BOCAUE — Seeing the passion of the country for its basketball, Dusan Bulut knows that he’s in the right place as Serbia guns for a hat-trick in the 2018 Fiba 3x3 World Cup, so much so that he’s doubly excited whenever his team hits the floor.
“I’ve never felt something like that before in my life. Everything is completely great, people are so welcoming and have an enormous passion for basketball. It’s really a blessing to be here, to put myself in a situation to play in this arena, in front of probably 20,000 Filipino fans,” he said.
Winners of the last two World Cups, the Serbians have savored the love from the Philippine Arena crowd.
Bulut admits that he hasn’t had a chance to see the hosts play, with Serbia on shootaround for its game against New Zealand when the Philippines faced Brazil.
“I was not able to watch because we were warming up.”
But he heard the crowd roar for the hosts, and Bulut is looking forward to watching the Philippine team play.
“I can imagine what they did because the crowd was cheering wildly. I will probably watch the replay of the game,” the 32-year-old said.
He added it would be good for his team to face the hosts for the title: “I hope to see them in the Finals.”
Bulut, though, knows better not to look too far ahead as Serbia focuses on the group stages.
With Bulut, top-ranked Dejan Majstorovic, world No. 2 Marko Savic, and newcomer Stefan Stojacic, the Serbians sit on top of the standings at 2-0 in Pool A following their 22-13 win over the Kiwis and a 20-16 victory over Brazil. And if they keep it up, there’s no question that a third gold medal will be on its way.
“If we play our best game, I don’t think anybody can stop us,” he said.