Slovenia: Defence A Concern For Pipan

30 August 2005

Slovenia coach Ales Pipan concedes he has his work cut out to get his team up to scratch before the start of the EuroBasket.

Pipan has just over two weeks to iron out the problems that were evident during the ProMonte Super Cup in Podgorica before Slovenia face Greece in their opening match of the EuroBasket.

Slovenia suffered three defeats in their three games in Podgorica to finish bottom of the four-team competition that also included hosts Serbia & Montenegro, Croatia and Lithuania.

The opening match saw Slovenia lose 94-85 to Lithuania before Serbia & Montenegro inflicted a 74-66 defeat on their Balkan neighbours in their second outing.

Our first problem is the defence
Ales Pipan
Croatia completed a miserable tournament for Slovenia by recording a 75-70 defeat in their final match, after which Pipan admitted he was far from impressed with what he saw.

"We made lot of mistakes, took too many bad shots. Our first problem is the defence," he said.

Beno Udrih, a guard who last season helped the San Antonio Spurs to the NBA title, admits the tournament was a wake-up call for his team.

He said: "These were our first games against good teams. We now see where we are."

Aside from Greece, Slovenia have also been drawn alongside France and Bosnia-Herzegovina in a tough-looking Group C at the EuroBasket.

The game against Greece takes place in Belgrade on September 17 and point guard Jaka Lakovic is hopeful Slovenia's problems can be sorted out by then.

"We need to work more and believe more that we can win and improve our game.

The good thing is that we have time before Belgrade," he said.


27.09.2005 - By Jeff Taylor, PA Sport
24.09.2005 - By Simon Wilkinson, PA Sport

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