Serbian basketball players will play in the semi-finals of the World Championship in Manila on Friday from 10:45 a.m.
Svetislav Pešić’s team played an excellent match in the quarter-finals and defeated Lithuania 87:68, becoming the first among the four best teams in the world.
Serbia is waiting for a rival in the fight for the final, the national team who proves to be better in the duel in which Slovenia and Canada meet, and that match will be played on Wednesday from 14:30.
The victory against the Lithuanian was commented on by coach Stevan Karadžić, the assistant coach of Svetislav Pešić at the World Cup in Indianapolis in 2002.
“Our guys played great against Lithuania. They played hard, especially under the basket, very engaged in both attack and defense. The Lithuanians exhausted themselves against the Americans, not physically, but they exhausted all their emotional reserves, it was noticeable that they were psychologically drained, but for their debacle, first of all, the great Serbian national team players are to blame,” Karadžić told Sport Klub.
“Congratulations to the players and coach Pešić, they demonstrate quality basketball. Taking into account all the circumstances, they achieved great success. Especially, if you take into account what happened to Borisa Simanić. This is a guy who was with them until yesterday, who is part of the team and everything that happened to their friend and teammate was not easy for them. You can see that they are playing for him with all their heart.”
Karadžić made a parallel with the World Cup from Indianapolis and this one, the final of which is held in Manila, and he referred to the frequent public criticism of the national coaches.
“And that reminds me of the World Cup in Indianapolis. Then we lost the matches against the Spaniards and Puerto Rico in the group, and the criticisms in the newspapers already started. There was no Internet like now, but it reached us, we heard regularly from friends and relatives, they conveyed to us what was being written and talked about. However, I noticed that somehow Pešić manages very well in those not at all pleasant situations, as if they motivate him. He has characteristic principles in his work and behavior towards the players, and when it is most difficult, he knows how to get the maximum out of the team. And now there were doubts about some of his moves, his age was also mentioned. It seems to me that he is criticized more harshly than some top coaches, who in the past as head coaches had a few empty runs in major competitions. Kari has his philosophy of basketball, which some players may not adopt immediately, but over time they fully accept it and that brings success”, explained Karadzic.