MANILA, Philippines — Bogdan Bogdanovic rediscovered his shooting touch when it mattered most on Sunday.
After shooting 1-of-13 from the three-point line in their tough 78-76 loss to Italy on Friday, Bogdanovic made all of his seven shots en route to a 20-point effort in just three quarters to propel Serbia past the Dominican Republic, 112-79, and into the Fiba World Cup quarterfinals.
“I said after that night against Italy, that it is not possible [for me] to shoot 1-of-13 again from three,” the Atlanta Hawks told reporters.
The Serbian skipper said he couldn’t stop thinking about his nightmarish shooting against Italy where he shot 4-of-16 from the field overall. He still finished with 18 points, half of which came at the free throw line.
“I guess my lucky number is seven. Seven in front and seven at the back. I’m just joking. I’m just enjoying the victory,” he said.
Bogdanovic also shared the spotlight with his teammates for executing the game plan in containing Dominican star Karl-Anthony Towns.
The Minnesota Timberwolves star put up 25 points and seven rebounds but accounted for seven of the Dominicans’ 21 turnovers.
“We know how great they are. How serious they came to this tournament such as Italy. In their group, they were winning all the games. So they’re a serious contender with Karl-Anthony Towns. For sure, he makes the team way better. Difficult to guard,” Bogdanovic said. “But I like that Nikola Jovic tonight didn’t score but from the moment of the beginning of the game, he took the challenge and he started to guard him one-on-one, fight. Then [Dejan] Davidovac joined in the game and helped the team contribute to a win.”
Bogdanovic liked how his team responded following the tough loss to Italy. But Serbia can no longer afford to have another bad game in the knockout stage.
Serbia battles unbeaten Lithuania, which upset Team USA on Sunday night, in the quarterfinals beginning Tuesday at Mall of Asia Arena.
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