FIBA World Cup Qualifiers Continue for Saric, Korkmaz

by Brian Seltzer
Sixers.com Reporter

The start of training camp is still about a week away, but a pair of foreign-born 76ers will be playing high-stakes hoops this weekend, when the second round of 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup qualifying action gets underway.

On Friday at 1:00 PM EST, rising second-year swingman Furkan Korkmaz and Turkey (no. 17 in the world) will battle Montenegro in the Turkish capital of Ankara. Back in June, Korkmaz was terrific in qualifying contests against Ukraine and Sweden, totaling 44 points on 56.5% shooting.

He combined to shoot 7 for 9 from 3-point territory in the two victories, too.

A week ago, the 21-year old Korkmaz fared well in a series of tune-up games. He netted 23 points against Dennis Schroeder and Germany in the German Super Cup, before adding 10 points off the bench against a Turkish pro team.

Shortly after Turkey and Montenegro tip off this Friday, Dario Saric will lead Croatia (no. 8 in the world) against a stellar Lithuanian squad at 2:15 PM EST. Like Turkey, Croatia scheduled some friendlies last week, with Saric racking up 33 points in two match-ups with Slovenia.

Saric also participated in qualifiers for the Croatian national team earlier in the summer. The stint was highlighted by a 22-point, 15-rebound effort versus Romania.

Turkey and Croatia are among the 24 nations vying for 12 spots allocated to European countries in next year’s FIBA Basketball World Cup, which will take place in China. Turkey heads into this latest stage of play second among the six countries in its group, while Croatia is tied for third in its division.

The top three teams from each group at the end of qualifying advance to the actual World Cup tournament.

Turkey and Croatia will both play again next Monday, against Slovenia and Poland, respectively.