Svetislav Pesic Rumors
Ahead of games against Latvia in Riga and Belgium in Nis, the Serbia Basketball Federation released a list of 20 players to be available for the fixtures of the 2023 FIBA World Cup European Qualifiers, as selected by national team boss Svetislav Pesic. While Nikola Jokic and other NBA players are expected to join the national team later in the offseason, Nemanja Bjelica and Boban Marjanovic were called up for these games. Serbia will be in action on 30 June in Latvia and 3 July back home.
Carrying results from Group A, Serbia will be placed in Group I in the second round. The top three teams of the new six-team group will punch in a ticket for the 2023 World Cup. The second round of the Qualifiers starts in late August, shortly before the 2022 EuroBasket. In the preliminary round of the major international tournament, Serbia in Group B is set to face the Netherlands, hosts Czech Republic, Finland, Israel, and Poland.
A couple of Svetislav Pesic’s answers touched on European basketball superstars and Nikola Jokic’s availability for the upcoming EuroBasket 2022, via MozzartSport. “Jokic will play for the national team only under one condition, and that is to become a better player through the Serbian national team. It is not a question of whether he loves his country. That is undoubted. He is a proud Serb, who writes messages to me in Cyrillic. We have to find a way to motivate him to compete with the best players in Europe. If he is not motivated, if he has no interest, then there is no point in playing,” Pesic pointed out.
Svetislav Pesic: “There is no doubt that Nikola Jokic and Luka Doncic are the best European players who have ever played in the NBA. They are changing the way players compete in the strongest league of the world. Moreover, they are constantly improving. Every year they bring something new.”
The Serbia national team coach, and former Barcelona boss, spoke about Doncic and Jokic who are flourishing since swapping Europe for the US in and interview with Basketnews. “I don’t know where this idea that I don’t like American basketball came from. It’s a different system and a different country, different players… We can see the influence of NBA basketball in Europe. Every season you see more transition, fastbreak, more three-point shots. But in Europe, it’s still five against five. We can talking about improving European basketball but the best players are in the NBA,” Pesic told Donatas Urbonas.
“The NBA hasn’t changed Jokic or Doncic and generally, like other European players in the past – for example the great players from former Yugoslavia, of course they change every day with practice. You have to adapt to a new country, new rules, a new style of basketball… But they’ve changed NBA basketball a little bit, with creativity, with vision. For sure, they play another kind of basketball to most of, let’s say, the American NBA players. The characteristics of the great players doesn’t change. It’s the same as before. The best players bring something new every season – new shots, dribbles, technical and tactical things”.