Summer 76 | Saric, Korkmaz Cap Successful Weekends in FIBA Action

by Brian Seltzer
Sixers.com Reporter

In two games worth of action in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 European Qualifiers held this past weekend, three players with ties to the 76ers went unbeaten.

On Sunday, Dario Saric, Furkan Korkmaz, and Anzejs Pasecniks all made contributions to help their respective countries go 2-0 in the third phase of the opening round of the tournament.

Saric, readying for his third season with the Sixers, was dominant in Croatia's convincing 90-63 triumph over Romania. His signature versatility was on full display, as he erupted for a game-high 22 points (6-10 fg, 3-5 3fg, 7-10 ft), 12 rebounds, five assists, and two steals, to finish with a staggering plus-38 rating.

Saric tallied 31 points for the weekend.

Korkmaz, the 20-year old guard whom the Sixers selected with the 26th pick in the 2016 draft, was arguably one of the biggest stories of the World Cup's "third window" of qualifying. For the second time in as many contests, he emerged as a key sparkplug off the bench, again pacing Turkey in scoring.

With 23 points (8-14 fg, 3-4 3fg, 4-5 ft) in a 77-52 triumph over Sweden, Korkmaz racked up 44 points in two games for the Turks, while hitting 7 of 9 3-point attempts.

"These two games were very important for us," Korkmaz told fiba.basketball. "We really want to qualify for the World Cup. We worked really hard since we came together. The team showed great effort."

Korkmaz is now set to join the Sixers' summer league team, and said he plans to play for Turkey in September, when World Cup qualifying resumes.

As for the 22-year old Pasecniks, the big man pitched in with two points (1-2 fg) and four rebounds in 11 minutes as a reserve in Latvia's 93-71 victory over Ukraine.

Through the first round of group competition of World Cup qualifying, which began in the winter, Croatia is 3-3. Turkey and Latvia, both members of the same group, are 4-2.

The three nations are all currently among the top 12 teams in Europe, and subsequently control their own destiny in respect to advancing to the FIBA World Cup 2019 in China.

In the African Qualifiers, Angola is now 4-2 and atop its group after going 1-2 the previous three days. Sixers assistant John Bryant, a Saint Joseph's product, is serving on the Angola staff.