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Vasic on Serbia camp: ''It brought us even closer together"
ZLATIBOR (Serbia) - Sonja Vasic has hailed the benefits of a national team preparation camp last week as the Serbia standout and her teammates embraced a wholly unexpected situation.
The original plan was for Vasic and Co getting getting down to some essential work as part of a countdown to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo - but of course, the coronavirus pandemic didn't read the script.
"THE FACT WE ALL HAD TO SWEAT AND WORK HARD AT EVERY TRAINING, AS A TEAM, HAS BROUGHT US EVEN CLOSER TOGETHER." - Vasic
With the showpiece event delayed until next year, it will be the FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2021 Qualifiers next on the agenda, with windows pencilled in for this forthcoming November and next February.
And if successful, another flagship Final Round appearance would come next June, with Serbia having taken a bronze medal in the most recent edition of the competition in 2019 on home soil.
Working under the expert eye of head coach Marina Maljkovic and with Federation President Predrag Danilovic also lending his support with a visit, a strong lineup of players was able to spend time competing with and against each other.
It was something which Vasic was hugely appreciate of, as those present tried to recapture their touch and regain some fitness.
She said: "I have to admit that I am very proud of the older group and of everything we have done in Zlatibor during the past week.
"I think we did a lot of the work on fitness, especially since no one was sure how much our home training during the pandemic had taken an effect. We tried to fulfill the program and the plan that was set and I believe that it will mean for all of us for this summer period of preparation for the seasons.
"Maybe it was a little strange that we are preparing and we don't have a competition [immediately ahead of us], but the fact that we all had to sweat and work hard at every training, as a team, has brought us even closer together," she insisted.
The forward, who recently agreed a return to EuroLeague Women with Uni Girona, will lead Serbia once again when the FIBA Women's EuroBasket Qualifiers resume in November.
They already find themselves in a strong position, since they are 2-0 in Group E, having banked wins against Turkey and Albania. However, the next window could prove their most challenging, since they face a double-header on the road in Lithuania and Turkey.