The Estonian men's basketball team will face Croatia on Monday in their third group game at the 2022 EuroBasket championships. Estonia are looking to bounce back from consecutive defeats against Italy and Ukraine in their opening two games of the tournament.
Estonia started the tournament with a 62-83 loss to Italy in Milan on Friday, followed by an agonizing 73-74 defeat against Ukraine on Saturday.
Croatia, whose squad is full of big name stars, including NBA players Bojan Bogdanovic (Utah Jazz), Ivica Zubac (LA Clippers) and Dario Šaric (Phoenix Suns), lost their opening EuroBasket match 85-89 to Greece, before defeating Great Britain comfortably by 21 points.
"We'll try to be more disciplined and patient in attack," said Estonian captain Kristian Kullamäe on Sunday, talking about the upcoming game with Croatia. "We need to use our attacking time a bit more, and look for good moments, both long and short. If we can put all these things together, there's no need to be afraid of them," Kullamäe added.
Estonia's assistant coaches Indrek Reinbok and Heiko Rannula told ERR, that the Estonian side are highly motivated, but Croatia will be favorites. "No matter what, our opponents are favorites, with high quality in terms of individuals," said Reinbok.
"We have to emphasize, that the key to success is doing things well as a team. We have a young and hungry team, and are up against a side that perhaps doesn't respect us too much. We have plenty of motivation," added Rannula.
The 2022 men's EuroBasket first round group encounter between Estonia and Croatia gets underway on Monday at 15:15 Estonian time.
Editor: Michael Cole