From PA International, Belgrade
It's going to take more than a few friendly defeats to affect Slobodanka Tuvic's optimism.
She is confident, despite mixed results in two recent tournaments in Spain, that the Serbo-Montenegrins will come good at the right time and contend for a medal at the European Championships in Greece this month.
In Caceres, Miodrag Veskovic's team lost to Brazil and the Ukraine but upset the hosts in a tempestuous encounter.
Then in Guadalajara, Serbia & Montenegro hammered Turkey but on Monday lost a tough clash to Spain.
"Even though we achieved just two victories in five games, I'm an optimist,'' the Phoenix Mercury centre said.
"Those matches were just preparation games, and I'm not worried about three defeats. Now, we must concentrate on the final phase of work before the Eurobasket.
"The last time we made the European Championships, then as Yugoslavia, was in Tel Aviv in 1991 and we took a silver medal. Now, twelve years later, it is time for new medal.''
Serbia & Montenegro face Poland in Pyrgos on September 19 in the opening European Championship game for both sides.
"We have a completely new team, a young one but one with a great wish and great potential,'' she said.
"I'm sure that we can be one of best teams at Eurobasket, and that we'll gain a place which will lead us to the Olympics games in Athens, in 2004.''