By Milan Lazarevic
01. September 2005.
New loss for Serbia and Montenegro and Nenad Krstic. Poor form continues for complete team, even, personally, this time Krstic had really solid solo roles.
New loss for World Champions is surely huge surprise, especially against opponent which they had beaten just week ago on Pro Monte Super Cup.
Slovenia is very experienced team with almost complete starting line from NBA: Udrih, Nesterovic, Brezec, Nachbar… Serbs always had problems in duels with such teams, but there is general opinion that Serbs will play the same dramatic match against the worst and the best National team on planet.
After catastrophe in first game against Italy, Serbian team needed in this one a win by 4 pts, but they lost it all on really bizarre way.
20 seconds till the end they had +2 and Bodiroga on penalty line. Bodiroga missed second free throw and in next attack Slovenian young ace Erazem Lorbek scored for 3 + foul and brought important win 83:82 to his team with 4 points in one attack.
This time Nenad Krstic started game on position of starting center in Serbian team. Obviously that Zeljko Rebraca had some injury problems. After missing of 2 games on Pro Monte Super Cup because of the same problems, Rebraca was not in team once again. That is always huge handicap for Serbian team, especially against experienced centers duo Nesterovic-Brezec.
Krstic played whole first quarter + 2 minutes in second. He opened game with solid dunk after perfect assisting by Bodiroga and with attractive defensive rebound when he collected ball between buckets of Slovenian players.
Simply, Krstic and Bodiroga were in main roles in opening minutes. But, Slovenians found lost self-confidence very fast and made come back.
In 12th minute Krstic left the court and Darko Milicic replaced him in the game. That was black period for Serbs, especially in offense. Krstic returned to court in 3rd quarter, but he was in constant foul problems and couldn’t play aggressively.
Once again, Krstic played in the same rhythm like whole team, and that was not some high level of quality. He scored 12 pts, but Slovenian centers trio Nesterovic-Brezec-Lorbek was this time huge barrier, even Krstic totally stopped Nesterovic on only 4 pts. Nesterovic made lot of mistakes in offense, with few missed opened shoots, but his roles in defense were more then good.
In one moment during first quarter Krstic made mistake in offense positioning, and it was interesting to watch coach Obradovic who was so angry that he simply jumped into the court to describe to Krstic what he had to do.
Poor performance for Serbs just 15 days before European Championship. Time is ticking away…
Serbia and Montenegro will play tomorrow against France and Tony Parker for 5th place on Efes Cup. After that they are traveling to Greece where they will play on Acropolis Cup