SRB - Ambitious Djordjevic

Serbia (SRB) - EuroBasket 2013

BELGRADE (FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Aleksandar Djordjevic never looked happier on the basketball court than when he was the point guard of Yugoslavia's national team.

Now that he is the coach of Serbia, he looks just as determined and enthusiastic.

His upbeat attitude was evident when he announced a list of players that will compete for the spots in the national side that is to play at the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain, a tournament that tips off 30 August.

Serbia are in a very difficult Group A with Brazil, Spain, France, Egypt and Iran, yet Djordjevic says if things fall into place, his team has a chance of challenging for a spot on the podium.

"We want to include Serbia in the fight for the medals, which is a serious and demanding process that depends not only on one aspect," he said.

"It takes a lot of tranquility, safety, knowledge, quality, minimal errors by the coach, player injuries…

"My wish is that each player has a tremendous desire and hunger to win so that anyone who is looking at us cheers for us at all times and can be sure that we're doing our best."

The preliminary squad consists of solid, in-form players who featured last year at the EuroBasket in Slovenia along with others, like Milos Teodosic, who were not able to play in 2013.

An injury kept the playmaker off the roster last summer.

Djordjevic has not included Dusko Savanovic or Milan Macvan on his list of candidates and has decided against asking either to play despite the unexpected withdrawal of Novica Velickovic after the announcement of the 20-strong candidate list.

Most of the players are to link up with Djordjevic and begin training for the World Cup on Wednesday in Belgrade.

Players that will not be able to start training on time are Vladimir Lucic, Vladimir Micov, Nenad Krstic, Nemanja Nedovic and Ognjen Kuzmic.

The delayed appearances of Lucic and Micov are due to injuries. They are expected to begin training on 15 July.

Krstic is being allowed to join the national team on 20 July after his 2013-14 campaign with CSKA Moscow.

Nedovic and Kuzmic are to play in the NBA Summer League under the watchful eye of new Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr before they travel to Europe to join the national team.

Serbia squad announced for FIBA Basketball World Cup: Vasilije Micic, Nemanja Dangubic, Novica Velickovic*, Stefan Jovic, Nikola Kalinic, Stefan Bircevic, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Marko Simonovic, Luka Mitrovic, Vladmir Stimac, Milos Teodosic, Vladimir Micov, Nenad Krstic, Vladimir Lucic, Stefan Markovic, Nemanja Bjelica, Miroslav Raduljica, Dejan Kravic, Ognjen Kuzmic and Nemanja Nedovic. (Velickovic has withdrawn from squad).