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Serbia boosted by Milovanovic return

Jelena Milovanovic (SRB)
Jelena Milovanovic (SRB) - EuroBasket Women 2013

MURCIA (FIBA World Championship for Women) - Serbia have been boosted by the arrival of their spearhead forward Jelena Milovanovic as they continue their preparation for the FIBA World Championship for Women by competing in an international tournament in Murcia.

Marina Maljkovic and her players will step out against competition hosts and EuroBasket Women champions Spain, as well as Japan and Angola as they continue to show their firepower during the lead up to the big tip-off in Istanbul.

Having finally finished her WNBA commitments with the Washington Mystics, Milovanovic lined up for the first time with the squad for a recent friendly game against Egypt.

And while it was a low key introduction for the star who scored five points, there was nothing gentle about the way that Serbia amassed an eye-popping 132-65 victory to yet again showcase their ability to score freely.

Ana Dabovic displayed her offensive power with 29 points from the wing, while Dajana Butulija contributed 21 points from the backcourt.

Despite Serbia racking up more than 30 points in all four quarters, Maljkovic was quick to highlight that her team still has work to do at the opposite end of the floor.

"We can't be satisfied with our work on defense," bemoaned the play-caller.

"But at least there was an opportunity given to all 16 players to demonstrate what they have.

"Ahead of us is the most important part of the preparation with these pending tournaments in Spain and France.

"I purposely wanted to play with against stronger opponents because that is the only way to progress and be better prepared for the World Championship."

Maljkovic has already witnessed her team endure three tough games at the recent Karlovy Vary tournament against Czech Republic, Canada and Korea.

"I was very impressed with the entire tournament," she said.

"We played against a very atypical team in Korea who play very fast, athletic and have a dominant center who is over two metres tall.

"We also managed to beat them without Milica Dabovic who was rested.

"The tournament was tiring, but we have gained a certain image of the current possibilities and we continue to work hard."