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30 August
14 September, 2014
Team Croatia (CRO)
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Croatia - tough opponents when they play as a team

SEVILLA (FIBA Basketball World Cup) - What a difference a day makes. One day, Croatia are struggling to beat Philippines. And the next, they are playing team ball in knocking off Argentina and looking like the podium challenger many observers thought coming into the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

"We knew before that we can play against all the teams here, but only if we play like in this game," said guard Krunoslav Simon after he led Croatia in scoring with 18 points while four others scored at least 10 points in the team's 90-85 win over Argentina.

"If we play with 100 percent, if we play with fight and as a team, then we can play against everybody. If we start to play one-on-one and no helping like the last game in the second half it will be very hard for us."

The last game was Croatia's overtime win over Philippines, who were playing on the world stage for the first time since 1978 and were not supposed to be much of a challenge for the on paper much better Croatia.

"I don't know what happened," Simon said thinking back on the opening day game against Gilas.

"We started good. We were up by 14 at the end of the first quarter but after that those guys made some tough shots, they got confidence and went into the break down only six points. And it is tough to play when they start to play all five guys on the three-point line. It's not easy to play for us against that kind of team."

Croatia, who jumped to 2-0 atop Group B in Sevilla, showed against Argentina though that they can be tough to play against as well - especially when things are clicking on offense.

"We have lots of players who feel good on offense, who can shoot well behind the three-point line. And it's nice to play with that kind of team and with those guys because we are dangerous from all positions on the court," said Simon, who helped the ball movement which saw Croatia collect 19 assists against Argentina to nine turnovers.

"We are playing as a team. That's the most important thing for us. On defense we are helping each other and on offense we are sharing the ball. And when we play like that, it's tough to play against us."

Croatia have shown two sides of themselves in two days. Now the question is: what can fans expect in the third game against Senegal?