Ivkovic Keeps Faith With Injured Krstic


Serbia coach Dusan Ivkovic has decided to cut power forward Dragan Labovic and sharpshooter Nemanja Jaramaz from the squad preparing for the EuroBasket 2013 Qualification Round.

While Ivkovic can't count on injured captain Nenad Krstic, he has nevertheless kept him in the squad.

6. Aleksandar Rasic (Serbia)
Aleksandar Rasic status is day-to-day but coach Ivkovic has retained him in the 16-man strong squad

"We've had an idea to continue to work with 15 players, with Krstic among them, but then Aleksandar Rasic injured his shoulder and didn't play in any of our three friendlies," Ivkovic said.

"That changed our plan a bit, so we'll have 14 healthy players in the next phase of the preparation, plus Rasic and Krstic, too.

"I hope they'll be able to join our training, soon.

"It's still unclear when Krstic will be able to join us (in training), but his ankle is improving. He's recovering very well."

The Serbia coach added that he wanted to keep as many youngsters in the team as possible.

"I think that for young players - every single day, every single training, could be crucial. For this moment in their careers, and for days ahead of them, too."

Still, there wasn't room for Labovic and Jaramaz.

"After analyzing the first part of our preparations, we've decided to say thanks to Dragan Labovic and Nemanja Jaramaz," Ivkovic said.

"They'll be treated as candidates for the qualifiers as they are on the list of players we've sent to FIBA Europe.

"With that, I must say that their work, commitment and behaviour in the training camp proved that we were right when we called them and we'll surely count on them in the future."

After the latest cuts, the Serbian team numbers 16 players.

They are Milenko Tepic, Ivan Paunic, Nemanja Bjelica, Mile Ilic, Marko Keselj, Danilo Andusic, Zoran Erceg, Milan Macvan, Dejan Musli, Nemanja Nedovic, Vladimir Stimac, Vladimir Lucic, Milos Teodosic, Dusko Savanovic and injured Aleksandar Rasic and captain Nenad Krstic.

Serbia will have friendly games in Ljubljana against Croatia (3 August), Bosnia and Herzegovina (4 August) and Slovenia (5 August) ahead of the Qualification Round clashes with Israel, Montenegro, Estonia, Slovakia and Iceland.

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