|08 August 2013|
|Dario Saric has been given the all clear on an ankle injury and will resume training with the Croatian team in five to seven days time|
Croatia breathed a collective sigh of relief on Wednesday as good news came in pairs for the national team, after some disappointing events the previous day.
On Tuesday, Croatia suffered a 74-70 loss to F.Y.R of Macedonia in the first friendly game between the two teams and to make things worse, young forward Dario Saric picked up an ankle injury during the encounter.
The following morning however, Saric was submitted to a magnetic resonance and the results of the exam could hardly be better, as it revealed that no ligaments were torn and the participation of the talented star at EuroBasket 2013 is not under any danger.
In fact, doctors said that Saric only needs to abstain from practice for between five and seven days, during which time he will stay in Zagreb to undergo treatment, and then he will rejoin Croatia in training camp.
The evening of the same day, Croatia led F.Y.R. of Macedonia from start to finish in the second consecutive warm-up meeting between the two sides and avenged Tuesday's loss with a 72-67 victory.
Croatia were particularly good on defence during the second quarter, where they outscored their opponents 18-9, to take a 10-point lead at the half-time interval and lead by as many as 16 points in the third frame.
Guards Ante Delas and Marko Tomas paced the Croats with 11 points apiece, while big men Luka Zoric and Damir Markota finished with 10 points each; Damjan Stojanovski collected a game-high 14 points and Vladimir Brchov added 12 points for F.Y.R. of Macedonia in defeat.
ITALY, ISRAEL VICTORIOUS IN TRENTINO PREMIERE
Hosts Italy, along with Israel, won their respective games on the opening day of the Trentino Basket Cup friendly tournament on Wednesday.
The Azzurri were dominant against Georgia and reached a comfortable 85-69 victory, behind 21 points from Marco Belinelli and 10 points from each of Luigi Datome and Pietro Aradori.
Andrea Bargani, who is battling a respiratory system infection, was not able to play for Italy and the exact day of his return to action remains unknown.
"Of course I'm worried about Bargani," Italy head coach Simone Pianigiani said.
"He put in an enormous effort with the conditioning trainers to improve and he had arrived at training camp prepared to evolve further with us.
"But this drawback has taken him away from us in the midst of preparations.
"Those players that are here though have shown adaptability and deserve recognition."
Israel meanwhile seized the initiative from the start against Poland and despite a late Polish comeback attempt, they rode out 81-65 winners thanks to a 19-point display by Lior Eliyahu and 14 points from Omri Casspi.
Wingers Mateusz Ponitka and Przemyslaw Zamojski finished with 11 points each for Poland, who were however playing without their star frontcourt duo of Marcin Gortat and Maciej Lampe as well as Thomas Kelati.