|21 June 2013|
EUROBASKET WOMEN 2013
|Jelena Skerovic and Montenegro are desperate to bring some smiles back into their camp|
It has been an inconsistent tournament for Montenegro so far, with two wins and two losses as they try to find the same ingredients which contributed to their blistering form at Eurobasket Women 2011.
Last Time Out: Montenegro went away from their game plan and struggled to cope with the sheer intensity and superior physicality of Sweden, who did a great job to take a 69-58 win. Spain swept aside Slovak Republic 80-44 in a one-sided contest from tip to buzzer.
Key Match Up: Iva Perovanovic hasn't really managed to quite find her ‘A-game' just yet and now would be a good time to do so. She will play extended minutes in a match up against a Spanish rotation of Cindy Lima, Laura Nicholls and also potentially Laura Gil. This could have a big bearing on the outcome - especially if she can have a big game and take the load off teammate Jelena Dubljevic.
Key Stat: Montenegro must re-discover their shooting touch, especially from behind the three-point line if they are to stand any chance of taking this a game. Making just 3-of-22 against Sweden, a considerable uplift is required. In fact, they are shooting a below-par 21.9% for the entire tournament, meaning they are almost playing with one hand behind their backs.
X-Factor: Patience is the key for Montenegro and Jelena Dubljevic hit the nail on the head when she explained the need to get back to the team basketball which has served them so well in recent times. If things start to slip for them early, it will be fascinating to see if they avoid the one-on-one stuff and can continue to work their way back with the strong ball movement, mobility and slashing to the hoop. These are all positive aspects which rise to the fore when they are on song, just like when they beat Spain two years ago.
From The Camps: "We already have the game against Montenegro at EuroBasket Women 2011 in Poland in our minds, since they beat us in that game. We know what Montenegro are capable of, so we just want to keep going and look forward. We will be ready because we didn't have an easy first round and just like the teams that already gave us some problems, Montenegro are the same as those teams" - Spanish playmaker Silvia Dominguez.
"We know how they play and we need to start playing our kind of game - the kind of game we have played for the past six years. We aren't enjoying it like in Poland and do not have smiles on our faces and it is a big problem. We need to find a way to enjoy playing again and to compete with the other teams. We must get our heads and mind-set right and not lose faith. Nothing is over yet." Montenegro forward Jelena Dubljevic.