|17-year-old center Ljubomir Mladenovski, who shined bright for F.Y.R. of Macedonia in last summer's U16 European Championship, is on the preliminary roster of the U20 national team this year|
One of the sides that will be interesting to watch this summer at the U20 European Championship Division B in Sofia, Bulgaria, will be F.Y.R. of Macedonia.
The tournament is the first major event for youngsters who were no doubt inspired by the run of their country's senior team at last year's EuroBasket in Lithuania.
The Balkans upset the host country in the Quarter-Finals and finished fourth to clinch a spot in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Some of these U20 players will soon be knocking on the door of the senior team themselves.
The side is already well into its preparations, which included a trip to the Netherlands recently to play in the Nordic Basketball Tournament.
"We got a good indication from the tournament in Holland that we have more to work on in the physical preparation of these players and that it is our focus now," coach Aleksander Petrovic said.
"The morning training sessions are devoted to this while the evening work deals with technique and tactics."
Admitting he is pleased with the commitment of the players, Petrovic said the competition for spots in the team is strong.
The next tests on the court will come in Sofia on 12-13 June against Bulgaria.
"Normally you go to win, but more important is to see where we are, what our progress has been and what we need to focus on in the resumption of our preparations," Petrovic said.