Bogdanovic, Croatia Stunned By Brazil In Olympic Qualifier

Jun 30, 2021, 2:41 PM
Bojan Bogdanovic competes with the Croatian National Team against Brazil (Photo by Tom Pennington/G...
Bojan Bogdanovic competes with the Croatian National Team against Brazil (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic and the Croatian National Team didn’t have the debut they expected against Brazil in their Olympic qualifier in front of a home crowd in Croatia.

Brazil steamrolled the Croatian team at the FIBA qualifying tournament in Split 94-67, despite a 16 point, three rebound performance from Bogdanovic.

Croatia will now face Tunisia on Thursday in a must-win match to keep their Olympic hopes alive.

Brazil shot lights out from the floor, connecting on 58 percent of their field goals and 45 percent of their three-point attempts to run away with the victory. Former Houston Rockets forward Bruno Caboclo led all scorers with 24 points, while Rafael Luz added 18 points for Brazil.

Despite leading Croatia in scoring, Bogdanovic had a frustrating debut in the qualifying tournament. The Jazz forward scored just two first half points and committed six turnovers in 32 minutes as Croatia was outscored by 32 points while Bogdanovic was on the floor.

If Croatia can beat Tunisia Thursday they will advance to the Semi-Finals but will have to beat some combination of Russia, Germany, Mexico, or Brazil over the final two games of the tournament to advance to the Olympics.

Playing in front of 1,500 fans, Croatia was considered the favorite to win the tournament before Wednesday’s loss. The team features several NBA players in Bogdanovic, Mario Hezonja, and Ante Zizic.

In addition to Caboclo, Brazil features longtime NBA veteran Anderson Varejao who scored 11 points and grabbed three rebounds in the win.

Brazil beat Tunisia, Croatia’s next opponent 83-57 on Tuesday.

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Bogdanovic, Croatia Stunned By Brazil In Olympic Qualifier