Filip Petrusev on 76ers: “They have a plan for me”

By Johnny Askounis/ [email protected]

Three seasons into his professional career and one year after being picked up by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2021 NBA draft, Filip Petrusev is delighted to join his hometown Crvena Zvezda.

At the start of the Serbia senior national team’s training camp ahead of the 2022 EuroBasket and approaching 2023 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers, the Belgrade-born big man talked to Mozzart Sport about playing for the Sixers in the 2022 NBA Summer League and then opting to sign with Zvezda.

“I went to the Summer League with Philadelphia, the team that drafted me. Being there, talking to everyone. They have a plan for me and everything is going according to that plan,” he described his latest experience in the NBA Summer League, with the help of Google Translate, “I didn’t even play that much. They probably wanted to focus on other players.”

Petrusev, 22, averaged 5.5 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.3 blocks, 1.0 steals, and 1.0 assists per game over four appearances with the Summer League team of the 76ers.

“At the end of the day, I think I had a productive stay in the USA, everything is OK. When I returned to Serbia, I signed with Crvena Zvezda,” added Petrusev.

In 2021-22, he introduced himself to the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague. From a fast start to his role under head coach Ergin Ataman deteriorating later in the season, he tallied 5.2 points and 1.6 rebounds per contest over 22 appearances, including four starts. Becoming a EuroLeague champion was the reward.

“I considered my options and picked the team with the best possible conditions for development. That is why I signed with Crvena Zvezda,” Petrusev explained his decision to join the Belgrade club.

The former Gonzaga standout played for Mega Soccerbet in the 2020-21 season. Following his first Summer League experience with the 76ers, he joined Efes. From there and following the second Summer League campaign, Crvena Zvezda opened the next chapter.

Before sliding into the 2022-23 season, he is determined to help Serbia later in the offseason with World Cup Qualifiers fixtures coming up in late August and the EuroBasket tournament covering most of September.

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