Welcome Headaches for Stipe Bralic

11 December 2012
Antonija Misura (right) has been lighting it up in the Croatian domestic league

Croatia Women's head coach Stipe Bralic has a welcome headache in the months leading up to EuroBasket Women 2013 with Croats currently excelling in a number of leagues throughout Europe.

For starters, national team duo Luca Ivankovic and Antonija Misura are both lighting it up in a big way for Sibenik Jolly who are locked in an intense battle to win Croatian League silverware with title favourites and EuroLeague Women newcomers, Novi Zagreb.

Both teams are unbeaten domestically, but it has been the red-hot form of Ivankovic and Misura which has really caught the eye.

It is something which further underlines the intense battle for EuroBasket Women 2013 roster places which will inevitably take place as the clock ticks down to the big event.

Neither are absolute certainties for France, leading to the first headache for for Bralic who had to face a real selection dilemma earlier in the year, ahead of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament and subsequent London Games.

Ivankovic is tearing it up in the paint so far this season, leading the Croatian League in both scoring and rebounding with an outstanding 23 points and 11 rebounds per-game. Misura is the second highest scorer in the league with 21.6 points per-game, but is also showing her playmaking skills by leading the way in assists with 4.8 per-game.

The only thing which has slowed them down recently, was the adverse weather when snow and ice prevented them from a date with Coach Bralic and his Gospic team.

It is certainly looking bright at this stage for the Croatians as they look to improve on their fifth place finish in Poland.

Their big hitters are doing reasonably well so far this season, with Ana Lelas producing her usual warrior-like performances in EuroCup Women and at the top of the French League with Basket Lattes Montpellier.

Point guard Iva Ciglar also went to play in the French League, and she is with fourth-placed Perpignan who are having an excellent campaign so far.

Jelena Ivezic meanwhile finds herself in fourth place in a very competitive Turkish League, where she is averaging 15 points-per-game for Ceyhan Belediye.

Of course players are also likely to be selected from Novi Zagreb, including veteran Sandra Mandir and particularly the in-form Mirna Mazic who like Ivankovic and Misura, is enjoying one of the best spells of her career.

The one dark cloud remains around center Marija Rezan, whose high-profile move to Perfumerias Avenida was spoiled by a serious knee injury. She will certainly be eager to make it to France having missed out during 2011 due to another injury.


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