Recap: Serbia at U19 World Cup 2019

Recap: Serbia at U19 World Cup 2019

U19 FIBA World Cup 2019 was held in Crete, Greece and we had chance to see some of the best prospects from whole world. USA won the title after defeating tournament sensation, Mali 93:79 and reclaimed their seventh crown for the country in the history of the competition.
Serbia after great group phase results and all three wins, and convincing victory over Philippines in 1/8, comes up short in 1/4 and lose vs Lithuania after OT and finished 7th in final standings.



Joel Ayayi (France) , Oumar Ballo (Mali),
Tyrese Haliburton (USA), Siriman Kanoute (Mali), Reggie Perry (USA)


Reggie Perry (USA)




Filip Petrušev 19.3 Pts, 10.1 Reb, 2.6 Ast. 2.0 Blk 27.0 Eff

Definetely Serbian best player and generaly one of the best players on tournement (2nd in efficiency per game). Played whole tournament with great consistency and shows extremely maturity. Even though he didn’t have a lot of minutes in his freshmen season in Gonzaga he came suprisingly prepered and ready.
First thing that’s pretty obviously is how much he improved his body, especially upper body strength. He nicely filled his frame and now he stands contact much better and he is relaible finisher (66% FG). His post skills are also well improved. He operates well in the paint, high and low post equally good. He has nice footwork in the post and has shown the ability to turn over both shoulders, especially in face up and up and under situations where he usually finishing with high efficiency thanks to his amaizing touch around the rim. His improved strength and good athleticism helped him to much easier grabs rebounds (3rd overall) and he scored a lot of points because of it. Petrusev became a really good defensive player. Good timing as a shot blocker and gets off the ground quickly. He is having ability to defend P&R switches thanks to his footwork and lateral quickness.
Things that he needs to work on is a decision making and distributing from the post. We could see that in the most important game vs Lithuania where opponent double him on the post he made some bad and slow decisions (had 10 turnovers). We didn’t see too much of outside shooting from him, because he was dominate against most of direct opponents, but that’s definetely aspect of the game that he needs to develop in order to play on next level.

Marko Pecarski 22.1 Pts, 8.6 Reb, 0.7 Ast, 87% FT, 21.9 Eff

Best scorer of the tournament (22.1 pts). Pretty experienced for this level. He has two U16 and two U18 FIBA Championships behind him. Along with Petrusev he was main weapon in Serbia’s offense. Didn’t saw the floor a lot this season in Partizan team and it was expected that he come rested and wishful to play. Extremely skilled player offensively. Natural scorer. Can score from anywhere on the court and on many ways. Didn’t have problems against his peers to get ball down low from where he was effective. Thanks to his experience he drawn a lot of fouls and provided a lot of easy points from FT line from where he was very efficient (87%). Reminds a lot on old school bigs. Use pump fakes pretty often and pretty good which is rare to see in todays basketball. Makes fade aways and jumpshots from short range area in high perecentages. His shot range goes all the way to the 3PT line and even though he didn’t have a good precentage (24%) he isn’t a guy to leave alone on perimeter. So he has potential to become strech big man.
Defense is what worries the most in his case. He doesn’t have the length or the athletic ability to protect the rim (1 blk on whole tournament) and he is having slow legs and bad lateral quickness which is the main problem in P&R situation when he needs to switch on guards and it was noticeable the most in match vs Lithuania where Lithuania team used this weakness to the maximum. He is a classic executor and scorer, he isn’t a guy who will make his teammates better (5 ast for whole tournament). Other things that concerns is his toughness and effort and those things are curcial to improve in order to transfer his game to the senior level.

Uroš Trifunović 14.0 Pts, 2. Reb, 3.1 Ast, 38% 3PT, 11.6 Eff

Starting PG of Serbia team. He orchestrated team offense and was the guy from which everything starts. This season was his first senior season and improvement is obvious. He dealed with pressure and organize offense without any major problems, even against athletic guards like in France and Canada teams. In fact ball was the most secure in his hands. Even though he isn’t elite scorer he showed some pretty good offensive game. Excellent shooting ability in first place, especially spot up threes and mid range pull ups. Also when he goes to basket he use his unbelievable soft touch and finishes with high arc floaters and runners.
We saw some nice and no look passes from him but he must improve his decision making and timing. Often he use to overdrible and late with pass. Other thing he needs to work is his strength and toughness. Even he is big for guard he still cannot absorb contact properly and finish through it and that’s why we saw few off the balance circus shots when he drove to basket. Defense is also very important segment he needs to get better (3 stl for whole tournament). He is having problems to guard smaller and quicker players but he needs to recover it with his length and effort.

Dalibor Ilić 10.9 Pts, 11.0 Reb, 3.3 Ast, 0.7 Stl, 19.7 Eff

Ilić was a very important player in this team. Thanks to his ability to cover multiple positions he started games as SF, but he played on PF too and was very often in charge to guard best opponent players. It’s obvious experience he gained playing ABA league this season, he played well within the offense, didn’t force his scoring or try to do too much. He showed his ability to impact the game as rebounder (2nd overall). Crashes offensive boards after nearly every missed shot and creates a lot of second chance opportunities for his team. He also showed great potential as a defender and ability to defend multiple positions, especially ability to defend on perimetar. Beside his freakishly size and length he showed very good lateral quickness and ability to move his feet and keep opponents in front of him and he covers a lot of ground with his size, reach and wingspan.
Shot remains his main weakness. He is just not a threat to score from outside (0/8 3PT) and when you add his modest offensive repertoire that’s becoming a problem and those are things he need to work on in order to develop his offensive game. We could see on this tournament from him some situations where he grab a rebound and instantly start the offense and even some coast to coast and it’s visible he is more comfortable putting ball on the floor but he still need to work on that segment.

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