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EuroBasket 2017: Croatia Open with a Win

Kruno Simon nailed some vital 3-pointers in the opening win (Photo: Croatian Basketball Federation)

The Croatian basketball team has started their EuroBasket 2017 campaign with a victory over Hungary in Romania on Friday afternoon.

Croatia, looking for its first medal in more than 20 years, has started EuroBasket 2017 with an important win over a tough Hungary team 67-58.

After the first quarter ended at 20-20, Croatia broke away from Hungary in the second quarter thanks to some precision shooting from Dario Saric, Kruno Simon, and Darko Planinic to lead at halftime 39-36.

Hungary, with a large section of the crowd behind them, were not going to give in and thanks to some aggressive play, would outscore the Croatians in the third quarter.

Dario Šarić had another good game (Photo: HKS)

Croatia, led by Aleksandar Petrovic, brother of the late Drazen Petrovic, went into the final quarter 53-52 down but turned it up a notch to break away at one stage in the quarter to an 11-point lead as NBA stars Bojan Bogdanovic, who finished with 23 points, and Saric with 15 points, came into their own.

The match was tougher than expected for the Croatians and they won’t have time to relax as they play Romania tomorrow.

The bookies have listed Croatia as dark-horses for the 40th EuroBasket which is being held in four countries – Finland, Israel, Romania, and Turkey.

Croatia will play all their Group C matches in Romania. Their remaining group matches are against co-host Romania, Czech Republic, Spain, and Montenegro.

The bookies have Spain, Serbia, Greece, and France as favourites for the tournament with Croatia listed as dark-horses after their form over the last year.

Croatia Roster:
Dominik Mavra
Filip Kruslin
Marko Popovic
Krunoslav Simon
Dario Saric
Roko Leni Ukic
Luka Zoric
Darko Planinic
Marko Tomas
Ivan Buva
Dragan Bender
Bojan Bogdanovic

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