Credit: Irina R. Hipolito/AFP7 via ZUMA Press Wire/Scanpix
Credit Irina R. Hipolito/AFP7 via ZUMA Press Wire/Scanpix

The national team of Serbia started preparations for the upcoming 2023 World Cup qualifying matches against Latvia and Belgium, in the fight for a place at the World Cup. One of the players that head coach Svetislav Pesic can count on is Filip Petrusev.

2-pointers this season

57%
19,3
Points made: 19,3
Accuracy: 56,8%
Place in standings: 11
Record max: 28
Record min: 12
Most made 2FGs: Vasilije Micic

The 22-year-old forward, who made his EuroLeague debut with back-to-back continental champs, Anadolu Efes Istanbul, spoke about his immediate plans.

"I'm going to the Summer League in Vegas immediately after the national team, to join the Philadelphia 76ers, and I think that only after that will I have a better picture of where I will continue my career, whether it's in the States, or somewhere in Europe," Petrusev told reporters.

Even during the last season, there was often speculation about the alleged interest of Crvena Zvezda and Partizan in his services, but the Serbian forward shrugged off the issue.

"Okay, they bring me back every now and then, we'll see. I have no idea where I'll be next season. I'm honestly in no hurry to go there or stay here.

I would like to be in a team where I will play a lot at the highest possible level, since I haven't played this past season. Well, I think that the role I get will decide where I'm heading", concluded Petrusev, as reported by Telegraf.

Three weeks ago, Anadolu Efes' coach Ergin Ataman admitted that getting Petrusev on board was a mistake. He played 22 games with Efes, averaging 5.2 points and 1.6 rebounds in only 9 minutes of action.

"We took a risk with Petrusev. The young player was named MVP in the Adriatic League. The fact that he came to such a high-level team for the first time and that he could not reach that level physically was a bit of a mistake for us," Ataman admitted.

Petrusev, the No. 50 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, noted that he "expected to play more, that's how the season started. I was getting minutes and then the team wasn't winning.

I don't know for what reason my minutes were reduced. So, there were rumors that I'm not contributing to the team, and I don't know how I can contribute when I'm not playing," Petrusev said about the role that Ergin Ataman ascribed him.

The Serbian national team will travel from Nis to Riga on Wednesday, where they will play against Latvia on June 30, and then on July 3 against Belgium in Nis. In the course of the qualifiers so far, Serbia have three victories and one defeat. In the second round, they will be joining Latvia and Belgium, but will play against Greece, Turkey and Great Britain.

The importance of the upcoming matches is big, since the points are transferred to the second round. Of those six teams, three will qualify for the World Cup.

 

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Filip Petrusev

Filip  Petrusev
Filip  Petrusev
MIN: 5.69
PTS: 3.19 (63.81%)
REB: 1
As: 0.17
ST: 0.06
BL: 0.11
TO: 0.33
GM: 36