstar. Bojan has the best chance on this team in making a solid career in the NBA.
20 more minutes…….and we are back in the semis for the first time of a tourney since 1995. Damn, that brings back bad memories and losing that semifinal in Athens.
Great move by Repesa to go with 3/4 court trap when Draper came in.
51 – 35 at half time.
nice half, we got lucky some of their 3’s didnt go in and they went cold from the outside, im happy with the modest lead 🙂
tomic 4/4 from free throw line nice, Ukraine playing with no energy or confidence 🙂 man i love our defense
@Anonymous you’re missing a good game, sorry bro. Maybe next time.
We’re only up by 13.
Nothing’s wrkn for me, fuk!
Mike Fratello to his Ukraine team during a timeout after turning the ball over 4 times in a row : What the fuck are you shitting in your pants about their press for? – hahahahaha
Here you go.
lololol @ Ukraine coach
Does your iPhone have ESPN 3?
hahah i love the press by cro and Draper is playing some good D
Keep up this intensity and finish it off before the half
What app do I need to stream it off an iPhone, anyone?
WTF missing FREE throws. Come the F on.
i agree he is too frail and soft to compete in the nba, Croatia has the lead and momentum now lets finish the half off on a run 🙂
thanks mishko i found two links, good first quarter i think we should take this game tho
Got to be happy if you are Ukraine at the end of the first.
I just don’t see how some people and media think Ante Tomic is an NBA player. He is good for the Euro game, but too soft in my opinion. With his skill set he should be more dominating.
Bogdanovic forcing some shots.
@Bee – Do you have access to ESPN 3? You can watch it via xbox live. We’re down 8 – 12 at 5 minutes in.
Bad start to the game………
Basically a home game for us. If we can’t win this and get to the semis, we never will in any competition. If they lose they should all have to walk back to Cro from Ljubljana.
any good links for game?
Slovenia is working Serbia 81 – 63 with 6 minutes left.
@ Ziva your prediction has been duly noted.
Our length allows us to close out on there 3 point attempts. Our help side closes down lanes and we rebound like beasts.
If we get hot early we will blow them out.
Fratello gives them a shot but we are team of depth and togetherness. Not easy to game plan for.
The house will be filled with Hrvati tonight.
have to win today or all of this means zero……
win today and anything after that is extra. I still dont think we win a medal, but getting to the semis will be a great accomplishment.
they should win this one tonight and will play the winner from Italy/Lithuania. Gosh i hope Spain loses too, they make it by the skin on their teeth and beat a good team of Serbia, i hope they dont make it past the semis i would hate to see them in the finals
They have improved with every game they have played.
And the best thing is, that they look like a team and don’t rely on one single player.
Hope we win again tonight, it will be awesome.