Serbia’s Vladimir Stimac admits that the extra days off has helped his side reach the FIBA World Cup semi-finals after their 84-56 win over Serbia on Wednesday night.
Stimac, who recently left Spanish side Unicaja Malaga to join German champions Bayern Munich before this World Cup has played a role off the bench for Sasha Djordevic’s team. He only played four minutes of Wednesday’s win against the hosts for the 2016 Olympic Games.
But despite having played Brazil a week previous, Stimac says that every game is different regardless of playing the same opponent. The extra time the team have had off though has allowed them to prepare for their knockout games in the Spanish capital.
“There’s no adjustment,” Stimac said. “When you play four day games and everyday’s a game, it’s hard, you got to play.
“Now we had the time to do scouting, which our coach and everybody is great at. Play great defence, we adjusted to a couple of their players from the last time like Barbosa and Verejao as they play a great game. But it’s a sport.”
Stimac now prepares for France in the FIBA World Cup last four on Friday night. Regardless of the opponent, the 27-year-old says that anything can happen in one game.
“Everything right now is open,” he admits. “It’s one game, we are full of adrenalin, we want to play, we want to fight and I think anything can happen. We will do our best, and we’ll play defence like we played [against Brazil].”
Stimac isn’t thinking past the World Cup, but regardless of what happens, we will be leaving Spain domestically and travelling to Germany as the Serbian has signed a one-year deal with Bayern Munich. Stimac enjoyed his first full season in the Euroleague with Unicaja Malaga, where he was a major part off the bench but Stimac’s mind is on Serbia.
“Right now, as you know, my mind is on the World Cup, but I am looking forward to playing in Munich with a great group of guys there,” Stimac said.
“This tournament is helping me improve parts of my game and day-by-day I am learning more even though I’m nearer to 30 than I am 20, but I am looking forward to it.”