Bosnians Making Progress

14 August 2003

Bosnia-Herzegovina are, for many of the sport’s pundits, expected to just be making up the numbers at the European Championships.

Coach Drasko Prodanovic and Co have other ideas as they showed on their recent trip to Sweden.

With Damir Mrsic playing at less than 100%, Bosnia-Herzegovina slipped to a 74-71 defeat against the tournament hosts but as Mrsic improved his fitness, the fortunes of his team improved.

They rebounded with wins over Slovakia and fellow Eurobasket side Latvia.

Centre Jasmin Hukic led the way with 18 points against Slovakia while Barisa Krasic chipped in 16, but it was the victory over Latvia that his given the team a shot in the arm.

At one point against the Latvians, against whom UNICS Kazan guard Mrsic poured in 23 points - 12 of them coming from three-point land - Bosnia-Herzegovina led by more than 20 points.

Mrsic is, quite simply, indispensable.

He joined up with the team late following a tiring domestic campaign at the conclusion of which he suffered a minor knee injury, but he appears to be back to peak fitness.

So does forward Damir Krupalija, the new signing by Charleroi in Belgium.

Krupalija, who played professionally in Poland last year, went to the United States to take part in the Indiana Pacers’ summer camp and hurt his left foot in his first practice.

That injury didn’t heal properly, and Krupalija aggravated the problem in the loss to Sweden.

Forced to sit out against Slovakia, he returned to the court and contributed to his side’s victory over Latvia.

One player who has put forth solid performances in recent times for Bosnia-Herzegovina is Haris Mujezinovic.

The 29-year-old is trying to maintain his focus while he sorts out his club future.

He is currently trying to negotiate a new deal with club side Cibona Zagreb.

Samir Leric also contributed 12 points in a winning cause against Latvia.

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