Drasko Knows His Bread And Butter

23.08.2003

From PA International, Sarajevo

Bosnia-Herzegovina coach Drasko Prodanovic already has a good idea of who will be logging most of the minutes at the European Championships next month.

Prodanovic, working his men out at the Sarajevo Olympic Hall before travelling to Cologne for a game against the Germans on August 28, has three players he will lean heavily when they play one of the tournament favourites, France, in their Group A opener on September 5.

The trio consists of Damir Mrsic, the 32-year-old point guard, shooting guard/small forward Jasmin Hukic and power forward Haris Mujezinovic.

Mrsic, who is expected to return to former club Troy Izmir in Turkey this season, will have the ball in his hands much of the time and has been solid in training this summer.

Hukic, 24, whose appearance and playing style has drawn comparisons to Croatia great Toni Kukoc, poured in more than 17 points a game in qualifying and could be the best player in the side.

He is negotiating with Ulker Istanbul over a possible move there, but could remain with Union Olimpia Ljubljana.

And power forward Haris Mujezinovic, who can also play at centre if necessary.

The 29-year-old only played in three qualifying games but he averaged 22 points and six rebounds.

He has the small distraction of not knowing where he will play professionally next season after a difficult year at Cibona Zagreb, but Mujezinovic is a tough competitor who is unlikely to lose his focus.

Rounding out the starting five is almost certain to be Barisa Krasic, who can play either the two or three position.

The 24-year-old Mostar-born forward, who began playing in the small town of Brotnjo and is to compete for a third season at Cibona Zagreb, has impressed with his defence in practice and his jumpshot.

Lastly, the captain of the side is 30-year-old Samir Leric and he will start at centre.
Leric, 6ft 9in (205 cm), is excellent defensively.

The 6ft 11in (210 cm) Elvir Ovcina, very effective in qualifying with 11 points and five rebounds a game, could win the starting job from Leric.

Bosnia-Herzegovina lost their opening friendly in a recent Sweden tournament to the hosts but bounced back and beat Slovakia and Latvia.

They played Croatia tough in a friendly but lost.

After Germany they will travel to Sodertalle and face Sweden again.

The injury bug has stayed away for the most part, although Ermin Jazvin was released from international duty early on in the preparations.

Jazvin picked up a concussion about a year ago and then suffered a head injury in a automobile accident six months ago.

The 6ft 9in (205 cm) centre wasn’t feeling well in the heat this summer and has returned to club side Bosna to get ready for the forthcoming season.

Selmir Husanovic, a 24-year-old small forward, was called into the group but is unlikely to make the final roster.

One player who is with the group who has proved to be intriguing for Prodanovic is 17-year-old centre Mirza Teletovic.

The 6ft 8in (202 cm) Sloboda Dita Tuzla player has impressed with his versatility. He can play either forward position, or at centre, and Prodanovic may elect to keep him on board.


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