Bogdanovic, Serbia honors World Cup QF win to ailing teammate Borisa Simanic


Photo: FIBA

Besides an automatic semifinal berth at the 2023 FIBA World Cup, Serbia got a significant reason for performing greatly to knock off Lithuania in their quarterfinal round this Tuesday.

Following their 87-68 thrashing against the Baltic Giants, Bogdan Bogdanovic took the podium and spoke on behalf of his Serbian team to honor their recovering teammate, Borisa Simanic.

“Our teammate who is still not with us, Borisa Simanic, he gave us an amazing energy. We were nervous yesterday moving to another hotel. We were nervous, I was especially nervous,” Bogdanovic said.

“When I saw the message from Borisa in the morning, after the meeting. He was [like] ‘Guys, I’m good, don’t worry. Let’s win tonight’

“And from him, just to think about us after everything that happened to him, he unite us.”

Simanic made recent headlines at this year’s Basketball World Cup after it was reported that he underwent a necessary surgery to remove his kidney.

Last week, he had a chippy sequence with Nuni Omot, wherein he obtained an accidental elbow in his abdomen from the South Sudan wing during their tournament pool play. Simanic was mincing in pain following what happened and was subsequently brought to the nearest hospital in the aftermath of the wire-to-wire duel that favored Serbia.

Given the severity of the condition and the procedure that has to be followed, it was then announced that Simanic won’t be able to play for the remainder of Serbia’s World Cup duties.

As much as it’s truly devastating, The Eagles willed their way for Simanic.

Since the 25-year-old big man went down, Serbia carved through the second-round, Group Phase contest and emphatically stamped their ticket to the quarterfinals. Upon downing Lithuania in a sizzling-hot, one-sided affair this time, they now booked their presence in the World Cup Semifinals for the first time since 2014.

For Bogdanovic, Simanic’s encouraging message before their demolition against Lietuva is more than enough fuel to continue their impressive run to reach the Naismith Trophy. They are now looking to further honor him while waiting for the winning team between Italy and the United States to determine their Semifinal opponent.

“That’s amazing guy, Bogdanovic said. “This is for him as well.”

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