|28 July 2010|
Serbia center Kosta Perovic has told his team-mates not to worry about their opponents at the upcoming 2010 FIBA World Championship and just focus on their own game.
Having exceeded expectations at the EuroBasket in Poland last year, Serbia are aiming to go deep into another tournament and Perovic believes they have everything they need.
"Everything depends on us," he said. "We shouldn't care about others, we need to be fully focused on raising our own potential as high as it can go.
"The national team is, by definition, a group of players who perform as a group, not just a group of great individuals. We should never forget that and we don't intend to."
The hardest part of putting togehter any team is making the cuts from the larger preliminary squads to the final 12, and coach Dusan Ivkovic is already agonising over the three cuts he must make next week to get the numbers down to 14.
"We've worked hard on our physical preparation," he said at the end of the team's first stage of preparations. "Now we are going to work more with the ball. Through the next few sessions we'll define our style, but I must say I'm already sad that I can only take 14 of these 17 players to continue to work with us after August 5.
"We must make sure we find the right team chemistry to tackle our opponents in the first stage of the FIBA World Championship.
"I keep saying it and I won't change my mind - the most important game right now is our first game against Angola in Turkey."
Serbia are yet to play any warm-up games, but Ivkovic has been very pleased with the progress his team have shown so far.
"Their behaviour was at the highest level during the first phase of our training camp," he said. "It is always like that with our national team ahead of big tournaments and I know that will never change. That's us. That's how we know you have to prepare yourself to be as good as you can be if you want to achieve success later.
"Our first phase passed really well, and now we'll work on our performances on the court. I don't have a single doubt these players who are chosen will play for Serbia with pride."
Serbia are remaining in Kovilovo, a suburb of Belgrade, until August 5, and Ivkovic will then take the lucky 14 to Istanbul to play in a warm-up tournament involving Turkey, New Zealand and Iran.
Serbia will take on Argentina, Australia, Germany, Angola and Jordan in Group A of the FIBA World Championship.