Serbia- Czech Republic 90:81 (20:20, 21:30, 28:12, 21:19)

The national team of Serbia defeated Czech Republic in Beijing 90:81 and earned themselves a fifth place on the World Cup in China.

Serbia opened the game really well, and quickly got the lead 7:2, but Czech showed that they are ready to try their hardest. In the 8th minute, it was 20:15 for our team, but the opponent made a three pointer, and went on to a break 20:20.

Czech Republic got the lead at the beginning of the second quarter, after they had made their 5th three pointer, the score was 27:21, and then 38:28 in the 16th minute. Nothing was going in for our team, and after a three pointer from Bohacik they had a lead +13, 43:30. But, Serbia went on a mini run of their own 8:0, and cut down the lead to 38:43. Great Satoransky secured +9 lead for Czech at the half, 50:41.

The third period started off with 5 consecutives from Bogdanoivc (46:50). After what Lucic made a three pointer, 49:51. With a three pointer from Jovic in the 25th minute the game was tied at 58, and Simonovic got the lead for Serbia with a layup- 60:58. Our guys kept their foot on the gas pedal and got the lead up to 64:58in the 27th minute, and on to the last break our guys went with the lead 69:62.

Serbia opened the last quarter offensively , Jovic and Bogdanovic made a three pointer, Simonovic and Jokic scored two points each, and after 2:30 minutes of game in the last quarter our team had +15- 79:64. Our team kept up a strong rhythm and got the lead up to +18 in the 35th minute- 84:66. In the finish of the game, Jokic and Milutinov had attractive plays and dunks, and Serbia’s lead kept moving between +12 and +18. Balvin lowered the lead with a three pointer to 89:79 with a minute left, and our team closed out the game 90:81.

Full game statistic available at:
http://www.fiba.basketball/sr/basketballworldcup/2019/game/1409/Serbia-Czech-Republic#tab=boxscore

Bogdan Bogdanovic:

“ Now I feel better. Congratulation to Czech Republic on a great tournament and great game against us. Congratulation to my teammates on a great tournament. We did not go until the end, we did not write a new page in our history, but we know we will be much more motivated next time.”

Olympic games qualifiers?

“ We had advantage last time, because we were the organizer. It will be hard, a lot of good teams are disappointed after this tournament, but they will be motivated more to qualify for the OG. It is a long way from now, but when the time comes, we will think about it.”

Aleksandar Djordjevic:

“ Congratulation to Bogdan on a great tournament. This was a fantastic game, and he was the leader. We have to work to have a defense we had. It is obvious that not all of us came here to win, physically, bone to bone, as we preach and teach all of them . Maybe it is because of the time we spent together, maybe some obligations they have… Anyway, we had a great game. After couple of subs and pick-and-pop from Czech Republic, we had some trouble. We adapted in the second half, answered with a better defense and with our philosophy. Czech team played a great tournament, they should be proud. They practiced really well and you can see their progress. Satoransky makes everyone else better- that is the key job for a great point guard in basketball. We controlled the boards, we did not allow them easy baskets. We cut down our rotation and there was less turnovers, less mistakes.”

Summary of the tournament:

“Solid result, we are not happy because we know we could have done better. There are reasons why we did not succeed. I would like to add that the organization is excellent. People are great, everything is extremely, food, they were really polite. But, the tournament itself was hard for the players, really demanding and we in the world should think about it. If you play in the quarterfinals, one team travels by bus for an hour, and the other one has to wake up at 5:30am, travels until 3pm, those are not the same conditions. That is an advantage for one of them. In the semifinals, two teams that lost are the ones who had a day less to rest. That is what happened to us in the finals of the Eurobasket 2017, we had a day less to rest. After 15 days of hard games, waste of energy, you need to rest so you could give your best basketball. That is what every federation and FIBA have to think about, so every competitor has the same conditions.”

How to be focused on the last game:

“The problem is that you think that is not important. This game was the most important in our careers. And the next one will be. You have to prove that you play with 100%, that you are ready to leave your heart out, that you are a competitor. That is my character; I managed to wake up a dragon in our players after a hard loss to Argentina. I did not succeed in that after a loss to Spain. That has to be better. In competitions like that there is no space to regret for what happened. You get up and say: “Where is the bear, I have to break his leg”. We are solid. This guy right here (Bogdanovic) has a character. Since I became the head coach, we created a bunker, but we lost. We lost to finalists that deserve to be in the finals. I congratulate to the coaches, my friends, on a great job.”

Djordjevic has announced that he is leaving the place as a head coach of the national team:

“Yes, I am leaving the national team. I told the players, I think it is time. There has not been any talk about continuing or at least for the time being, it is on me too pull out, not even to expect any talk about that . I know when a man or coach makes a first step. Now I feel like I have to do it. I am leaving, unfortunately, in the moment when we did not succeed to reach our goal.”

Did Djordjevic decide that before the WC?

“ I did, but it was not time to talk about it. The life keeps going in a different direction… I want to spend summer with my family, because I have missed a lot because of my obligations. We went through a lot together , it was not easy. Everything we went through, injuries, system, all that is really demanding. Again on the other side a great thanks to the people from Basketball federation of Serbia, thanks to the president Danilovic, former president Djilas and Bodiroga who was a director of man’s selections at the time. Thanks to all the associates who were there all these years, we made a really good ambience, working, honest… Thanks to all the players who were here, we picked ourselves up together, they picked me up. I own them a lot, I am always going to be grateful to them. Thanks to everyone.”

– said Djordjevic