06 - 20
August 2016
9 Jelena Milovanovic (SRB)
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Serbia move on from poor start to become real medal contenders

RIO DE JANEIRO (Rio 2016 Olympic Games) - As Serbia opened their Group Phase with three straight defeats, Jelena Milovanovic became of one of the voices warning her teammates to step up in order to avoid a premature exit from the Women's Olympic Basketball Tournament.

The call paid off as the European champions responded with three straight victories, the last of which left Serbia a win away from reaching the Gold Medal Game.

"I feel proud of my teammates," the 27-year-old said to FIBA.com of Serbia causing the biggest upset in the tournament so far by eliminating powerhouse Australia in Tuesday's Quarter-Finals.

"This was the game of our lives… we finally stuck to what our coach asked us to. We were focused from the first to the last minute of the game."

After stunning Europe by winning EuroBasket Women 2015, Serbia continue their astonishing rise in Rio

On Thursday, Serbia will go up against Spain looking to become the first-ever team to bounce back from opening the competition with an 0-3 mark to reach the Gold Medal Game.

"Now we are ready to fight for a medal," noted Milovanovic, who ignited the Serbs' offense in the defeat of the Opals with 17 points .

Asked about the team's transformation from a poor start to the competition to becoming realistic medal contenders, the 1.90m forward said: "[The] Quarter-Final is not a game you win by 20 [points], so we like to make interesting to people who watch us and of course we did.”

Serbia entered their Quarter-Finals as underdogs, but somehow managed to neutralise Australia's leading scorer, Liz Cambage.

"She still scored 20 or something [29 points] I don't know, but we managed to stop others. We had an amazing team's defense and she didn't hurt us like she did with the other teams in their group. It's not easy to guard her, but offensively we killed her."