With new assistant coach Chris Fleming in the stands Monday, Team Croatia lost its first "friendly" --exhibition-- game to Team Canada, 91-80, in Novigrad, Croatia. Bojan Bogdanovic led Croatia with 24 points. Anthony Bennett, the 6'8" Canadian forward who the Nets worked last month, scored 21 and Canadian three-point specialist Phil Scrubb led all scorers with 27.
Tvrt Puljic of Sportske Novosti, who covered the game, said Bogdanovic and Bennett dominated, each hitting multiple three-pointers. Others who watched report that Bennett, who also worked out for the Knicks, looked fit and quick. Neither 76ers draft pick Dario Saric nor Krunoslav Simon, two key Croatian players, were available. Bogdanovic, as he has for the past four years, was Croatia's go-to guy.
Bennett, a free agent after being cut by Toronto in March, has firmed up his body in the intervening months. He joined Team Canada this weekend, after working out some arrangement to get him insured for injury in FIBA play, leading to speculation that he has an agreement with an NBA team. No NBA team can sign the 23-year-old until July 7.
Both teams are prepping for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, Croatia in Turin, Canada in Manila later this month.