|13 August 2012|
|Forward/center Milko Bjelica, who has performed brilliantly in the warm-up games, and his Montenegro teammates are facing the toughest group of the qualifiers, says coach Pavicevic |
Luka Pavicevic is going to have a baptism of fire as the new coach of Montenegro.
He believes, and most people would agree, that Montenegro are in the most difficult of all the six Qualification Round groups for EuroBasket 2013.
The top two sides in each group, and the four best third-place teams, will advance to the Final Round.
For their Group A opener on Wednesday, Montenegro are at home to Israel.
Next they will travel to Serbia, one of the best teams in international basketball.
They will also have games against Estonia, the Slovak Republic and Iceland.
"We are in the toughest group in the qualifiers, because there are two teams that stand out with their quality, and in other groups is not the case," Pavicevic said.
He is talking about Serbia and Israel.
"In addition, we are the only group with six teams, and despite the fact that Iceland is not an opponent at the top of European basketball, in a situation where we have to play 10 games in 27 days, two games more could mean a lack of freshness, fatigue ... which may cost us a victory or a point, which eventually may be crucial...
"Iceland is a trip that nobody would want...
"We need to overcome these difficulties and the fact that we have a tough schedule, because after the duel with Israel, we have two trips to Serbia and Estonia."
The only way for Montenegro to be successful and reach the EuroBasket Final Round is for the team to be focused from the start.
"If we want a positive result, we must have great dedication and great energy going into every game," Pavicevic said.