Vascanin Hails Triumphant Serbia


Serbia coach Dragan Vascanin could not hide his delight after watching his side clinch their maiden U16 European Championship for Men title.

Vascanin's team dethroned Spain with a 56-55 victory in the final in Rethimnon on Sunday.

"This is marvellous success," Vascanin said. "Not just for this team, for me as coach, but for Serbian basketball.

"We've done great things at continental championships, and I believe this is just the start of great careers for these young players."

Serbia were undefeated with an 8-0 record in the competition, leading to their European gold.

The Serbia U16 coach added: "It is well known that it is hard to defeat a quality opponent such as Spain twice at the same tournament.

"We defeated them three days before the finals, but that was a match without serious significance. It was just a battle for prestige. But, in the finals, everything was different."

Vascanin praised his side for battling back from a poor start, particularly Dejan Musli, who was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player.

"I have been a basketball coach for some time, but I've never seen two great teams suffer so badly from their shooting," added Vascanin.

"The Spaniards started the match aggressively, and that limited us to just six points in the first quarter. But, despite none of six from the free-throw line in that period, my players acted like true professionals after that.

"At the start, they were in some kind of stiff mood, but at the end, the quality of our players brought us victory. We've dominated in rebounding and Dejan Musli has shown why he is a tournament MVP."

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