After an underwhelming performance in Croatia’s FIBA World Cup opening win against the Phillipines, Dario Saric made sure to leave more of an impression in the team’s second game even if it meant some personal sacrifice. In an upset victory over Argentina, Saric scored 16 points, collected a team-high 9 rebounds, and had six of his teeth knocked out by an elbow from the opposition.
Early in the third quarter, Saric was struck in the jaw and immediately collapsed to the floor. Fans in the arena, prior to realizing just how bad Saric had been hurt, actually got on the case of the 12th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. It was not until it became clear that Saric was missing a good bunch of his teeth that his lengthy break of the game made sense.
Saric scored nine of his 16 points in the opening quarter as Croatia built a sustainable lead against an Argentina squad headlined by Pacers big man Luis Scola. Saric was even able to return to action following his injury and provide some timely scoring and rebounding as his team completed the 90-85 upset win. The 76ers acquisition, still not slated to make his way over to the NBA for another two seasons, shot 5-12 from the field including 2-6 from three-point range. He was four of five from the charity stripe and had three offensive rebounds in 25 minutes of action. Reports are that Saric will not miss the team’s third game in which they face off against Senegal.