Koper – The Slovenian men’s basketball team opened the qualifiers for the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup last week with wins against Croatia on the road and against Sweden at home to sit atop the qualifying Group C. The qualifying campaign continues in February 2022.
Slovenia, the fourth-placed team from the Tokyo Summer Olympics, first defeated Croatia in Zagreb 76:74 in a tough encounter that saw sharpshooter Klemen Prepelič as the top scorer for Slovenia with 16 points.
Prepelič followed this up with a 30-point effort against Sweden in front the home crowd in Bonifika Arena in Koper last evening to propel Slovenia to a 94:89 victory, with Jaka Blažič adding 23 points.
Slovenia’s head coach Aleksander Sekulić said after the win against Sweden that it was a “good start of the qualifiers, and a great incentive for the future matches.”
Prepelič said that it had been agreed with the teammates that “we must not miss the next major competition”, referring to Slovenia missing out on the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup after winning the 2017 EuroBasket.
“We have a golden generation with Luka Dončić as the leader and we want to play with him again. We have a cohesive team in which each role is clearly defined,” added the Valencia Basket player.
The next two-game slot will be played on in February 2022 as Finland host Slovenia on 25 February and Slovenia host Finland on 28 February.
The next FIBA Basketball World Cup will take place between 25 August and 10 September 2023, hosted by Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines and featuring 32 national teams, with Slovenia competing for the 12 slots reserved for European teams.