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
Brewery "Trebjesa" and Niksicko Beer extended the sponsorship agreement with the Montenegrin Football Association, which has continued its long-standing support to the development of Montenegrin football.
A two-year sponsorship contract was signed by the Executive Director of "Trebjesa" Sanja Calasan and the President of the Montenegrin Football Association Dejan Savicevic.
"Today, with the signed sponsorship, we continue to support the Football Association and the National Team, as well as our company's investments in the development and popularization of the sport in Montenegro. The brewery "Trebjesa" supports different sports groups, both smaller as well as those at the national level," said Sanja Calasan, Executive Director of the brewery " Trebjesa".
"In addition to supporting the Football Association, we also prepared several activities for lovers of the most important sport in the world. We as the sponsors, players, but also the entire football community share the same dream - placement in the upcoming European Championship. I hope that dream will be realized and celebrated - with Nikcicko Beer."
President of the Montenegrin Football Association Dejan Savicevic expressed his satisfaction in continuing the cooperation with Trebjesa.
"I am extremely pleased that today we have the opportunity to extend the cooperation agreement with one of the most important Montenegrin companies, which has been active for many years on the sports scene of our country. The Football Association has a trusted partner in Niksic brewery who is very pleased to participate in the development and promotion of sports, especially football. We are confident that the outstanding relationship between this company and the Football Alliance will last much longer than it is stipulated by the contract signed today and that the cooperation will be even more successful than in the previous years.”
Text by Promo, on April 18th, 2019, read more at Vijesti
17 April 2019 - It is not over yet! Budućnost VOLI has defeated Crvena zvezda mts at home in Game 3 of the 2019 ABA League Finals and has, therefore, reduced their deficit in this series to 1-2. Despite a stellar first half by KC Rivers, Budućnost turned things around and got the 80-69 win. This means that the Game 4 in the 2019 ABA League Finals will be played. That match will be played in Sports Center Morača on Friday, April 19.
With more than 5,000 fans on their side, Budućnost VOLI managed to make a big comeback in Game 3. The Blue side was down by 12 points at one moment in the first half, while they conceded 50 points in the 1st and 2nd quarters combined. Still, the reigning champions refused to surrender and they started playing a lot better defense after the break. Budućnost VOLI made a 16:1 run in the third quarter and took over the lead which they did not drop until the end of the match. It must also be mentioned that the home team conceded just 22 points for the entire 2nd half.
Norris Cole was the man of the match as he stepped up for his team in Game 3. The two-time NBA champion scored 20 points and had seven rebounds, which shows how much he wanted to win this match.
Crvena zvezda mts had more turnovers (16) than assists (11), but still their biggest problem this evening was the fact that their offense just stopped working in the 2nd half. Also, the red and whites had more attempts for 3-points than for 2-points, and that is something you do not see that often.
Game 4 will be played on Friday and if needed, a Game 5 will be played on Monday at Belgrade. The winner of the series will not only get the ABA League championship title but also a ticket to next season’s Euro League.
Source: Aba League News
Jasmin Repesa, the coach of Buducnost Voli, reported to the players immediately after the second defeat to Crvena Zvezda. "I told them immediately at dinner that I need people now, not only the players, who are willing to accept such a situation. Whoever is not ready, stay at home. No one will be upset, but the moment is such," Repesa said, ahead of the third round of the ABA League final, which will be played in Podgorica on Wednesday, at 7 p.m.
He invited fans to support the team but emphasized:
"To give support to us, but to respect our opponent, that they do not experience what we have. That's what I ask them, that's the real audience from Podgorica, a Montenegrin audience. Fan support is needed and will make it easier for the players, but it is not enough - we should be smart, aggressive, disciplined, connected," said Repesa.
The Croatian coach spoke about the atmosphere in Belgrade.
"I just said what I saw, experienced and heard. I did not expect and experienced any trauma. Still, I'm a child from the street. I'm such a man - I can take a slap, but spitting is the most cowardly act. My intentions were not bad. Also, I do not acknowledge the punishment for their inheritance," said Repesa.
He admitted that he expected more.
"I was sure we would win one game in Belgrade based on the technical-tactical preparations we made. We started the matches well, but a small drop of concentration was enough for the opponent to enter the series and gain confidence. We stopped, this team missed playing for 40 minutes. But that's how it is," Repesa said.
"Concentration must be at this level; each professional player must be focused, that is the minimum that he must have. We cannot make any mistakes we've made. If someone hit over his arm, that's fine if the open three points are missed that's fine, but if the series of shots are missed then it's a sign that something with mental preparation is wrong," he emphasized.
A reaction is expected.
"There must be reactions due to the respect for the fans, to the employers, because there are only few places in Europe, which regularly pay off and fulfill their obligations. But first of all, it is necessary to react to our image and pride. Who does not react at this moment, has no pride and cannot play anywhere in the world," he said. The situation is tough, but we should be optimistic, Repesa said. "We know where the mistakes are; everything can be eliminated. I'm confident that tomorrow we will be watching a different match. The most important thing is to restore self-confidence, which is shaken but we can go back with the atmosphere as hosts," Repesa said.
Text by Vijesti Sport, on April 16th 2019, read more at Vijesti