Our national team returns to the field to face Austria in the fourth match of the Eurobasket 2025 Pre-Qualification tomorrow in Friborg (4pm). An opponent who clearly beat us to a score of 80-64 in November. Thursday’s victory in Cyprus (86-77) was a double with five players: Vujosevic 21 points, Murati 15, Klepis 19, Erzek 11, Ogunzip 10; Shooting percentage 48%, 43% / 3 (14/32); 9 turnovers and 32 rebounds, including 9 in the attack. Although they still have an idea of an Austria with strong potential in all areas of the pitch, as always, these are the figures of the game to be taken with a grain of salt. If we think we had Nzege in the first quarter too, it is clear that we do not see a valid change for the long part, though not tomorrow. It is also true that on the best Thursdays of the win against Ireland – we lost Marco Mladn and Jurkovitz in the first match, so one can think that the situation is balanced.
The problem in Switzerland on Thursday was, obviously, the lack of a player capable of providing decent support, at least the equivalent of Sinn, who did not seem irresistible to us. Coach Papatiodoro was unable to find a valid contribution from the Portuguese or others, especially in the attack on the defense in the Irish region, and the ball spread well enough. It is not for nothing that we saw an exciting percentage in the 3-point shot at 6 out of 35, but the result of poor coordination and errors in the open shots. In addition, the 22 sales clearly tell us that the technical limitations are not small and that the inability to defend without laying hands on him is equally clear. Fortunately, we had a coach who was able to dominate under the boards, with his recovery and allied dunks, with the excellent support of Jurkovitz and Marco Moldogen, who was in excellent form at half-time, a dull Martin after starting on the bench (?).
Therefore, if the shooting percentage is not suitable for a national team and the defense does not play its role against tough players like the opponents, the match against Austria promises to be very difficult. The Irish revealed individual technical limitations that facilitated the Swiss defense, a limit that the Austrians did not have. So, we need a better game and a clearer contribution from those starting on the bench, because Kovac and the other four mentioned could not keep 40 minutes on the field.
Travel fan. Freelance analyst. Proud problem solver. Infuriatingly humble zombie junkie.