|06 September 2013|
|"A good victory is all we need; we need confidence and one big victory" - Bojan Bogdanovic |
By Dimitris Kontos
Bojan Bogdanovic is optimistic of Croatia's chances for a good showing at EuroBasket 2013, on one condition, which needs to be met within a space of 24 hours roughly.
"A good victory is all we need; we need confidence and one big victory," the 24-year-old winger told fibaeurope.com.
"We are playing against Poland on Saturday and then against Slovenia.
"If we win those two games, I think the gym in the Second Round is going to be full of our fans and that is going to make the difference."
Bogdanovic is Croatia's leading scorer after their first two games in First Round Group, but also their most consistent player in terms of performance.
The 24-year-old Fenerbahce star is not comfortable with the role of the leader of the new generation of Croatia though.
"We have a lot of good players, so I don't think I am the leader of the team," he says, dismissing the label.
"I am just trying to play my best and take responsibility on the court, and we'll see who will be the leader in the end."
Representing a nation with such a rich basketball tradition as Croatia is a tall order for any player, not to mention the very special connotation that filling the shooting guard spot will always carry.
"I think that is where part of the problem is for us, that everybody is still living in the time of Drazen Petrovic," Bogdanovic says.
"That is why our fans reacted like that when we were losing by 20 points against Spain [in the first game].
"I just think we have to be strong on the court, play good defence, and I think we have a chance at this EuroBasket to be better and better, and do good things."
Croatia's roster is laden with players who impressed in last season's Turkish Airlines Euroleague.
Bogdanovic thinks it could be even better, but he still considers the Croatia of 2013 a side of bigger potential that the one which exited EuroBasket 2011 in the first round.
"We are missing a lot of good players, [Marko] Popovic, [Zoran] Planinic, [Marko] Tomas, [Kresimir] Loncar, a lot of big Euroleague players," he said.
"We have a lot of new players, we are a much younger team compared to the EuroBasket in Lithuania.
"So we are trying to play more aggressively on both ends of the court, and I think we will do that.
"Personally, I don't expect anything, I just try to give my best for the team and I hope that we are going to make it."