Argentina is a host country for u17 World championship this year. Tournament will be held in two cities- Rosario and Santa Fe from June 30th until July 8th.
Serbia, as a bronze medal winner from last year u16 European Championship, is one of the 5 European national teams that will participate in this year WC.
NT of Serbia will play in group B in Santa Fe along with national teams of Mali, China and the USA.
Mali will be first opponent for Serbia on 30th June at 17:45 local time(GMT -3). After that, on day 2, Serbia will play vs China at 20:00. In the last game of their group Serbia will play against probably the strongest opponent- the USA, at 20:00, as well.
National team of Serbia had little bit less than a month of a training camp for the WC. In that period they have played four friendly games in two different cities. In Kragujevac, they played first two games against Turkey u17 and second two against Montenegro u17 in Vršac. Serbia has lost both games against Turkey in Kragujevac, first 80-58 and second 78-52. In Vršac, Serbia has won two games vs Montenegro. 78-76 was result of the first one, 96-61 in second game vs Montenegro and last game before WC.
After finishing training camp coach Slobodan Klipa selected 12 players who will travel to Argentina. Majority of them, 9 to be exact, played on last summer u16 EC. Petrušev, Pokuševski and Musić are 3 new players comparing to bronze winning team from last year.
In coming lines you can read a short report on each one of 12 players who will play in Argentina.
KARAPANDŽIĆ Stevan– #8 ranked player in 01 generation is expected to be starting PG on a World championship.
Natural team leader who can change the pace of the game when catches rhytm. Stevan didn’t play on the best possible level in 3 of 4 friendly games, but in the last one vs Montenegro scored 16pts. Has good mid range game, specially off the dribble.
Makes his teammates involved with great court vision he has. Takes too tough shots occasionaly.
VASIĆ Lazar– Winner of national title with both u17 and u19 Red star teams.
Vasić is a combo guard who can equally create for his teammates and for himself, too. Reads the game very well from PnR, hits perimeters shots at good percentages. Scored a game winning three against Montenegro in third friendly game. Expected to play as a second guard in starting five, paired with Karapandžić
PAŽIN Đorđe– Third best scorer of last year u16 European championship with 17.9ppg.
Didn’t play for almost whole year due to registration problems, finished season with couple of senior games for Mladost Zemun in Serbian superleague. 6’7 tall guard, Pažin is a versatile scorer who has great mid and long range game. Uses screens and moves without the ball very well. Likes to talk too much, which affects on his game in negative way. Đorđe scored the most points in 4 friendly games, but could have had better shot percentages.
ŽIVANOVIĆ Lazar– #15 ranked player in his generation won also u17 and u19 gold medals with Red Star.
Lazar is a player with the best athletic abilities in this team. 6’7 guard’s strongest offensive is right hand, straight line drive. Not creative type of player, but can be really useful as a role player. Plays solid on ball defense.
LANGOVIĆ Aleksandar– the MVP of the u17 Serbian league final8.
Versatile forward from Mega Bemax can play inside and outside. 6’9 big can stretch the floor with solid spot up perimeter shot. Good in the paint thanks to size, length and left hand. Major weakness is right hand. Takes tough shots from time to time, that’s why his percentages weren’t constant in friendly games.
POPOVIĆ Nemanja– Big guy who has won both trophies with Red star this year, with his teammates Živanović and Vasić.
Very talented C/PF with great skills and soft touch around the rim. Uses both hands equally and has great abilit to put the ball on the floor. Nemanja is solid perimeter shooter, as well. Can do better job in defense. Averaged 10.4ppg in last year u16 EC.
TANASKOVIĆ Dušan– Starting center and captain of the NT.
Had good season for Partizan in both age categories he played- u17 and u19. Talented big can create for himself, and to score from low post thanks to his post skills. Had good performances throughout training camp. #6 ranked player in 01 generation is solid defender, too, specially when it comes to blocking shots.
POKUŠEVSKI Aleksej– Player of Olympiakos BC is the tallest player in this team, standing at 6’11”.
Even though he is that tall, play as SF or PF when needed. Came late for the training camp and didn’t play in first two friendly games vs Turkey, due to paperwork problems. With his length, versatility and skillset he has, Aleksej can be one of the key members for Serbian NT on this WC. Still looking for his spot in the team, though.
PAVIĆEVIĆ Marko– Second C of the NT.
Didn’t play almost whole season, due to injury. Marko is a talented big who is not physically at the top level. Had a very solid role at u16 EC in 2017 with 6.9ppg and 3.1rpg. Ranked #7 in 2001 ranking.
PETRUŠEV David– Played with his brother Filip for Montverde Academy in the past season. Can cover both SF and PF positions. World championship will be his first tournament as a NT player. David is still finding his role in this team. Had solid games in both wins vs Montenegro u17 in Vršac. Solid defender who can score from downtown in offense. Plays with great energy.
MARKOVIĆ Aleksa– MVP of the regular season of u17 Serbian league, playing for KK Zemun. Had very important role in u16 team from last summer. Just like Petrušev can be used both as a SF and PF. Aleksa has great body, and left hand straight line drive. Solid defender, too. Physical forward has less minutes since Pokusevski came.
MUSIĆ Vladan– younger brother of Mega Bemax PG Novak.
Vladan, who also plays for Mega Bemax had some solid minutes in friendly games, as a third PG. Can hit spot up shots and play aggresive defense on ball.
Radojičić Vuk, Šćekić Lazar, Mišković Novak, Brekić Marko, Šušić Aleksa and Kojić Jovan are 6 players from first preliminary roster who didn’t make into the final roster.
We wish all the best luck to players and coaching staff who will represent Serbia on WC.
Folow us on twitter and instagram for the latest news around Serbian NT.