Serbia & Montenegro: Improvement On The Agenda For Bodiroga

31 August 2005

Serbia & Montenegro captain Dejan Bodiroga has played basketball long enough to know victories in warm-up tournaments can sometimes be detrimental to a team's preparations.

The world champions, still feeling the sting of last summer's Olympic failure when they finished 11th out of the 12 teams taking part, are hosting the EuroBasket this summer.

It is a tournament in which they can re-establish themselves as Europe's top team with Lithuania having won EuroBasket 2003 and Italy having finished runners-up to Argentina at the Athens Games.

When Serbia & Montenegro won the PreMonte Cup in Podgorica, beating Slovenia, Croatia and Lithuania, the mood amongst fans was upbeat, but Bodiroga is warning everyone not to get carried away.

"We were good there, definitely," he said.

"It is not a small achievement to defeat three strong national teams like Croatia, Slovenia and Lithuania.

"But, even though some parts of our start (to preparations) were good, we have still got a lot of things to improve.

"Of course it is important to win games from the start, but we have to stay calm and keep practising at the highest possible level."

Serbia & Montenegro are taking part in the Efes Cup in Istanbul this week. At the EuroBasket, which gets underway on September 16, Bodiroga and Co. will be in Group D with Latvia, Spain and the national side that wins the additional qualifying tournament.

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