EGY - Coach Jemc and Egypt taking aim at 9th-12th place in Dubai
CAIRO (FIBA U17 World Championship) - Branislav Jemc doesn't have the most lofty of goals for Egypt when they compete at the 2014 FIBA World Championship, but the coach certainly hopes his team can improve on their last-placed showing two years ago.
"We go into the world championship wanting to play well and if possible have good results. That would mean somewhere between 9th and 12th place. This is our target," said Jemc.
Egypt have won just one game in their previous 14 games at the 2010 and 2012 U17 World Championships, beating South Korea in the game for 12th place in France at the inaugural event, before losing to the Asians in the same game in 2012.
The field in 2014 is 16 teams after being 12 in 2010 and 2012.
"We must do our best. This is sport. This is what we want. We understand we cannot be champions of the world. It's very difficult. We can do something. I truly mean it. I cannot say we will be champions of the world. But we will be satisfied with between 9th and 12th place," Jemc insisted.
The leader of that team was Mohamed Abdelrahman Ahmed, who also was named the MVP of the tournament.
Jemc expects the Giza native to be one of his leaders for the championship taking place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) from 8-16 August.
"He is a very good talent. He's very intelligent and clever. He can do everything. This is our leader but you cannot play by yourself," the coach said of Abdelrahman Ahmed.
Jemc warned Abdelrahman Ahmed cannot rely on his performance from 2013.
"That was last year, he must show this year."
The Serbian coach is making sure all of his players earn their spot in Dubai. He included six players born in 1998 or 1999 for his 20-player training camp for the U17 Worlds.
"They have very good talent and are the future of the Egypt team. This is competition within the players. I give a chance to everybody," said Jemc.
"I know the Serbian team, having coached for the Serbian national teams in the past. I know their U17 team. It's very good, of course. At the Euros last year, they took second. So they are a good team," Jemc offered.
"I have been a coach for more than 15 years and I know the level of Argentina and China. And those will be good teams too."