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Marina-Maljkovic-29-06-2013
Marina Maljkovic (SRB) - EuroBasket Women 2013
29/06/2013

ORCHIES (EuroBasket Women/FIBA World Championship for Women) - To finally make everyone sit up and take notice of women's basketball in Serbia was always going to take something special and that is exactly what head coach Marina Maljkovic and her players have delivered.

Starting out with two miserable defeats, Serbia turned the tide with a spectacular five successive wins, to make it to the last four of EuroBasket Women for the first time in their history.

And whilst they were crushed last time out by Spain in a one-sided Semi-Final, they still have a chance of penning another page of history by taking a first-ever medal when they tussle for bronze with Turkey.

But whatever happens in the fight for the last spot on the podium, Maljkovic is overjoyed that women's basketball has finally made a mainstream breakthrough in her homeland.

"For many people, it was almost like the aliens were coming when women's basketball was on television and also showing it could also find some success," she told FIBA.com.

"It's incredible what the team have done for women's basketball in Serbia.

"Everyone in Belgrade have been sitting in the cafes and watching our games.

"It was the same right across the country and it was like this new kind of light suddenly started shining for many people."

She continued: "They were even walking around the streets and crying when they were calling me on the telephone, because they knew how important it was for everyone who loves women's basketball back home.

"And we can do the same next year at the FIBA World Championship for Women.

"But first, we want to show our best performances again and get the bronze medal."

Having taken silver at EuroBasket Women 2011 and in the wake of having to stomach a bitterly disappointing loss to France in their Semi-Final tie, Turkey will provide some seriously stiff opposition for Maljkovic and Co.

As hosts of the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women, Turkey will be determined to gain some momentum by taking third place in Orchies.

FIBA

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