MOSCOW (EuroBasket/FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Serbia coach Dusan Ivkovic has begun the process of putting the pieces in place to make a run at the EuroBasket title in Slovenia this summer.
The veteran tactician, who isn't coaching a club side right now, has travelled to Moscow to visit with CSKA's Serbian contingent of Nenad Krstic, Milos Teodosic, Zoran Erceg and Vladmir Micov.
While there, he met with Nemanja Bjelica, who had travelled to the Russian capital with Caja Laboral for the opening two games of their Euroleague Quarter-Final tie with CSKA.
"We are currently monitoring the candidates for the national team," Ivkovic said.
"I'm glad I had the opportunity to see them play at a time of the season when there are crucial games.
"We did not want to disrupt their rhythm, so we saw Bjelica after the duel with CSKA.
"The interviews with all were very good quality, to our mutual satisfaction.
"We will, in the months ahead, have talks with other potential national team players."
Serbia have had a habit of landing in tough groups the past several years.
At EuroBasket 2009, they faced Spain, Slovenia and Great Britain and at the expanded, 24-team EuroBasket 2011, the Blues took on France, Germany, Israel, Italy and Latvia.
In last summer’s Qualification Round, the Serbians had to take on Montenegro, Israel, Estonia, Iceland and Slovakia.
This year, Serbia are in a very difficult First Round Group B with Montenegro, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (MKD), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lithuania and Latvia.
Runners-up at EuroBasket 2009 in Poland and Semi-Finalists at the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey, the Serbians began well at EuroBasket 2011 but lost their rhythm in a narrow defeat to France at the end of the First Round and ended up finishing eighth in the competition.
Last summer, Serbia narrowly booked their place at EuroBasket 2013 as one of the best third-place teams in the six Qualification Round groups.
The EuroBasket will serve as a qualifying event for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.