Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Tiebreaker Times

2023 FIBA World Cup

Even after another World Cup heartbreak, Bogdanovic stays proud: ‘Nobody believed in this group’

Serbia’s pursuit of the Naismith Trophy has turned into quite an odyssey, following another runner-up finish in the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

The perennial contenders settled for silver for the second time in the last three editions of the global hoops meet, with an 83-77 loss to Germany in the Final on Sunday night, leaving Bogdan Bogdanovic with a sense of lament.

“When you’ve been second once—I was second once—I’d be happy to get the gold,” he said shortly after the loss at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

“Unfortunately, sometimes luck is not on your side,” the 31-year-old added.

“You miss some shots; you miss some opportunities.”

Bogdanovic was really determined to secure the gold this time, especially after falling short in 2014 in Spain. Back then, the team, led by Milos Teodosic and Miroslav Raduljica, had succumbed to Kyrie Irving and the United States, 129-92, in the Final.

Adding to the star guard’s hunger was their disappointing showing in the 2019 tournament hosted by China. In that event, the Serbians were eliminated in the quarterfinals following a 97-87 defeat to eventual finalist Argentina, led by Luis Scola.

However, the team seemed poised to claim basketball’s ultimate prize in this year’s competition after sweeping Group B in the First Round and entering the quarterfinals as the no. 2 seed of Group I, following a 4-1 record in the Second Round. They then defeated Lithuania in the quarterfinals before methodically besting Canada in the semis to reach the Last Dance.FIBA-WC-SRB-vs.-CAN-Bogdan-Bogdanovic-4313 Even after another World Cup heartbreak, Bogdanovic stays proud: 'Nobody believed in this group' 2023 FIBA World Cup Basketball News  - philippine sports news

Unfortunately, Serbia couldn’t conclude this remarkable run with the Naismith Trophy in hand. Nevertheless, the loss, no matter how tough it was, hardly diminished Bogdanovic’s pride in how far they had come.

#ReadMore  VNL: Germany no-shows game vs China

“That’s the nature of basketball,” said the 31-year-old from Belgrade, who finished with 17 points in the championship bout. “That’s how it works.”

“I’m just happy and proud of these guys. Since Day One, nobody believed in this group,” he added, especially since the team was missing stars like Nikola Jokic and Vasilije Micic.

“We’ve been working hard since Day One, and I think we’ve achieved something.”

Another reason why Bogdanovic held his head high was the growth of international basketball and the increased competitiveness of this World Cup.FIBA-WC-GER-vs.-SRB-1252 Even after another World Cup heartbreak, Bogdanovic stays proud: 'Nobody believed in this group' 2023 FIBA World Cup Basketball News  - philippine sports news

“I think the rise of international basketball, the way all the national teams play in these FIBA tournaments compared to when I started to play, is remarkable, and it’s getting tougher and tougher,” commented the Atlanta Hawk.

“There are no easy games and easy opponents. Everyone is preparing for something; everyone needs to qualify for something, and then they all fight for medals,” Bogdanovic added.

“FIBA is tough.”

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

You May Also Like

2023 FIBA World Cup

Hundreds of students from Tondo, Manila, who served as mascots or player escorts during the FIBA World Cup, were honored during a ceremony that...

2023 FIBA World Cup

Gilas Pilipinas Men have risen to 38th in the world rankings, just two spots higher despite their participation in the FIBA Basketball World Cup...

2023 FIBA World Cup

After more than two weeks of nonstop basketball action, the FIBA World Cup 2023 held in Manila came to a close on September 10....

2023 FIBA World Cup

The final buzzer of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 rang with a much deeper meaning for Filipinos who witnessed the best players from...

2023 FIBA World Cup

Dennis Schroder hopes that Germany has earned the respect it deserves at home following a historic breakthrough in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023....

2023 FIBA World Cup

Dirk Nowitzki may have put German basketball on the map, but it was Dennis Schröder who led the country to the apex of the...

2023 FIBA World Cup

A new basketball powerhouse emerged on Sunday night as Germany, which had spent multiple years in irrelevance following the retirement of NBA legend Dirk...

2023 FIBA World Cup

One of the pressing issues for basketball nations like the Philippines is the eligibility process of FIBA for national teams. The existing rules of...