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FIBA EuroBasket Dream Teams: Vote for your ultimate Croatia lineup!
MUNICH (Germany) - Blessed with elite talent, Croatia have always been considered one of the top teams in Europe. They have made it to the elimination phase in all but one FIBA EuroBasket since the turn of the century, playing Quarter-Finals four times and reaching the Semi-Finals in 2013.
Heartbreak is the real story for Croatia, in those four Quarter-Final defeats, two games went to overtime, against Turkey in 2001 and Spain in 2005, while the other two finished with the opponents picking up a two-point wins - Lithuania in 2007 and Slovenia in 2009.
The Cinderella story of 2013 was the best performance Croatia put together since their last medal in 1995. A blowout defeat to Spain to start the competition in Slovenia made it feel like there was another troublesome FIBA EuroBasket ahead, but Jasmin Repesa's boys put together four straight wins, including a dramatic 76-74 OT win over the hosts, to finish second in the First Round. The run went on for three more games in the Second Round, giving Croatia the first seed ahead of the Quarter-Finals, and an 84-72 triumph over Ukraine saw them through to the final four for the first time in 18 years.
With a handful of gold medals in youth events and regular appearances in elimination phases of big events, it seems that Croatia climbing the podium in a FIBA EuroBasket even is a matter of when, not if.