Zoran Planinic of Croatia, Nenad Krstic of Serbia-Montenegro and Christian Drejer of Denmark will all be playing European exhibition games over the next several weeks. European national teams are getting ready for the Eurobasket Championships starting in Belgrade on September 16 and continuing through September 25. The teams are playing in a series of small, two and four-team "friendly competitions" that have them playing almost every day. Croatia and Serbia-Montenegro will compete in Eurobasket 2005. Denmark will not, having failed to qualify, but is still playing nonetheless.
Planinic played three games in the Tourneo dell' Adriatico in Italy against the national teams of Greece, Latvia and Bosnia-Herzogovina. He averaged 17 points per game and won praise from his coach and reporters covering the Croatian National Team. His Croatian team then finished second to Krstic's Serbian team in the Pro Monte Super Cup in Podgorica, Montenegro. Planinic averaged 12 points per game in that competition.
Krstic's team played a "training game" against Qatar, crushing them, 128-71, then won the Pro Monte Super Cup, with Krstic being declared the tournament's MVP in spite of averaging only 10 points per game. The team will next play in pre-Eurobasket tournaments in Istanbul, Turkey and Athens, Greece.
Meanwhile, Drejer, the Nets' 2004 second round draft choice, played back-to-back games against Finland in a exhibition series in Arhus, Denmark on Sunday and Monday, dropping 21 and 18 points. Denmark now moves on to two important Euro Division B games: on September 3 against Iceland in Keflavik, Iceland and then home against Romania on September 7.
All three players have played off and on again for their national teams the last several years, with injuries and NBA commitments keeping Krstic and Planinic on the sidelines. Drejer's Danish team just hasn't been that successful to get into a lot of tournaments.
Here is the combined schedule and scores:
Thursday, August 25:
Serbia-Montenegro 74, Croatia 71, Podgorica, Montenegro
Friday, August 26:
Croatia 81, Lithuania 76, Podgorica, Montenegro
Serbia-Montenegro 74, Slovenia 66, Podgorica, Montenegro
Saturday, August 27:
Croatia 75, Slovenia 70, Podgorica, Montenegro
Serbia-Montenegro 94, Lithuania 80, Podgorica, Montenegro
Serbia-Montenegro Wins Tournament; Croatia Finishes Second; Nenad Krstic named MVP.
Sunday, August 28:
Denmark 69, Finland, 62, Arhus, Denmark
Monday, August 29:
Finland 87, Denmark 71, Arhus, Denmark
Wednesday, August 31:
Italy 79, Serbia-Montenegro 69, Istanbul, Turkey
Thursday, September 1:
Slovenia 83, Serbia-Montenegro 82, Istanbul, Turkey
Friday, September 2:
Serbia-Montenegro 99, France 72, Istanbul, Turkey
Serbia-Montenegro Finishes Fifth in the Tournament
Saturday, September 3:
Denmark 76, Iceland 60, Keflavik, Iceland
Monday, September 5:
Serbia-Montenegro 95, Italy 89, Athens, Greece
Tuesday, September 6:
Croatia vs. Spain, TBA, Cordoba, Spain
Serbia-Montenegro vs. Greece, 12:30 p.m. EDT, Athens, Greece
Wednesday, September 7:
Denmark vs. Romania, TBA, Arhus, Denmark
Thursday, September 8:
Croatia vs. Spain, TBA, Granada, Spain
Serbia-Montenegro vs. Germany, TBA, Athens, Greece
Friday, September 9:
Croatia vs. Greece, TBA, Madrid, Spain
NetsDaily will try to keep up with the three young Euros over the next several weeks...subject to translations.