Tomic: Pressure? What Pressure?

30 January 2008

Where would KK Zagreb be without Ante Tomic? Answer: Probably not in the EuroCup Quarter Final Round.

With yet another sublime performance on Tuesday by the young Croatian center - he scored 19 points and hauled in nine rebounds - Zagreb beat Olympia to book a ticket to the next stage of the competition where they will take on BC Barons of Riga.

The stakes were indeed high in their do-or-die showdown with Olympia, but Tomic, who turns 21 next month, didn't feel a burden.

This is my first European competition but I'm really enjoying it. I just have fun on the court.

He said to FIBA Europe after the game: "This is my first European competition but I'm really enjoying it. I just have fun on the court."

There are other reasons why Tomic could feel a sense of urgency, though.

For starters, he would love to make his way into the Croatia team that will play at the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament this year.

That will be a tough ask, but he might just do it with strong displays in European competition.

Then there is the presence of important people looking on from across the pond.

Among those in attendance at Tuesday's game was Houston general manager Daryl Morey, someone who demonstrated an appreciation for talent in Europe last summer by doing everything possible to get Luis Scola of Tau Ceramica to the Rockets.

So wasn't there the slightest hint of anxiety in the eyes of Tomic against Olympia?

Nah! "I don't feel any pressure," he said.

That bodes well for KK  Zagreb who should take part in a thrilling tie in the next round.

"I don't know how far we can go, but we will give our best," Tomic said, before insisting Tuesday's victory over Olympia had just as much to do with the others in his side.

"The team played well tonight overall," he said, "not just me."

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