The Slovenian national team is preparing for the start of the European Championship, which awaits against the Lithuanian national team.
The coach at the press conference before the match Aleksandar Sekulić spared no praise for future rivals and named the Lithuanians as potential candidates for medals.
“Lithuanians learned from the game against us. They will know how to play. I have respect for Lithuanians every year, they fight for medals every year, and this year they are one of the favorites to win them. I’m not saying who is better, but a good, tough match awaits,” promised the Slovenian coach.
– Coach, did the World Cup selection serve as a preparation for the tournament?
– It was a challenge for all teams, because we partially prepared like this, but we had to be in good shape and fight against capable teams. We wanted to win both games.
– How has Luka Dončičius changed since the last championship?
– During this time, he has become a superstar, we can see how he leads his team to victories in the NBA and here, in the national team, he is growing and getting better.
– Can Goran Dragičius with his experience help Luka to calm down his emotions?
– If we look at last year, it was unique for us. The guys had no rest, we were the only ones who passed the Olympic selection and reached the semi-finals. They had a year of basketball without a break. This must be taken into account when we talk about emotions. It was a historic march for us, tough physically and psychologically. When this is the case, emotions arise. We can’t blame him for that. Goran can give experience and help Luka.
– If you remember last year’s Olympic selection in Kaunas, will you now feel more confident against the Lithuanians?
– I don’t think we can compare situations. These are different teams, different coach of the rivals, the Lithuanians also learned from the game against us. They will know how to play against us. I have respect for Lithuanians every year, they fight for medals every year, and this year they are one of the favorites to win them. I’m not saying who is better, but it’s going to be a good, tough game, I hope we show that we can handle the pressure as European champions.
– Do you feel an additional desire to take revenge on the French after the semi-finals of the Olympics?
– It was a difficult defeat, I think it would be easier to lose by 20 points, not like that time. They are a great team with a great coach, I don’t want to look at France as a revenge game, but we would like to beat them, for sure. We have to take it step by step.