Jaleen Smith impressed by Estonia: 'I didn't know they were such a basketball country'

Orazio Cauchi
Staff Writer
2022-09-05 15:56

After the game against Estonia, Jaleen Smith confessed that it was positively impressed by the atmosphere created in the arena by the Estonian fans and by how coach Toijala's side played on the court

Credit: FIBA
Credit FIBA

Securing the win against Estonia was far from an easy job for Croatia today. Coach Mulaomerovic's side had to fight until the very end to get the W and put themselves in a better position to advance to the second phase of EuroBasket. 

Once again, Estonia looks fearless on the court, putting impressive defensive pressure on their opponents and creating issues for the entire game. 

Croatian guard Jaleen Smith shared his appreciation for the Estonian side, for what they were able to do on the court and also in the stands. 

"Man, the atmosphere today was crazy", Smith said. "I didn't know they were such a basketball country. And those young guys on the court, they made me feel like I'm old, I'm tired (he laughed, ed)". 

"They're fearless, they wanted to prove so bad that they belong to this level", Jaleen Smith told BasketNews. "We have what? 3-4 NBA guys, and the young players of Estonia, they're not really known but they didn't care, they really played. I'm looking forward to seeing them in the future because they can be really good". 

Smith explained that in the end, it was the experience that made the difference between winning and losing the game. 

"I think our experience in these kinds of games made the difference", Smith said to BasketNews. "We have NBA guys, players that have been in crazy environments here in Europe, you know, me, Kruno, Mario we've been there at the EuroLeague level, so just our experience compared to their youth was the main difference in the end". 

Croatia will now play their next game against Italy, the host team of Group C. Smith, who had 13 points and 7 assists in today's game, is averaging 13 points, 5.7 assists, and 2.3 rebounds per game during EuroBasket, his first major tournament with the Croatian national team. 



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