Montenegro's Basketball Team center Bojan Dubljevic, as published on FIBA website, said that placing at the World Cup in China was "an experience that has, without a doubt, helped the country raise its rating on the international basketball scene". "It was absolutely right, the qualifications were tough, very difficult, but our mental strength and resistance helped us very much. We did our best to go to the World Cup and in the end, we felt relieved and happy when we finally managed to win a spot. Man, it was long and hard, but it was worth it," said Dubljevic. The World Cup placement has brought Montenegro so many good things, including the confidence of the players.
"We are a small country and we all know that it means a lot to us players and our people to participate in a competition like the World Cup. We raised our confidence at a higher level after we won the placement, but we know we have to continue to work hard and progress to be able to offer great games in China. Qualifications are behind us, now we need to focus on the final tournament," Dubljevic added.
Montenegro will play in China with Greece, Brazil, and New Zealand. "The group is very competitive, one of the most competitive in the first phase of the competition. All of our opponents in the group, unlike us, have a lot of experience at the international level, which is very important when playing at the World Cup."
"Brazil is a very strong team; I have played in Spain against some Brazilian players, they have veterans who will have a significant influence on the game. Greece is one of the best selections in Europe and with the talent they have, including Giannis Antetokounmpo they can achieve a lot. New Zealand is a team that plays with a lot of intensity and we will have to play a good defense to play at the same physical level as they are," says the center of Valencia.
Greece was the vice-champion of the world 13 years ago, when they surprised the Americans in the semifinals. In 2002, New Zealand reached semi-finals of the World Cup and was fourth, while Brazil had not been on the winner's podium since 1978 but is still among the best selections from the American continent.
"This is an unbelievable opportunity for us, for the country, for the entire population of Montenegro. We are a small country, but we are proud and want to represent the state in the best way. We want to show that Montenegro has the talent that we want to show at the highest level".
"We know that we are not among the favorites, but we will compete and fight at each game to make people proud. We have a tremendous opportunity to show our country through the games, to show our flag, to get the people to learn something about our country and our basketball," added Dubljevic.
The performance at the World Cup will be a great promotion of Montenegro.
"A big window to let the world see who we are, and we'll be working hard to prepare for the start of the competition and be in the best form. I repeat, wearing a red jersey on our backs, we want to make our fellow citizens proud," Dubljevic said.
Our ace is also aware that there is no guarantee when you come to a major event and that there is no dilemma that he will be in our team at this championship.
"It is very important for me, I'm really excited to have the chance to compete against the best teams and players in the world, which will help our basketball progress, and all of us to gain more experience for future contests."
Dubljevic says there are a lot of things to look forward to in China:
"Starting from the audience and the fans, because the atmosphere will be great, up to big tournament competition, and more than that. Playing at the World Championship is probably one of the most important things for basketball players. That’s why I am looking forward to everything that will take place this summer. My teammates, the professional staff, all together, want us to do something big in China," concluded Dubljevic.
Text by Sasa Joncic, on June 20th, 2019, read more at Vijesti
More than a hundred competitors, of which 88 were from Montenegro, participated on Sunday in the sixth Podgorica triathlon, Plavnica 2019.
The Triathlon was held in the organization of the Triathlon Club of Podgorica, and in cooperation with the Municipality of Golubovci, the Secretariat for Culture and Sports of the Capital City in Plavnica.
"The competition was attended by 103 competitors, of whom 88 (64 in the individual competitions and 24 in the relay race) were from Montenegro, which is certainly one of the most important indicators of growing popularity and affirmation of the triathlon sport in Montenegro," the organizers said, adding it is just one of the basic goals of the Triathlon Club Podgorica.
They particularly emphasized the participation of the youngest contestants, Pavel Pascua and Andrej Vlada.
The Podgorica triathlon is, as they add, already known for international character and hosted competitors from Belgium, Croatia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Russia, USA, Albania and Romania.
"Of course, this year we had participants, and their fans, from various Montenegrin, triathlon, bicycle and athletic clubs, handball, water polo, racing, karate and many others," he said.
This year's edition of Podgorica Triathlon was marked with a bit higher temperature, which suited the contestants in the water, but still, in the race, many felt the best atmosphere of the Podgorica Triathlon so far.
"The greatest attention is drawn to the Olympic distance (1500 meters of swimming, 40 kilometers of biking and 10 kilometers of running), which was won by Jaksa Diklic from Croatia with time 02: 08: 01h. After him, Luka Cupić from TK Herceg Novi and Djuro Mileusnic, from the same team as the winner - TK Dubrovnik. In the women's competition the fastest was Jelena Tomasevic from TK X Herceg Novi, with a time of 02: 30: 29h, while the second and third place was won by the competitors from TK Split Tamara Carevic and Aleksandra Tot from TK Kotor," the statement said.
The champion title for Montenegro in this discipline was won by Jelena Tomasevic and Luka Cupic, while on the podium was also Aleksandra Tot in the women's, and Mladen Ilic (TK Kotor) and Marko Butulija (TK X Herceg Novi) in the men's competition.
"In the Sprint Triathlon discipline (750m swimming, 20km of biking and 5km run), Nikola Pavlovic and Milica Purlija, both members of TK Podgorica, were the first to go through the finish line. The second and third places were won by Goran Danicic (TK X Herceg Novi) and Sean Lepouttre respectively, in the men’s, and Andjela Delibasic (BK Budućnost) and Marija Bosnjak (TK X Herceg Novi) in the women's competition.
In the relay race, the first place was won by the team "The Matadors" from Montenegro, "Carević Team" from Croatia took silver, and the third place took the RRM group from Montenegro.
Text by Vijesti online, on June 18th, 2019, read more at Vijesti
17 June 2019 - The Stadium of little sports (Montenegrin: Stadion malih sportova) in Podgorica, to the satisfaction of all citizens and sports enthusiasts, will soon get a completely new look. Reconstruction of the stadium is in progress and, as the representatives of the government of the Capital City announce, it will be completed by the end of the year.
Stadium of little sports is a multi-purpose stadium in Podgorica, the Capital of Montenegro. It is located under the Gorica Hill, near the city centre. The stadium's total area is 6.686 square meters, and it is owned by the municipality of Podgorica. It serves as one of the main concert venues in the city.
At a recent meeting with the residents of Local community Gorica and Nova Varoš, the Mayor of Podgorica, Ivan Vuković, said that the elaboration of the main project for the reconstruction of the Small Sports Stadium is in progress and that it will be completed by the end of the year.
As they announce from the capital city, the reconstructed sports area will have new terrains and stands, as well as numerous accompanying facilities. They also confirmed that the Football Association of Montenegro would give its contribution to this reconstruction through the donation of artificial turf and hybrid grass for sports.
Dragan Šico Mugoša, the legendary mini football player, one of the most popular athletes who spent years under Gorica Hil and once the best player of great Yugoslavia, said that there were no players who played for the FC Budućnost without having had their “five minutes of fame” on this stadium. Thus, the masters of the world and domestic football played their “most important” roles here: Savićević, Mijatović, Miročević, Vujović, Ljumović, and many others.
The citizens of Podgorica, as well as the citizens of the country, hope that with this reconstruction, the stadium will regain its original purpose – hosting sports events and gathering people of all generations. They are looking forward to seeing children and adults playing handball and mini football like they used to in the past.
Read more about Sport in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
16 June 2019 - Led by Zoran Roganović, Montenegro National Handball Team managed to secure a victory at the Morača Sports Centre in the match against Ukraine, winning 27: 21 and in the second place, they qualified for the European Championship.
The European Championship will be held in January in Austria, Sweden and Norway.
"Certainly, these are the two most important matches. In the first duel, we did not play well against the Faeroes Islands, and now we had to have a more serious approach. It is important that we play smart, divide the time and celebrate against the Faeroes Islands and then against Ukraine and give the maximum to win. It is true that some players just joined the team two days ago and that it is the end of the season, but these are the two most important matches, and everyone will give the maximum to win the placement," said Stefan Čavor for Vijesti before the game, commenting on how important this victory is for the team and for Montenegro as a country.
Montenegro lost to Ukraine after the drama with the Faeroes (29: 24), and as expected in Denmark (37: 26), but the "Lions" defeated the Olympic and World Champions Denmark (32:31) in the previous round, and now on the wings of that triumph they managed to win the remaining two games and achieve the goal.
"We do care whether we are going to be the second or third. The better placement also allows us to get an easier group at the European Championship. When we already have a chance, we have to enter with 100 per cent in both games,” said the goalkeeper, Nebojša Simić, who is now thrilled that the team managed to secure the second place.
Read more sport related news at TMN's dedicated page.
At 7.30 p.m. in Farum, the Montenegrin handball team will play against the Faeroes Islands in the penultimate match in the eighth qualifying round for the European Championship.
The win against the Faeroes, but also on Sunday in Podgorica against Ukraine, would bring Zoran Roganovic's players the second place and placement in the Championships that will be played in Sweden, Norway, and Austria next January. Montenegro can also be one of the four best third-placed teams, for which their match in Farum is of no relevance, but Ukraine must be defeated on Sunday in "Moraca".
Montenegro disappointed in the first duel with the Faeroes Islands with a tie at home (24:24), which is the only point of that selection in the qualifying group. Today, there should be no surprises.
"Certainly, these are the two most important matches. In the first duel, we did not play well against the Faeroes Islands, and now we have to have a more serious approach. It is important that we play smart, divide the time and celebrate against the Faeroes Islands and then against Ukraine and give the maximum to win. It is true that some players just joined the team two days ago and that it is the end of the season, but these are the two most important matches, and everyone will give the maximum to win the placement," said Stefan Cavor. Montenegro lost to Ukraine after the drama with the Faeroes (29:24), and as expected in Denmark (37:26), but the "Lions" caught the connection with a sensational victory against the Olympic and World Champions Denmark (32:31) in the previous round, and now on the wings of that triumph they want to win the remaining two games and achieve the goal.
However, regardless of the outcome of the match in the Faeroes Islands, Montenegro would definitely be a participant in the finale if they win against Ukraine, as one of the four best third-placed teams.
"We do care whether we are going to be the second or third. The better placement also allows us to get an easier group at the European Championship. When we already have a chance, we have to enter with 100 percent in both games, said the goalkeeper Nebojsa Simic.
Ukraine did well for 48 minutes against the favorites of the group, Denmark, yesterday in Kiev, who celebrated at the end with 33:30. By doing so, they helped the "Lions" in the fight for the second place, and now everything depends on Roganovic's team.
"It will not be easy. We saw in the first game that the Faeroes Islands are not the outsiders as we all considered them to be. They created problems also for Ukraine. We must focus and be ready, as we have been against Denmark, to gain victory. Only this time we are much stronger, we are in better shape because of the come-back of Nemanja Grbovic and right-back Branko Vujovic, and this is, in my opinion, the best of our selection, and we will be ready for challenges today and on Sunday, emphasized the side quarter-back Marko Lasica.
Simic: We must not underestimate the Faeroes Islands as in the first match
Goalkeeper Nebojsa Simic, a hero of the victory against the Danes, says the "Lions" will play without calculation, even though they are expecting an even more important match against Ukraine in Podgorica on Sunday.
"We will play without any calculation, and hopefully we will enter the wins in the final two games, which will bring us the second place in the group and the placement at the European Championship. The Faeroes Islands are not easy to beat, and Ukraine barely beat them so we must not underestimate them as in the first match. We have to do our maximum and win two points, and to be extremely prepared and motivated for the most important match against Ukraine in Podgorica," said the hero of the victory over the Danes, the goalkeeper Nebojsa Simic.
Text by Slavisa Zivaljevic, on June 13th, 2019, read more at Vijesti
Since in 2010, when they received visas for their first major competition, the European Championships in Denmark and Norway, the handball players of Montenegro did not play a more significant match in the qualifications. Between the “Lionesses” and the 13th consecutive big tournament stands the Czech Republic, which won the first match of the fight for the World Cup in Japan 26:24.
Tonight’s match in Niksic (at 8.15 p.m.) is even more important when it is known that only the participants of the December Planetary Championship have a chance to find themselves again in Japan next summer in a much more important contest - the Olympic Games. The goal of Jovanka Radicevic and her team is to find themselves in the biggest sporting venue for the third time, to amend the impression of Rio de Janeiro, perhaps even attempt to repeat the success from London, which is why the duel against the Czechs is for them of the utmost importance.
The class is on the side of Pero Johanson's team, who, with the help of the public can and must heavily exceed the minus from Mostar.
"We lost the first two match with two points difference, but in the analysis, we saw that we were not at our maximum level. We know we are threatened by the fact that the Czech Republic is extremely good in all positions, but I believe in our team because we have the experience of playing such games. We are aware that the atmosphere in Niksic will be an advantage, this will be our additional motive," Radicevic said.
The Captain of Montenegro is aware that five days ago, her team failed in what was its strongest point - defense.
It is necessary to play it the best way possible, because the attack lacks the creations of Milena Raicevic due to injury.
"We have to play the defense much better than in the Czech Republic because in some situations we did not react as we should have. I'm sure we will be taken away by the wish and the atmosphere, because the hall will be filled to the last place. Montenegro deserves to be part of the World Cup," said the best right wing of the Champions League.
Johanson does not escape from the proclaimed goal - the Olympics in Tokyo, and the first obstacle on that path is the team of Jan Bashni. The quality is on the side of the “Lionesses", but on Friday it was not felt as such in the field.
"We spent the last few days watching the first match in the Czech Republic. There were good things, but a lot of bad ones. We will try to repeat that we did well, but we have to play better than in the first match to win," says the 48-year-old Swede.
The man who led Montenegro to the 6th place at the World Cup in Germany and 9th at EHF Euro in France knows what his players need to improve from the first match.
"The defense will always be the key to this team, and it was not good in the Czech Republic. This has to be corrected; we have to do much better to be successful," Johanson emphasized.
The atmosphere in the hall is a plus
Niksic has hosted some of the unforgettable matches played by handball players and basketball players from Montenegro, who with huge support from the stands have entered some of the most important victories in the history. The audience should also fill the hall tonight and be the eighth player of the “Lionesses”.
"This is a motif for all of us, we expect a full hall, as always in Niksic. We are not satisfied with the first match, there were a lot of mistakes, and certainly, we can do much better. We have analyzed this, and we are ready to enter the rematch," said 22-year-old Djurdjina Jaukovic from Niksic.
Jelena Despotovic is also thinking similarly.
"The support will mean a lot to us. We cannot wait to start the match, but this must not deconcentrate us, but we have to start very well from the first minute. The defense was the biggest problem in the first game; we will try to correct the mistakes we made," emphasized the Hungarian Debrecina.
Text by Nikola Nikolic, on June 5th, 2019, read more at Vijesti
June 3, 2019 - Last weekend, Lustica Bay hosted the Lustica Bay Cup races for Laser and Optimist sailing classes. The regatta was organized in cooperation with local clubs - YC Delfin Tivat, YC Lahor Kotor and YC Jugole Grakalić Herceg Novi, who welcomed the idea to open the new sailing field, especially since their competitors, except international competitions, do not often have the opportunity to check their skills outside the aquatics of Boka Bay.
The Games of Small Countries of Europe 2019 have finished, and Montenegro and the Olympic Committee have shown, above all, a great heart and hospitality, as well as the knowledge and the capacity to organize a demanding sports competition at a high level.
For the first time, our country hosted a multi-sports event, 835 athletes competed in ten disciplines, in five cities, and all parts of the organization functioned according to the highest standards.
Nothing would have happened if there was no energy, enthusiasm, and Mediterranean charm.
In this spirit, the Ceremony of the Closing of the Games was held. "You've shown the world how big the Olympic spirit is in your beautiful country of Montenegro," said Bah. President of the Montenegrin Olympic Committee, Dusan Simonovic, spoke with unrestrained pride and emotions.
"Tonight, we extinguished the Olympic flame over the Old Town in Budva. Its warmth and reflection will remain in our hearts and will continue to be our inspiration and memory on the path we have passed since June 2014 when we were assigned the organization of the Games to this day when we have five days to remember it by. Days in which we - small and so great - united in diversity, celebrated the sport and the Olympic spirit," Simonovic said.
At the end of the ceremony, Simonovic symbolically handed the flag of the Games to his colleague Haume Marti from Andorra, a Pyrenean state, where the 19th edition of the contest will be held, gathering athletes from European countries with less than a million inhabitants.
"For the past five days, we were not all uncompromising competitors. Or, we were not just that. We were athletes, architects, and builders, who built the bridge of trust and friendship in 1985 with the first edition of the Small Country Games, extended and laid the foundation on the Adriatic coast. Proudly, knowing that we - with the help of our friends, associates, sponsors, volunteers - have given our total energy to be exemplary hosts, but also the energy we received in return, we will leave the map together to Andorra," Simonovic said.
And then, after the spectacular fireworks which illuminated Budva, at the swimming pool of the complex “Slovenska plaza” began the party – Goodbye Montenegro, see you in Andorra 2021!
Text by Vijesti Sport, on June 1st, 2019, read more at Vijesti
As the coach of Buducnost Voli, who arrived on the bench two days before the start of the domestic championship (after Jasmin Repesa's resignation), Petar Mijovic was aware that he was in a better position compared to anyone else in the Montenegrin Super League due to the quality and experience of the team he had at his disposal.
However, because of that role of the absolute favorite, he knew that he could gain little and lose much more if the title did not return to Podgorica after the year it had been adorning the showcases of Mornar. The circumstances didn’t go his way to help Buducnost easily reach the goal.
The Super League started two days after the end of the crunching series of the final playoff in the ABA league against “Red Star”, where the players from Podgorica were left without the trophies they planned to defend. With emotionally exhausted players and after the departure of five foreigners (Cole, Earl and Coty Clarke, Williams, Bitadze), without the injured Nikola Ivanovic and Aleksa Ilic, Mijovic with several juniors were on their way to justify the role of the favorite, and make a mosaic of the team to make a real game, and all this without the opportunity for real training, as they played every other day.
Immediately at the start, he was left without Petar Popovic (injury in the 1st round), Nemanja Gordic missed several matches, Filip Barovic suffered a severe injury in the third match. However, in the end, Buducnost came to the desired title and Mijovic to the first senior trophy on the Buducnost bench.
"That was, of course, a tremendous challenge for me, though I did have a bit of coaching experience behind me. For 16 years, I worked in France, Pristina, Iran, and Mornar on different levels. However, this was my most complex endeavor, but I did not think that I had anything to be scared of. There are so many coaches in this area who would like to work in an organization such as KK Buducnost, with the level of players you can only get and grow as a coach. Therefore, there was no fear, I had the desire and intention to do the best I could, to use all the resources I had at that moment, and we had, without a doubt, the best team in Montenegro," says Mijovic, who came on the bench of Buducnost only a few days after the birth of his second son.
As he says, he "deeply believed in the boys, but also himself and his work."
"Through all these years, I have the ambition to work at a high level, to always do my best, and, simply, I acted to be ready to take up the opportunity like this, and I'm glad we met the goal. Perhaps, it could have been done easier, but I think it could be worse, which was shown by some seasons behind us. With all the problems we had, one should not forget that we could not count on Ilic and Ivanovic. There was a lot of things which were not in our favor, and it is always difficult to do things that imply that you have to do them right, and if you do not, it is the end of the world. In a situation that was not easy psychologically, with the help of the responsible and devoted boys, we did the job correctly. And to emphasize, we did not defend but win the title that was lost last season," continues Mijovic.
The young 37-year-old coach points out that all the previous seasons, sometimes harder, sometimes easier, Buducnost won almost all the trophies, except the Montenegrin Cup in 2013.
13 wins in 17 matches put Buducnost in the Super League led by Petar Mijovic - eight in the league, two in the play-off semi-finals against Lovcen and three in the final against Mornar. Buducnost experienced three defeats by Mornar and one by Sutjeska.
"Losing the Cup that year, this title last season, I think it has become clear how valuable all these trophies are and how important it is for the season to end with a Cup," says Mijovic.
"In addition to all the problems and the specific situation, the moment of advancing to the Super League, where we did not have time to refresh and reset, literally 48 hours after the fifth game against Red Star, I think two days after the third match against Mornar, and with a cool head, I can say the players, despite some defeats, seriously responded to a difficult task. They had found the strength in the toughest and most critical moments, and it was not easy for them, because, with the preparation period, the match against Mornar was the 91st game in the season. If we add FIBA and representatives in the various selections, which were 6-7, I think we are close to 100. This did not help us, did not allow us the necessary freshness to make it easier to finish the final series. And all that is happening in the region; it does not always make it easy for better teams. Olimpija lost their final in Slovenia to 3:0, Cedevita, who played the semi-final series of the ABA against us in the same squad, lost the final to Cibona with 4:0. It is much more demanding than it looks like at first glance," Mijovic pointed out.
Mijovic then explained in more detail why this season was specific for Buducnost.
"Buducnost played in the European league after 17-18 years, the selection of the team to defend the title in the ABA league, a very stressful season, with a lot of ups and downs that culminated in the final series of the ABA League against Red Star. After all that, the timing of the team's takeover was very specific and demanding, primarily due to the state of mind, mental and physical, where these guys were at. In addition, because of the limitation of the number of foreigners, we entered the Super League with five players less, which was a completely different team compared to the one who competed before, with new roles, a new hierarchy inside the team. Zoran Nikolic returned after a few months, all this was accompanied by the injury of Nemanja Gordic's shoulder, then Petar Popovic's injury after the first quarter of the first game in the Super League against Lovcen, so there were a lot of things that were not going in our favor," says Mijovic.
"The most important thing is that we've done a lot of things in the regular part of the Super League," he said. "Well balanced, in the last round, when we got the first place, we decided to put Jaskcon and Barovic on a break because we played every two days, and we did not have freshness at that moment".
In the semi-finals of the play-off, Buducnost eliminated the excellent team Lovcen after two difficult matches, and then came the final series against Mornar.
"The first two games we played extremely good, the first one was easy to win in "Moraca", and then we confirmed it in Bar, maybe with the best game in the Super League with this lineup. Then came the third match, for which they probably thought it was all over, and then came a cold shower, nausea, through the unpleasant defeat, which took us to some other extreme, to the situation in Bar where we wanted to ask for the chance to return the title, in which we did not succeed. Then the fifth match brought its own new tension, a certain amount of nervousness, and the desire was high in each of the guys who ran on the court. But in those situations, it is often the pressure, which has slowed us down, led to a situation that was not good, especially in the first half, in which we wasted a lot of good shots that could easily be realized in some other circumstances. After the start of the second half, there was a shock, injury of Barovic, you saw it. So, there were quite a few things that did not work for us, and then one remarkable downturn in the last minute and 47-48 seconds, where we literally were at 11 points difference after the three points by Jackson, but we had to get the match in the last seconds," Buducnost’s coach said.
The club is to decide whether he would remain the coach of the first team
Prior to taking over the first team, Mijovic led the younger categories of the club from Podgorica since last year. This is his second-year contract in Buducnost; he has two more, and, as he says, he still does not know how he will continue his engagement in the club.
"I am absolutely connected to Buducnost, and the club will decide which direction will be taken further, from which positions I will continue to work. I must point out that with the President of the Club (Dragan Bokan) and the Sports Director (Gavrilo Pajovic), I have very good cooperation, it is all that a coach can only wish for. We will see what the next days will bring," he concluded. He led the team of French Roan where he worked with Luka Pavicevic and independently led Zeta, Baskimi and Sigal, and before Buducnost he had the last engagement at the Student’s Center, the branch of Buducnost.
Text by Sasa Joncic, on June 1st, 2019, read more at Vijesti