Team Sweden is having its troubles on The Road to Slovenia in the FIBA EuroBasket 2013 qualifying round, currently at just 1-2 in Group B to place them behind Germany, Bulgaria and Azerbaijan (!). After the team’s 81-66 loss on Friday to Team Deutschland, Sweden’s NBA representative and top scorer at 22.0 ppg in the tourney, Jonas Jerebko, was surprisingly optimistic regarding his Detroit Pistons’ chances in 2012-13 and stoically realistic/pessimistic about the national team.

Jerebko was quite sunny about the 2012-13 edition of Pistons. The goal, Jerebko reckons, is to make the playoffs – an aim which, despite playing what the Swede calls “playoff-level basketball,” was well missed in ‘11-12. As for Team Sweden, well … despite a “very bright future,” making a proper splash in EuroBasket competitions will happen “not right now.”

The full interview with the “Swedish Eagle” by the appropriately-named Germany-based Sport Eagle TV runs below – and then a sweet highlight clip.

Meanwhile, Germany tops Group B with a 3-0 mark; upcoming games against Luxembourg and Azerbaijan would seem to imply that the side will advance. So how are they doing it without their own headliners Dirk Nowitzki and Chris Kaman? As Alba Berlin guard Heiko Schaffartzik explains it, it’s all about cohesiveness and fun, while he agrees with Bayern München’s Philipp Schwerthelm that the importance of playing hard cannot be underestimated…

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