Petrovic, Serbia & Montenegro Want Spain Revenge

30.07.2006

Serbia & Montenegro take on Spain on Sunday in the final of the Umcor U18 European Championship Women in what is fast becoming a serious rivalry.

The two countries have dominated women's youth basketball in recent years.

Spain's current U18 side won U16 gold in 2004 and 2005, while Serbia & Montenegro beat Spain in last year's U18 final in Belgrade to win the gold medal.

Team personnel changes from year to year but the core of these two sides last played each other in the 2004 U16 final in Torino, a 58-52 victory for Spain.

Sonja Petrovic (Serbia & Montenegro)
Petrovic is averaging 14.6 points, 9 rebounds and 2.4 assists
The game may have been two years ago, but it is still fresh in the mind of Serbia & Montenegro forward Sonja Petrovic.

"Most of us wanted to play Spain in the final because we lost to them in Torino two years ago and now we want revenge," said Petrovic.

Spain's 1988-89 generation dominated the U16 category in 2004 and 2005, but have not been quite as impressive at the U18 level in 2006. The Spanish struggled in preliminary round action, losing to Sweden, and have yet to find their top form.

Serbia & Montenegro on the other hand have been in imperious mood throughout the competition and have won seven games by an average margin of 27 points.

"We are the only unbeaten team and the only team to win by 20 or 30 points, every other team either lost or had some close games. When we have some little advantage we try to make it bigger," said Petrovic.

Serbia & Montenegro return just two players from the 2005 U18 gold medal winning side, including Petrovic. 

"Last year we had more big players with Adrijana Knezevic and Miljana Musovic, who both played abroad this year (Knezevic in Spain and Musovic in Hungary). This year we don't have big names but we are a team and we play together.

Team play may well be the key advantage for Serbia & Montenegro, who lack Spain's star power but have been far more impressive that their counterparts so far in the competition. 

"Spain are something like an individual team with good players, but together, I don't know and they didn't play that well in the group games," Petrovic said.

"We have a great team spirit, we are all good friends and you can see that on the court, which helps us to win."


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