Petrusev: 'I could have spent summer better than with the national team'

2022-09-26 13:53

Filip Petrusev says seeing Nikola Jokic live on the court was the only bright spot in his Serbian national team experience this summer.

Credit: FIBA
Credit FIBA

One of the most promising European centers, Filip Petrusev, signed a one-year deal with Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade this off-season.

He arrived in his hometown after winning the EuroLeague title with Anadolu Efes Istanbul. However, he had a minor role in the Turkish powerhouse.

The 22-year center averaged just 3.2 points and 1.0 rebound in 5 playing minutes following his MVP season at Mega Basket.

Filip Petrusev

Filip  Petrusev
Team: Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade
Position: C
Age: 22
Height: 210 cm
Weight: 107 kg
Birth place: Belgrade, Serbia

"I didn't get the opportunity I thought I would get, although I showed in some games that I can play at EuroLeague level. Now, I came here [Zvezda] to show that I can do it consistently and help the team. I look forward to every game, especially in the EuroLeague," the Serbian prospect told Mozzart Sport.

Petrusev joined the Red Star preparations for the new season a little late. During August, he worked with the Serbian national team ahead of FIBA EuroBasket 2022.

In the end, his name was not on the final list of 12 players, so since the beginning of September, he has been available to the new Zvezda head coach, Vladimir Jovanovic.

"Of course, I was sorry that I didn't go to the European Championship, even though the result was not what everyone expected. I probably could have spent the summer better and had a more quality preparation for the upcoming season. However, it's national team," Petrusev pointed out.

Although his NT summer experience was not the most enjoyable, the promising big man had the opportunity to see Nikola Jokic in action and absorb the skillset of the two-time NBA regular-season MVP.

"That's perhaps the only positive thing that I would single out from participation in the national team. Until you see it, feel it on the court, or play against Nikola, you don't have a true picture of how much quality and talent he has as a player," Petrusev emphasized to Mozzart Sport.

Like the entire Serbian basketball community, Petrusev believed in a better result for the national team, which was eliminated by Italy in the Round of 16.

"I expected much better [result]. The atmosphere in the preparations was great, but that's basketball – one bad half and you go home," stressed the new Zvezda signing.

In the 2021 NBA draft, the 2.11-meter Petrusev was selected with the 50th overall pick by the Philadelphia 76ers but so far has not played in the NBA. As stated by one NBA scout, Petrusev is not ready for his debut in the strongest basketball league yet.

Though, Petrusev received positive feedback from the Sixers because of his decision to continue his career with the Serbian champs.

"They supported me. EuroLeague is the highest level of competition in Europe and that's where I will definitely develop the most," Petrusev concluded.

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