Baku, June 22, AZERTAC
Serbia are determined to underline their status as the world's best men's 3x3 Basketball team at the Baku 2015 European Games – no matter who stands in their way.
The Serbian squad of Dusan Domovic-Bulut, Marko Savic, Marko Zdero and Dejan Majstorovic occupy the first four places in the individual world rankings, as well as the top team spot after winning the 2012 world tour.
"We are the best team and every team wants to beat us," said Domovic-Bulot, the no.1 player in the individual list compiled by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA).
"It doesn't matter who the next opponent is – my father, my mother, my grandmother – I want to beat everyone and maintain the title of 'best team in the world'."
The team that wins gold at Baku 2015 can reasonably lay claim to that tag, with seven of the top 10 from the 2014 FIBA 3x3 World Championships in the field.
Russia and Lithuania finished directly behind second-placed Serbia at last year's world championships, won by Qatar.
Spain boast seasoned Estudiantes 5x5 professional Jose Ignacio Martin Monzon in their line-up, while Greece can call on Georgios Bogris of MoraBanc Andorra.
The women's tournament will also gather the continental elite of the discipline, with six of the top 10 teams from the 2014 FIBA 3x3 World Championships involved – Russia, Belgium, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Romania and Spain.
Group A should be a tight affair between Switzerland, Netherlands and an ambitious Azerbaijan team lining up with two US Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) players – Atlanta Dream's Renara Hayes and Aneika Henry.
"It's always difficult to be in the host country's group and I think that Azerbaijan will have a huge team," said Sarah Kershaw of Switzerland, who will be without injured captain Caroline Turim. "The Dutch have been playing together for many years and we don't know what to expect from Greece."
The Baku 2015 3x3 Basketball competition begins on Tuesday 23 June.