Contestants from five continents and 41 countries around the world competed in Kotor at the fourth triathlon Ocean Lava Montenegro.
Each of these 600 participants in the “Half Ironman” race is inspired by passion and will, and the limits are just in each of us, as proved by the contestants of the "Sasfit Team" from Turkey.
Paralympians Mustafa Sar, Enes Gunel and Burak Abadjol competed in the relay-race category: Mustafa, a competitor with no arms, swan a distance of 1.9 kilometers. Burak, who has an inherent problem with his right hand, ran the whole semi-marathon i.e., 21 kilometers. Enes is immobile and drove a bicycle on a trail 90 kilometers long.
Mustafa was born without arms. He's practiced sports for nine years, out of which five professionally.
"I began swimming following a recommendation by my doctor, who thought that this sport would help me because of spinal scoliosis," the Turkish Paralympics said to "Vijesti".
Sport as therapy is also recommended to another member of the "Sasfit team", 32-year-old competitor Buraku, whose disability is the result of his mother's difficult birth.
Burak's right arm was not fully developed and for years he could not use it.
"I had surgery eight times. I've practiced sports for 14 years, of which nine as a professional. For years I have played football at a club for disabilities. In one of them, I was a goalkeeper for eight years," Burak said.
He also added that, apart from being engaged in sports, he studied economics at the University of Istanbul, after which he completed postgraduate studies in sociology and sports law.
"I do not allow my physical disability to be a barrier to anything in my life," he said in his profile on Linkedin.
Thee Sasfit team from Turkey was supposed also include 27-year-old Abdulkadir Uzol, a competitor with one foot who for years successfully participated in the cycling races.
Abdulkadir did not arrive in Kotor because of the wedding plans, and 29-year-old Enes Gunel replaced him in the relay-race. Enes rode the Triathlon in Kotor with a special bicycle made for paraplegics or persons with spine injuries.
This young man started an active sports career at the age of six. He practiced swimming, basketball, and volleyball. In February 2012, Enes experienced an accident at a snowboarding show, when he suffered a substantial spinal injury, which is why he is immobile today.
After the long recovery, he decided to return to the sport. Aware that some of them were no longer possible because of his immobility, he went for cycling.
His bicycle came from the United States in 2015 as a donation, and Enes has been active since then. He plans to represent Turkey at the Paralympics Games in Tokyo in 2020.
"Paraplegia often makes me depend on others... Still, I would recommend everyone in a similar situation to not give up and to work hard on themselves. Even when it is certain that the full recovery is impossible - do not give up," he said.
Paralympians like thee Turkish athletes are not new to the Ocean Lava Montenegro competition.
Two years ago in Kotor, among the 300 contestants at the time, there was Honzu Tomanek from the Czech Republic. Tomanek was also the first paraplegic to take part in a triathlon competition in Montenegro in the first year after Paratriathlon, at the Paralympics Games in Rio 2016, and was officially entered on the list of Paralympic sports.
Triathlon has been in the Olympic Games program since 2000.
"The world is driven by passion," is the official message of Ocean Lava's organizers.
An important life lesson
Triathlon contestant Igor Majer, the founder of the Sports Academy "Mayer", who is also the organizer of the competition in Kotor, says that what for other contest organizers may be a problem, for him is a challenge. The Turkish contestants contacted him a few months ago with a list of demands. "I've provided everything they requested. Nothing of this complicates my organization, I love everything I do, I like to show others that borders are just in ourselves and it is my pleasure to host such competitors who can show everyone that the world is driven by passion and will, and that the borders are only in our heads. I am sure that today in Kotor, all the participants of the race and fans will learn an important life lesson," said Majer to “Vijesti”, "convinced that with their example and participation in the race Mustafa, Enes and Burak will be an inspiration to others so they can change their life for the better.
Text by Damira Kalac, on May 12th, 2019, read more at Vijesti
May 10, 2019 - The weekend ahead will feature Ocean Lava Montenegro, a triathlon race that is part of a world series of over 20 competitions in 17 countries. The Montenegrin edition is growing year by year, and after last year's competition, which gathered together 480 competitors from 38 countries, this weekend in Kotor the race will see 600 triathletes from about 50 countries of the world.
Thanks to his efforts on Buducnost, Goga Bitadze won the “Rising Star Trophy" of the European League.
The young, 19-year-old Georgian has shown outstanding potential in only 13 games, with an average of 12.1 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per match, with an average score of 16.3.
Because of a small number of games played, he could not compete for the MVP season title.
The great names of European and world basketball have won the "Rising Star Trophy".
For the past two years, it was Luka Doncic, earlier Rudi Fernandes, Danilo Gallinari, Ricky Rubio, Nikola Mirotic, and Bogdan Bogdanovic.
At the end of the ABA League, Bitadze left Buducnost and returned to “Mega Bemax”.
The draft and a high place in the NBA lottery are awaiting him in June.
Text by Vijesti Sport, on May 7th, 2019, read more at Vijesti
After the fourth round, only one team will be without defeats in the Erste Super league - Mornar or Buducnost Voli. They played the fourth mutual duel this season in "Topolica" (free entry) on Wednesday night.
Buducnost won all three previous games, two in the league section of the ABA league (in Bar 99:95, in Podgorica 102: 71), and also celebrated in the semi-finals of the Montenegrin Cup in Podgorica with 92:82. Except twice in the Super league, Mornar and Buducnost could meet five times in the eventual (and expected) final series of the play-off.
"Needless to say, Buducnost is an absolute favorite and is by far the best Montenegrin team. Our duels have been interesting for several years, and I would like them to be as uncertain as last year, but this is almost impossible to expect because Buducnost is at a much higher level than we are. We are not even close to the last year’s level. Of course, we will do our best to provide good resistance and give basketball lovers in Montenegro a great show so that we can all enjoy basketball together. It is important to bring back the story about basketball because I will not comment on anything else. I hope that the people who come to watch the match, as well as the ones in front of the TV screens, will enjoy the basketball skills of both teams, but I repeat, Buducnost is the absolute favorite in the upcoming match," said the coach of the team from Bar, Mihailo Pavicevic.
Mornar, who in the last season with a 3:1 in the final series, took the title from Buducnost, in first three rounds entered victories against Jedinstvo (102: 80), Ulcinj (85:78) and last against Sutjeska (106: 87).
"Considering the way we played the first two games, we defeated Sutjeska a lot easier than I had hoped. I was expecting a much tougher match, and I was pleasantly surprised by my players and they played the best game so far in the Super League and it gives me hope that we can raise the level of the game, to make the Montenegrin Championship as interesting as possible. I particularly look forward to a good game and a positive approach by the players who enter the game from the bench as well as young players," Pavicevic added.
MIJOVIĆ WORRIED ABOUT INJURIES
Buducnost has entered three victories, all convincing ones, against Lovcen (104: 78), Jedinstvo (105: 77) and Ulcinj (110: 63).
"It seems to me that the team has reacted a little better than I expected, especially when it comes to motivation and concentration, all of which resulted in all three games entering a relatively light victory. I'm happy on that side," says Buducnost coach Petar Mijovic for "Vijesti".
As he says, the derby will show where Buducnost and Mornar stand currently.
"To win in Bar, it is necessary to be the best since the beginning of the Super League, to have the maximum concentration, the focus in all 40 minutes. It is necessary that some of the things that represented the problem, especially in the defense, are at a significantly higher level because the quality of Mornar’s players is such that they will punish all that is missing. We are preparing very seriously, for a serious opponent, and I hope that we can continue with the victories in Bar," adds Mijovic, who highly appreciates the team of Mornar.
"For the last few years, Buducnost and Mornar play the big derbies of Montenegrin basketball. Mornar is the only team, who, since independence, managed to take the title next to Buducnost, which was a surprise last season. Mornar is in very good shape this season, after a good season, and surely they will again be the biggest opponent for the title."
ULCINJ AND JEDINSTVO SEEK THEIR FIRST VICTORIES
In the shadow of the derby in Bar, two more games are played. After three rounds, only Jedinstvo and Ulcinj are with no victories. The team from Ulcinj will be the first to try to register a win at home against Lovcen, who they lost to twice in the Erste League (73:54 at home, 83:75 in Cetinje).
"After a slightly slower start, we have achieved an important victory on our field, and now we will play against a very good team from Ulcinj who played in front of their supporters with one ball against Sutjeska and Mornar. We have trouble with injuries on the outside positions, but I am certain that whoever gets out on the field will give their maximum. We have to be focused during all 40 minutes to break the resistance of the team from Ulcinj, we know it will not be easy, but we want to achieve another victory that would mean a lot to us in the race for the first four places," Masan Vrbica said.
A much more difficult job is awaiting Jedinstvo, who play away in Sutjeska. The team from Bijelo Polje won at home against Sutjeska (78:70) in the league section of the Erste League, but lost in Niksic (93:68).
Text by Sasa Joncic, on May 1st, 2019, read more at Vijesti
Natasa Orbovic from Niksic knew that she was destined for sport; she just needed to discover which one. She was patient and at the age of 12, she realized that the struggle under the basketball hoop made her feel awesome. As a kid, she dreamed of being a teacher one day and of teaching children. She succeeded in doing both.
She was a member of the national team of Montenegro in basketball, works as a teacher at the Primary School "Bozidar Vukovic Podgoricanin" in Podgorica, and is one of three women international judges in Montenegro.
This young woman from Niksic, who loves basketball, admits that she is glad that while she was still a little girl, she knew how to choose the right things that later proved to be correct.
"I've always been skilfull in sports with a ball and have participated in school competitions, so I knew I was going to be in one of them, and during that time of growing up I was most fond of basketball. My dedication to the training and my will led me to soon become a member of the national team of Montenegro in the cadets, juniors and young selections, as well as part of the start-up team of the Niksic team Roling which competed in the first league," says a girl who never had a certain basketball idol but struggled to pick up good elements and features of the top players of that time.
She has practiced basketball for nine years, and the first match is forever embedded in her memory.
"Of course, I remember the first game, I did not have tremendous nerves, and maybe that's one of the reasons I've been excited to do this because I felt comfortable on the court from the first moment. In addition to all the games I played in the club and the national team, and which are extremely dear to me, I would set apart the first when we, like exhilarating girls, ran on the court with the ball for the first time. That excitement and emotions are remembered for a lifetime."
She says that when basketball is concerned, she did not set any high goals because she had obligations at the faculty and towards her family, but fulfilled all her plans - she played the final matches and championships and the Cup of Montenegro and participated in the European Championship with the national selections:
"I did not set my goals high as a player and was not committed to making an international career. For this reason, there are no gaps in me and the lack of fulfillment in my career."
However, Natasa cannot live without basketball. She replaced the ball with a whistle and is doing well.
"I worked as an assistant judge - a record keeper at many matches in Niksic and after I was encouraged by my senior colleagues, experienced judges from Niksic, Igor Janjusevic and late Goran Vojinovic, I began to referee, together with them. After the first match, I felt great in the role of a judge, and it was very easy for me". Though it is harder for women than men to be a judge, this has given her the incentive to prove to the disbelievers that even women can execute the job of a judge "at an enviable level."
"In the beginning, it was difficult for players and coaches to adapt to women's judges, and now it's all normal because we showed with our commitment, good decision making and attitude that we can do this job in line with our male colleagues."
She is the judge in the First and Second Men's League, the First Women's League, and has also judged the matches of the Women's Regional Waba League. At the end of May, she will have the chance to perform referee at the Games of Small Countries of Europe.
Working with children is an unimaginable pleasure
Natasa works in schools for three and a half years, two of which have been in the elementary school "Bozidar Vukovic Podgoricanin". She is grateful to her colleague and director Ljubinka Nedic for helping her to incorporate judging and teaching.
"As a girl, when I would play school with my friends, I would always be the one who wanted to be a teacher. It followed me growing up and in the subconscious, I knew this would be my profession. Now, after three and a half years of school work, I know I have not made a mistake in choosing my profession, and I enjoy working with children as well as be in their company. The children know that their teacher is a basketball judge and even though I do not talk to them about this topic, I somehow feel they are proud that their teacher is an athlete, as well."
Since both her jobs are dear to her, she could not choose only one, and as she says, she will try to make progress "on both fronts - in the classroom and the field." She hopes to succeed in that, and the results will not lack.
Goal - European and World competitions
Until this year in Montenegro, there were no female international judges. One month ago, we gained three of them - besides Natasa, there are Ivana Radinovic from Podgorica and Suzana Vujicic from Herceg Novi.
"Every game is a story in itself. Each carries a particular risk and you can always expect the unexpected. I have not had major problems in my career so far and I hope it will stay that way. Judging brings us a lot of traveling alongside new acquaintances and friendships. Unlike when I was a player, this time I set the goals really high and I want to judge at all the bigger European and world competitions one day. Since I walked to the international scene as very young, I'm hoping to achieve it. Of course, the support that the three of us have from the Basketball Association of Montenegro, the National Instructor Zoran Sutulovic and the Montenegrin Basketball Judge Association is, of course, an essential factor.
Text by Svetlana Mandic, on April 28th, 2019, read more at Vijesti
23 April 2019 - According to the conclusions from the first session of the Honorary Committee of the Games of the Small States of Europe 2019, chaired by the Committee Chairman Prime Minister Duško Marković, the Government of Montenegro, Podgorica Capital City, the Old Royal Capital Cetinje and the municipalities of Budva, Bar and Tivat, as well as the competent state authorities, are undertaking all necessary activities in order to organize the 13th Games of the Small States of Europe 2019, which will be held in Montenegro from 27 May to 1 June. These actions are being conducted to provide all necessary conditions for the organization of the games at the highest level, and to use them to promote Montenegro as a stable country and prestigious investment and tourist destination.
Mayors and presidents of municipalities in which the games will be held informed the Committee about the infrastructure preparation to hold the games, recognizing the importance of the competition that will gather more than 1,000 athletes, and numerous accompanying staff. They expressed their full readiness to financially contribute to the event by allocating budget funds, in addition to 605.000 EUR which the Government allocated for the event so far.
The Honorary Committee invited public companies and other sponsors to support the competition within the bounds of their possibilities, thus contributing to further affirmation of the country.
"The Games of the Small States of Europe do not only have significance in the aspect of sports. Taking into consideration that the participants of the games include small but successful countries of the European Union and since there are renowned sports organisations behind these countries, this is a real opportunity for Montenegro to present itself once again to the world in a high-quality manner and to confirm its economic, political and sporting commitments," PM Marković stressed.
The Games of the Small States of Europe, which have been held since 1985, currently bring together nine countries: Andorra, Montenegro, Iceland, Cyprus, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, and San Marino. The competitions are organised in athletics, bocce, volleyball, beach volleyball, basketball, swimming, judo, shooting, tennis and table tennis.
April 23, 2019 - With the exceptionally favourable conditions on the sea and the excellent organisation of accompanying contents, the 13th Tivat Regatta UNA Montenegro Cup overcame all the expectations and confirmed already last year the apparent fact that Tivat gets a severe sport and tourist manifestation dedicated to sailing and the culture of life along the sea. Along with Bokelian competitors in the Optimist and Laser sports classes, who competed on Friday and Saturday, the Sunday Tivat regatta gathered 32 boats and over 150 sailors. The ship MM Shinning triumphed under the colours of YC Lahor Kotor with skipper Miloš Radonjić, setting a new track record - 1 h 34 min.
22 April 2019 - Crvena Zvezda is the 2019 ABA League champion. The Serbian team blew out the Montenegrin side and defending champ Budućnost VOLI 97:54 in Game 5 of the Finals to win the series 3:2.
Apart from claiming the title for the fourth time in the history of the club, Crvena Zvezda also got a position in the 2019-2020 EuroLeague. Zvezda is back in the top-tier competition after losing the spot to Budućnost VOLI last season.
K.C. Rivers scored a game-high 21 points for the winning side that practically finished the game by halftime. The hosts overpowered their opponents 29:8 in the second quarter to reach 47:21 at halftime. Budućnost VOLI was unable to react and lost further ground, despite coach Jasmin Repeša’s pleas to his players to try and finish the game as best as possible.
Budućnost VOLI received a rude welcome in the arena that led to the game being delayed, although similar incidents had taken place in Game 3 in Podgorica in Podgorica.
Norris Cole commented on the hostile pregame atmosphere against his team with some statements to Eurohoops.
“That was the most unacceptable and unprofessional basketball environment. The ABA league should be ashamed of what happened tonight. They threw chairs, drinks, spit, fireworks, and other objects on to the court and their fans ran on the court disrupting our warmups to the point we had to leave the court. Totally unsafe and unacceptable. The game should not have been played. But they threatened we would forfeit the championship if we did not return to the court,” stressed out Cole.
When Budućnost VOLI players entered the court for their warmup session, various objects were hurled at them from the stands. The squad immediately turned back to return to the locker room.
“When our players set out to enter the arena, total hysteria and throwing all possible hard things happened: coins, phone batteries, stones, full bottles, broom parts, lighters, chairs. About 40 fans entered the court and came to the bench of Budućnost VOLI, they spit on and physically attacked our players. Cole, Earl Clark, and Nemanja Gordić, who was hit with a chair stolen by a fan,” reported the official statement of Budućnost VOLI.
“Podgorica fans did not run on the court during warms up. They did not touch any players. They did not throw any chairs or multiple soda cups on the court. And the ABA league stepped in to control it, but they did not step up to control the environment in Belgrade. Podgorica did not vandalize the playing court,” stated Cole regarding the similar incidents that took place in Game 3 in Podgorica and brought a sanction to Budućnost VOLI.
Boriša Simanić had a key output since he dropped his 10 points in 10 minutes (on perfect 3/3 f.g., 3/3 f.t. shooting) of the first half. The Serbian forward also had a couple of highlights, two days after being announced for the NBA Draft. Dejan Davidovac added 11 points for Zvezda that prevailed despite missing Stratos Perperoglou.
No Budućnost VOLI player scored in double figures. Norris Cole scored nine while projected lottery pick in the 2019 Draft Goga Bitadze had seven points in 16:36.
After the game, Billy Baron of Crvena Zvezda was named MVP of the ABA Liga playoffs.
One of the heroes of the victory against “Red Star” in the fourth match of the play-off finals Edwin Jackson knows what the guys from Podgorica can expect in Belgrade, but also considers that such matches are something special in the career of players.
The French national was great in the last duel against the club from Belgrade.
"First of all, after two matches in Belgrade, we had to look at ourselves and admit that we played badly. Still, we managed to react and to even the score. On Monday, it is important that we play for each point and try to win and gain placement in the European league, which is our main goal and which we deserve. The “best of three” match in Belgrade is something special in our careers. The audience will be crazy, but these are the moments that you live for," said Jackson.
The tiebreaker game for the title of the ABA league will be played on Monday in Belgrade at 7 p.m.
Text by CdM/Dan, on April 21st 2019, read more at CdM
19 April 2019 - Game 5 will decide who will be the 2018/19 ABA League champion! Budućnost VOLI defeated Crvena zvezda mts in Game 4 in Podgorica, which means that the score in this series is now all tied - 2:2.
Game 5 of the 2019 ABA League Finals will be played in on April 22, while Crvena zvezda mts will have a home court advantage in that match. Whoever wins that match will clinch the championship trophy.
Once again Budućnost VOLI made a big comeback for the win. The home team was down by 10 points in the 3rd quarter, however, they managed to reduce the gap to just 1 point before the start of the 4th quarter and prevail in a thrilling ending. Crvena zvezda mts had the lead 72:70 with 3 minutes left on the game clock, but then Budućnost VOLI made the key 9:0 run and went in front – 79:72. There was simply not enough time for the visitors to get back in this match.
Norris Cole has done it again! He is once again the man of the match. This 30-year old point guard scored 31 points, had 6 rebounds and 6 assists, while his overall index rating was 36!
Jackson banked four shots from deep on his way to 23 points and Earl Clark helped him with 15 points.
For Crvena Zvezda, Billy Baron had a great night with 24 points on 5-10 shooting from behind the arc while Mouhammad Faye and Ognjen Dobric added 14 points each.
Like in the previous match, the Crvena zvezda mts crew had problems with turnovers. They made 14 of them this evening. Edwin Jackson with 12 and Billy Baron with 14 points stole the spotlight in the first half but the latter’s squad had a 38-35 lead at halftime.
Source: Aba League News
18 April 2019 - Budućnost VOLI vs. Crvena zvezda mts, Game 4! The main question in front of Friday’s spectacle is whether the Aba League Finals will move back to Belgrade or everything will end in Podgorica?
Budućnost VOLI will once again have the home court advantage and will once again be in a must-win situation. Recall that the Blue side trail 1-2 in the final series, so they need to win the following match in order to keep that championship dream alive. They did it on Wednesday, now they have to do it again.
On the other side, Crvena zvezda mts missed their first match point, but now they have another chance to seize the 3rd win in this series and win the ABA League title. It certainly won’t be an easy job as they will have the whole gym standing against them, but Zvezda have already defeated Budućnost VOLI in the Sports Center Morača this season. It happened in the 1st part of the regular season.
Norris Cole was brilliant in Game 3, scoring 20 points and leading the Budućnost VOLI troops toward their first win in this series. He will once again confront Filip Čović, who has been one of the best players of Crvena zvezda mts so far in this series. We are about to see who will prevail this time.
So far, head to head in the regional league in total is 18:22, while in Podgorica it is 15:4 for Budućnost.
Source: Aba League News