February 21, 2020 – The Croatia basketball team opened its qualifications for EuroBasket with a win against Sweden the Drazen Petrovic Basketball Hall in Zagreb.
Gol.hr reports that the Croatia men’s basketball team defeated Sweden 72:56 (18: 6, 23:14, 17:25, 14:11) in the first round of the Group D qualifiers for EuroBasket 2021. EuroBasket 2021 will be held in Georgia, the Czech Republic, Italy and Germany.
Mateo Dreznjak scored 16 points and was the top scorer for Croatia, while Tobias Borg scored 11 points for Sweden.
Croatia nearly resolved the game in the first 15 minutes when they gained a significant advantage of +25 (31: 6). During the first 10 minutes, Sweden scored only six points against a motivated Croatian defense, scoring only one of 16 shots in play 1:17 minutes before the buzzer.
In the second quarter, a series of misses and lost balls continued for Sweden, which Croatia used to get up to +25 again.
Up until the middle of the third quarter, Croatia’s game was flawless, though they got a bit too comfortable and allowed Sweden to reduce their deficit. With a series of shots from a distance, they ended the third quarter with 12 consecutive points, and the game was 58:45.
However, there was no unnecessary drama in the last 10 minutes and Croatia book a critical win.
In the second match of this group, the Netherlands surprisingly defeated Turkey 72:65 in Ankara (18:17, 23:21, 13:16, 18:11).
The Netherlands is Croatia’s next rival on Monday in Almere.
The three first-place teams will qualify for the EuroBasket.
To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.