Maljkovic Relieved After Landmark Win

21 June 2012

EUROBASKET WOMEN QUALIFIERS

Serbia head coach Marina Maljkovic
Serbia head coach Marina Maljkovic was relieved to get the win against Switzerland but not very happy with her team's 25 turnovers

Serbia head coach Marina Maljkovic was breathing a sigh of relief in the wake of her team's precious first win on Wednesday night, which meant they successfully avoided a potential banana skin in the form of Switzerland.

Having been comprehensively beaten in their opening game against noisy neighbours Montenegro, Serbia was under pressure to get their first win when they hosted a Swiss team who despite being winless, had made life difficult for their opponents during their firs two games.

But thankfully for Maljkovic, her team managed to ride out 88-64 winners to give her a landmark first competitive success at the helm of the national team - even if the play-caller was not entirely satisfied with every aspect of the performance in Smederevo.

"We knew that Switzerland would be a very tricky opponent and they would fight and not give up for the entire 40 minutes," Maljkovic said.

"I am dissatisfied with the number of turnovers, since we had as many as 25, which is not our character.

"We were nervous and this is a young team, in the process of being created," she explained.

"However, I must congratulate my players for the support, their running and their fighting spirit."

It was a similarly bitter-sweet night for Ana Dabovic and whilst the guard was dissatisifed with her own individual performance, she was delighted with the team effort which bodes well for the remainder of the campaign.

"A couple of girls achieved more than 10 points which means that we played collectively," explained Dabovic.

"Every day we are getting better and better and I believe that we will raise the level of our game during the rest of the qualification."

There's little doubt Serbia will have to play even better if they want to secure back to back wins since they make the trip to Krosno on Saturday to play a Poland team who will no doubt be eager to bounce back from their defeat in Montenegro.

 


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