Sevilla (heinnews) – Dario Saric has been a lightning rod of attention for years. But one thing that cannot be questioned about the young Croatian star is his toughness.
The 20-year-old fended off more than a few detractors on Sunday for playing on despite having just lost his six front upper teeth while playing defense in Croatia’s 90-85 win over Argentina.
According to the Croatian press spokeswoman, Saric caught five of the six implants and handed them to someone on the Croatian bench. Saric then motioned to head coach Jasmin Repesa that he needed to be subbed out.
Not being fazed at all, Saric attempted but missed a three-pointer on offense and then played the ensuing defensive possession as well before coming off the court. Only then was he able to receive attention to his teeth.
The spokeswoman said nobody knows what’s happened to the sixth implant, saying Saric may have kicked it aside.
Saric spoke to dentists in Sevilla late into the evening on Sunday but he could not have the implants re-inserted Monday morning if he wanted to play against Senegal at the 12:30 p.m. tip-off. So that meant Saric was playing the Senegal game with his six upper front teeth missing – and a stiff lip, as he avoided opening his mouth at all costs.
Saric was due to visit the dentist on Monday after the Senegal game to have the implants put back in. At least five of them. The spokeswoman did not know what he would do about the sixth tooth.
The team’s press officer also said that Saric insisted on going through the media mixed zone after the Argentina game, though he did not speak to any journalists.
Toughness is definitely something that cannot be questioned about Saric.