|12 July 2011|
U16 Men Preperations
|Serbia Head Coach Sasa Nikitovic still wants his team to improve ahead of the U16 European Championship despite good opening performances|
Serbia coach Sasa Nikitovic could not have been any happier after his young squad travelled to France for the Tournoi International de Riom and clinched first place over the weekend.
The warm-up tournament for the U16 European Championship in the Czech Republic also included Greece and Italy.
France had won their first two games but against Serbia, they fell behind in the first quarter and never caught up.
Nikitovic's side stormed into a 28-16 lead by the end of the frame and walked off the court with a 71-62 triumph.
Djordje Kaplanovic had 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Serbians and had an impressive efficiency rating of 28.
Brano Djukanovic added 13 points and Nikola Rebic 11 for the Serbians.
Nikitovic's team beat the French in every facet of the game, including out-rebounding them 40-32 and making 10 of 12 free-throws to just a 10-of-17 effort for France.
"This was the first international experience for all team members," Nikitovic said.
"All were given the opportunity to play and took advantage.
"Everything we practiced in Zlatibor and Novom Beceju we demonstrated in Riom.
"We cannot go to sleep after this result, though.
"There are still three weeks until the beginning of the European Championship in the Czech Republic and we must continue to work hard."
In their opener, Serbia thrashed Italy 101-82 with Dusan Ristic scoring 20 points and Brano Djukanovic 17.
Serbia earlier hammered Greece 91-77 with Kaplanovic and Ristic scoring 16 points apiece.