In the last FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 European Qualifiers window, Serbia will face Estonia in Tallinn and Israel in Belgrade.
The Serbian squad needs only one win (or, maybe, noone) in order to become one of the participants in the World Cup 2019 that will take place in China, and the first match point will be against Estonia.
Aleksandar Đorđević decided which 12 players will play in the first game and one of them is Miloš Teodosić, who recently (on February 7, 2019, just 14 days ago) was waived by the Clippers.
Besides Miloš, the other 11 players who will play in Estonia are: Ilija Đoković (Borac Čačak), Milenko Tepić (PAOK), Dragan Milosavljević (Málaga), Aleksa Avramović (Varese), Ivan Paunić (free agent), Marko Simonović (Zenit), Stefan Birčević (Bonn), Stevan Jelovac (Bamberg), Miroslav Raduljica (Jiangsu Dragons), Nikola Jovanović (Trento) and Đorđe Gagić (Partizan).
Maybe Nikola Milutinov and Vasilije Micić will help the team in the game against Israel in Serbia but the final decision will depend on the result against Estonia, so nothing is decided yet.
Before the last two games, Serbia is with 6 wins and 4 losses on the third place in the Group L and has the best chance to be one of the three teams from that group that will qualify for the World Cup in China. The first team in the group is Greece (9 wins and 1 defeat) and the second is Germany (9 wins and 1 defeat). Both teams (Greece and Germany) already book their tickets to China, while, for now, the fourth is Georgia (5 wins and 5 defeats), the fifth is Israel (4 wins and 6 defeats) and the last one in the group is Estonia (2 wins and 8 defeats).
Serbian first opponent, Estonia, is without a chance to travel this summer to China, but that doesn’t mean it will be an easy game for the Aleksandar Đorđević’s roster.
In the first matchup between these two teams, Serbia won, as a host, with a score of 91 – 65. In the game in Serbia, the home team was shooting better for two pointers (Serbia 69.7%, Estonia 47.1%) and from the free throw line (Serbia 77.8%, Estonia 75.0%), while they have identical percentage for the three pointers (36.4%, both team scored 8 from 22 attempts). Also, Đorđević’s squad was jumping better (Serbia had 33 rebounds, 23 defensive, 10 offensive; Estonia had 21, 13 defensive and 8 offensive jumps). And at the end, the home team had 23 assists and the Estonian squad, 16.
That was in the past, and both teams will have to forget the first game and focus on the upcoming one, where Serbia has more to lose than Estonia. It is well known that the home squad doesn’t feel pressure because nothing will change for them if they will or vice versa. They are the last team in the group without any chance to qualify for the World Cup.
On the other hand, if Serbia lose, their last match against Israel would be a “winners take it all” game. Depending on what Georgia will do in their two games.
If Serbia wants to qualify the victory is a must at least in one of the two upcoming matches.
Or not: in case of Georgia and Israel only win one of their 2 last games, Serbia would qualify even losing their last 2 games.
Now, in the game against Estonia, all eyes will be on Miloš Teodosić from Serbia. He is one of the best European playmakers and will try to help his team to accomplish their first goal in this year.
“I am always glad to be with a national team and I am here to help the best I can in order to win at least one game and to qualify for the Word Cup. At the moment I am not in my best shape but I feel good and with enough strength and energy for the games with national squad”, said Teodosić.