Svetislav Pesic: 'I will never give up on my methods'

2022-09-16 10:23

After getting eliminated in the EuroBasket 2022 Round of 16, the Serbian national team head coach Svetislav Pesic says that he does not regret his decisions and will not change his methods of player and staff selection.

Credit: FIBA
Credit FIBA

After the participation in the EuroBasket 2022, the Serbian national team head coach Svetislav Pesic expressed his impressions and observations in an interview for the Serbian basketball federation (KSS) website.

Pesic explained that the reason for this EuroBasket being so strong is not only the top teams' talent but also the smaller countries catching up in terms of quality.

"This is the strongest European Championship so far in terms of quality. We are witnessing that the quality is getting equal. Small basketball countries are progressing, it is becoming more and more difficult for the favorites to win, and there were no surprises," said Pesic.

The 73-year-old coach believes that the tournament system is really harsh, and it takes just some bad minutes to get eliminated.

"The tournament system of the competition is harsh, and it was enough for us to have a little more than 10 bad minutes," said the Serbian coach.

"It is a huge disappointment for us, and we are all still very sad. I am absolutely aware of the responsibility and the disappointment we caused our fans," added Pesic.

Pesic emphasized the importance of a team atmosphere for success.

"I will always emphasize the atmosphere, good friendship, and togetherness that the players have built between themselves both during the preparations and especially during the competition," said Pesic.

Pesic pointed out the troubles that the Serbian national team had before and during this EuroBasket.

"I point this out despite the fact that we have been dealing with injuries and illnesses, and some players have not even traveled to the European Championships,"

"The tournament was missed by [Nemanja] Bjelica, [Aleksa] Avramovic, and [Bogdan] Bogdanovic, who had to undergo surgery. [Nikola] Milutinov and [Vanja] Marinkovic did not play in several games due to illness, and Nedovic prematurely ended his participation in the EuroBasket due to injury," Pesic named the casualties of the Serbian national team.

Despite Serbians falling out in the round of 16 of the tournament, Pesic does not think it was due to a lack of character. 

"However, despite all the difficulties, the team grew from game to game, showed character, and took absolute responsibility without looking for any excuses," Pesic explained.

"I am proud, and it was a great pleasure to have participated together with them in this process. Together, we did everything in our power to represent our country, our basketball, and our basketball culture in the best possible way," said Pesic.

"The core of the national team consists of players of the generation born in 1994 and 1995 who passed all national [youth] teams," continued Pesic.

"Whether they will regularly respond to the national team in the future will not only depend on them but also on their clubs. Priorities in their professional careers are changing," Pesic explained.

Despite the poor result in the EuroBasket 2022, Pesic does not regret his decisions during and before the tournament.

"I firmly stand behind my decisions, hard work, commitment, modesty, and enthusiasm that my co-workers and the players have shown at the same time," said Pesic.

"To erase everything that was done and achieved because of the last 10 minutes in the match against Italy - I will not allow that," Pesic emphasized.

To conclude the interview, Pesic said that he will not change his work principles and how he selects players and his associates for the team.

"And finally, to be clear, I will never give up on my principles, methods of selection of players, and my associates. I will analyze, and I will always be ready to accept different opinions and suggestions, but I will remain loyal to people whose goal is only basketball," Pesic concluded.

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