The miracle of all miracles in "Moraca".
The Montenegro handball defeated Denmark, the Olympic and world champions, and a dominant force led by the best player in the world.
In the third round of qualifications for the European Championship, the "Lions" celebrated one of the most significant victories in the history of Montenegrin sport - 32:31.
The Danes came to Podgorica after a series of 15 consecutive victories in official matches, ten linked to the World Cup and failed in the duel with Montenegro. Mikel Hansen and his comrades could only watch the celebration in shock, while the fans sang to Nebojsa Simic and other idols.
The "Lions" took some time to break through the defense of Denmark, possibly because of the overly respectful attitude towards the giant. But when they set out to tackle the net of powerless Kim Niklas Landin, they did not stop - Milos Bozovic and Stevan Vujovic scored from all positions, Simic defended himself as if in a trance and "stopped" the hits, so Nebojsa Simovic in the 13th minute increased the lead to 8:5. Montenegro then led 9: 6, after which Bozovic was excluded, while Roganovic showed courage and sent Aleksandar Bakic to fight with the current Olympic and world champion. The home team even had a great opportunity to take a lead of plus four, but Vladan Lipovina's shot hit the inside part of the goalpost. The Danes came back at 9:8, and then Bakic overcame Landin and made Nikolai Jakobsen call a time-out and switch at the goal. The guests came around after that, began to punish the rivals' mistakes, but the "Lions" had an unbelievable desire and was again up two points (13:11 and 14: 12).
Then the brilliant Hansen took everything into his own hands - the best player of the planet came back for 16:15.
Jakobsen started the second half without a goalkeeper, with seven players in the attack, but was immediately penalized because Marko Lasica hit an empty goal for 17:17. The Danes continued to attack with one handball player more and once again paid the price of taking a risk, so Milos Vujovic finished the series 3:0 for 22:20. The guests had an attack on the turn, but Simic caught a refrained ball and slammed the net from seven meters, and then Stevan Vujovic, Bozovic, and Milos Vujovic returned with a record plus three (28:25, 47th minute) after a perfect assist by the Montenegrin goalkeeper.
When Branko Kankaras pushed the ball it into the net for 30:27, it was clear that a miracle was about to happen. Lipovina raised the score to 32:30 51 seconds before the end, but that was not the end of the drama - 19 seconds later Anders Zachariassen decreased the difference, and Bozovic tried to solve everything with a goal. Landin defended, but luck was on Montenegro's side. In fact, Montenegro did not deserve to be left without the greatest victory in history.
With these two points, the "Lions" returned to the European Championship. If they beat Ukraine in June, they will qualify for the European Championship, and will have something to show if they keep playing like this.
MONTENEGRO - DENMARK 32:31 (16:17) Podgorica - Hall "Moraca." Spectators: 3.300. Referees: Pichon and Revere (France). Seven: Montenegro 1 (1), Denmark 6 (5). Exclusions: Montenegro 10, Denmark 4 minutes.
Montenegro: Mijuskovic, SIMIC 1 (15 defenses and one from seven meters), Bakic 1, CAVOR 2, RADOVIC 1, M. VUJOVIC 4 (1), Radojevic, Simovic 1, KANKARAS 3, S. VUJOVIC 5, Sevaljevic, Petricevic, BOZOVIC 7 , Lasica 2, Andjelić, Lipovina 5.
Denmark: N. LANDIN (five defends), Gren, M. LANDIN 2, Jakobsen, ZAKARIJASEN 6, SVAN 7, Melgord 1, Mensa-Larsen 2, Toft 2, M. HANSEN 8 (5), OLSEN 1, J. Hansen , DAMGORD 2, Nilsen, Holm, Hald.
Text by Nikola Nikolic, on April 10th, 2019, read more at Vijesti
April 10, 2019 - Tivat and Montenegro are now on the map of all the fans of the world's competitive races because this year's season of the global RC44 competition has started in this city and our country. Nine teams on modern and ultra-fast RC44 racing sailboats started the sailing regatta "RC44 Porto Montenegro", which will last from 10 to 14 April, at the seaport of Porto Montenegro and the bay of Boka Kotorska.
08 April 2019 - Volleyball Club Budva won the Montenegrin Cup after defeating Jedinstvo Franca 3-0 (25:16, 25:19, 25:22) in the grand finale in the Mediterranean Sports Center. Players of the Volleyball Club Budva returned the volleyball cup trophy to this city.
All of this was made possible thanks to the new club - a club originated with the desire to return the volleyball trophy to the capital of Montenegrin tourism, which disappeared with the closing of the most successful Montenegrin volleyball club, the Budva Riviera.
In addition to the defeat in the Cup final, the team of Darko Prebiračević was eliminated in the semi-finals of the playoffs from Budućnost Capital Plaza, with two maximal defeats. In the decisive matches in the season, the team from Bijelo Polje could not count on Montenegrin national player Luka Šuljagić because of his illness.
Volleyball Club Budva will have the opportunity to win the double crown, and the final series against Budućnost, to three victories, will start on April 13th.
As far as the match is concerned, starting from the first set, there were no dilemmas about who would come out victorious.
Budva started with 5:0, which played without injured captain Jovan Delić, and continued to 8:2. Jedinstvo returned to 13:11, but the host scored with six points in a row for 19:11 which was too much for their opponent.
The second set was pretty equal until the score of 16:14 for Budva, when the host team scored 4 points in a row for 20:14 which eventually gave them the set.
It seemed that Jedinstvo in the third set would prolong the uncertainty. The team from Bijelo Polje opened this set better than the other ones, quickly scored 6:11, followed by 12:18 and at this point everyone thought that the fourth set was already on its way.
However, the team from Budva did not give up, and with 5 consecutive points, they first reduced their opponents' lead at 15:18, and then switched from 15:19 to 21:19. The guests held until 22:21, when Budva reached the first match point with two consecutive points. This match point was defended by the team from Bijelo Polje, but the other one was at 24:22, when the young Ivan Zvicer scored the match winner.
Alen Didović with 16 points was the best in the winning team, Ivan Urtado and Zvicer added 10, Dejan Jocić 9. The best in the defeated team was Bojan Strugar with 16 points.
Technician Shun Imamura was named the best player of the men's final.
07 April 2019 - Budućnost VOLI has returned to the Aba League Finals! The reigning ABA League champions defeated Cedevita on the road in decisive Game 3 of this semi-final series and will be fighting for the regional trophy for the 2nd year in a row. The Blue team were down by 11 points after the first quarter, they were down by 7 in the middle of the 3rd quarter, but they managed to keep the focus and make a comeback in the last 10 minutes.
Budućnost VOLI will face Crvena zvezda in the 2019 ABA League Finals, with the Belgrade side having the home court advantage.
In the end, Budućnost VOLI has won this match thanks to two crucial defensive plays. The visitors were up by 73:71 with one minute remaining in the game, when Earl Calrk stopped Cedevita’s best player in this match Justin Cobbs by forcing him to make a difficult shot, which he missed. Some 40 seconds later Budućnost VOLI were up by 74:71, with Cedevita having the ball possession. Jacob Pullen pulled up for a 3-pointer to tie the score with James Bell right in front of him. Pullen missed the shot.
"Where to start? With the players who did everything to proceed to the finals and congratulate them from their hearts! I would also like to congratulate our numerous fans who have come, and I think that everyone now understands how much the Budućnost project is important for Montenegro, Podgorica and all these people. We did not open the match properly; we did not adapt to the criterion where an excellent game was played, and I think we made the first foul somewhere in the fourth minute. They had 11 rebounds in the first half and scored eight points. The second half was decided upon a single ball, as expected. However, I think we deserved it and went to the finals," said Jasmin Repeša, head coach of Budućnost VOLI.
Budućnost VOLI power forward Earl Clark made so many important shots for his team this evening, and eventually, he was the top scorer of the away side with 19 points.
The two sides had almost identical stats. In the end, those two good defensive plays of Budućnost VOLI team decided the winner.
06 April 2019 - The Montenegrin Olympic Committee is entering the final stage of preparation for the Games of the Small States of Europe 2019, which will be held in Montenegro from May 27 to June 1.
Over 900 athletes from nine countries will compete in ten disciplines, and the competitions will be held in Budva, Bar, Podgorica, Cetinje and Tivat.
Representatives of all national Olympic Committees - Heads of Mission, as well as members of the Technical Committee of the Games of Small States of Europe, are currently on an official visit to Montenegro in order to assess all the facilities in which the competitions will be held as well as the accommodation capacities. The aforementioned representatives will receive all other necessary information about the organization of the first multi-sport competition and the most massive sports events ever held in Montenegro.
"I think that our guests are extremely pleased with what they have seen so far, the facilities we have and the conditions in which we will welcome them at the end of May," said Predrag Marsenić, the Sports Director of the Montenegrin Olympic Committee.
"The basketball hall in Bar is great and the pool as well. A small problem has been determined in relations with the athletic track, but everything will be corrected in due time, I'm positive. We are eagerly waiting for the games to start. We are sending 50 athletes and we hope that we will return with medals, "said Jordi Orteu, representative of the Andorran Olympic Committee.
Olga Piperidou, a representative of The Cyprus Olympic Committee, is convinced that Montenegro would be a good host. "We see a great desire of Montenegrin Olympic Committee representatives to get everything ready in time, and based on what we have seen so far; they will succeed in making this a great event. We look forward to coming here shortly, and I believe that Cyprus will have a good team ready to compete on a high level, "she said.
The Games of the Small States of Europe (GSSE) are an Olympic, multi-sport competition featuring athletes from the small countries of the European continent. Since 1985, the GSSE have been held every two years and are currently bringing together nine countries: Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, San Marino, Malta, Monaco, Cyprus and Montenegro.
For competitors from these countries, this is a manifestation of great prestige, but also a real sport festival - the Olympic Games for small countries.
"We are particularly proud of the fact that, for the first time ever, the swimming competition within the Games of the Small States of Europe 2019 will be qualifying for the Olympic Games in Tokyo," emphasized Marsenić.
Games are organized according to the rules of international federations, with the support of the European Olympic Committee. The organization of the Games of the Small States of Europe in Montenegro is based on a concept of an Olympic, functional, cost-effective and safe athletic competition with great international importance; one which will ensure a one-of-a-kind athletic event to its participants.
GSSE Montenegro 2019, organized by the Montenegrin Olympic Committee, gets underway on May 27, 2019!
06 April 2019 - Montenegro made a historic success by finding itself among the 32 teams bound for the FIBA Basketball World Cup, which will be held in China from August 31 to September 15.
One of the key the contributors to this accomplishment is Bojan Dubljević.
In an interview for the Onogošt News Agency, the Montenegrin Centre said that he was surprised by the qualification for the World Cup. "I was more than surprised. No one believed in us, especially after the first match with Spain. The players left their heart on the field during the qualifications, and one of the key games was played in Slovenia when we were quite weakened as a team but still managed to beat the Slovenes. That was practically our ticket to China! We have achieved a historic success as a team and every player who took part in the team, from the first day to the last match, is responsible for that. Of course, we show great appreciation for the professional staff who did a great job," said Dubljević for Onogošt.
"The Red Team" will play at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 with tough rivals and national teams that are regular participants of the World Cup, so they have to be prepared to take on unpredictable opponents.
Montenegro will play its first game against Greece, after which the national team will face New Zealand. At the end of the group competition, they will play against Brazil. "The group is extremely difficult, I don’t think we got off easy as we expected, but it is the World Cup and anything can happen. It is up to us to present Montenegro in the best way possible," said the long-time player of Valencia Basket who featured in the FIBA EuroBasket teams of 2013 and 2017.
Generally speaking, taking part at FIBA EuroBasket in 2011, 2013 and 2017 were tremendous accomplishments for Montenegro, yet making it through a grueling and at the same time exciting World Cup Qualifiers campaign to be a part of the 32-team field in China is exceptional.
"The credit goes to amazing guys, coaches, the atmosphere... I don't know if anyone can be prouder than me in the whole world. Thanks to the fans, they are the best in the world. Come with us to China," said Dubljević, inviting all the fans to support their team during the Cup.
Montenegro will be the country with the smallest population that plays at the World Cup.
The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Draw, presented by Wanda, takes place in Shenzhen, one of the competition's eight host cities, on Saturday, March 16.
April 5, 2019 - The 13th Tivat Regatta UNA Montenegro Cup, organised by JK Delfin and Tivat Company UNA Montenegro, is scheduled for 19-21 April 2019. The cruise regatta on Sunday, 21 April, will be preceded by a two-day regatta for the Optimist and Laser classes. Under the slogan "Be Optimist!" the organisers have joined the three-day feast at sea on the most beautiful navigational route in Boka and the idea to encourage young people to play sports and share the value of sailing. Linking sports and nature, life on the sea and cultural heritage, they are launching a donor action for buying sailboats of the Optimist type, intended for training the youngest in YC Delfin.
03 April 2019 - Panathinaikos OPAP Athens qualified to the EuroLeague playoffs, after defeating Buducnost VOLI Podgorica, 87 – 67 at home for the final round of the regular season in Nick Calathes’ historic night. They will play against Real Madrid in the 3-6 matchup, in what will be a rematch of last year’s showcase.
Calathes was unstoppable all night long against the Montenegrin side. He scored 11 points, handed out a career-high 17 assists and grabbed 11 rebounds to notch an extremely rare feat in the EuroLeague competition.
“We always believed as a team. We’re a veteran team, and the coaches and players believed we could be in this position because we knew we could get better,” said Calathes after the final buzzer. “I don’t know how many people believed on the outside, but in that locker room, everyone believed. [On the playoffs against Real Madrid] We owe them one for sure, we’re going to be a tough team. It’s going to be a grind for both teams, and we’re confident we can go there and beat them in their home court.”
After a relatively slow start, Rick Pitino’s side went up by double-digits in the second quarter (49-36), thanks to Nick Calathes’ incredible playmaking ability. The 30-year old star had an insane 11 assists in the first half, surpassing Theodoros Papaloukas for the 7th spot in the all-time assists list.
James Gist and DeShaun Thomas were scoring on the block and Panathinaikos seemed to have control of the game in the second half. As the crowd was expecting Calathes to grab his 10th rebound in the final period, Buducnost cut the deficit to nine points (72-63) and challenged the hosts. Calathes connected with Gist in the following minutes and ended Buducnost's hopes.
Besides Calathes’ huge game, James Gist also had his best game of the year, with a season-high 23 points and six rebounds. Thomas added 17. For the visiting side, rising star Goga Bitadze scored 16 points and eight rebounds.
Source: Eurohoops News
April 4, 2019 - The Jubilee 50th edition of the prestigious sailing regatta for the Olympic Classes “Trophy of Princess Sofia Iberostar,” one of a total of five of the EUROSAF Champions Cup series, is held from 29 March to 7 April in Palma de Mallorca. In nine of the ten Olympic Sailing Classes, 1,224 sailors are competing on 850 sailing boats that represent more than 68 countries. The most significant number of competitors is in the Laser Standard Class, in which the colors of Montenegro will be defended by sailors Milivoje Dukić and Ilija Marković under the firm hand of selector Ilko Klakor.
April 3, 2019 - Nine RC44 teams are set to make their debut on the beautiful waters of Kotor Bay, Montenegro for the first event of the newly christened 44Cup over 10 – 14 April.
While the majority of teams have opted for strategic consistency, retaining the same crew as last year, a few key changes promise to mix things up. Entering the fray for the 2019 season are a fresh crop of tacticians: Tom Slingsby takes over from Dean Barker on defending World Champion Team Nika and Ed Baird joins Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team, replacing long term tactician Vasco Vascotto.
His Australian team, having recently won the debut SailGP event in Sydney, Slingsby explains why competitive fleets such as the 44Cup are important to a professional sailor: “The process of adapting between the classes is really important. There are few sailors who are successful in slower, tactical boats all the way through to fast, technical foiling boats. I learn from the people I race with every day and so, it doesn’t matter if it’s a Olympic champion or a club racer, if someone can do something better than I do, whether it’s a tactical move or boat handling, I want to learn and put it in my arsenal.”
The former Oracle Team USA tactician and London 2012 Laser gold medallist adds: “Owner driver circuits place a real challenge on communication. The full professional programs are usually unbelievably quiet boats because you know what people are thinking, but the semi-pro teams place a huge importance on good communication skills.”
The 44Cup has long prided itself on offering the owners and drivers and tacticians as level a playing field as possible with its strict one design rule. However, the first event of 2019 takes this to a new level, as none of the sailors have previous experience of racing in Tivat, Montenegro – making it the ultimate test of each team’s communication ability and skill.
"Montenegro looks like a beautiful venue, but sailing knowledge or an understanding of the area and what to expect is zero,” explains Team Aqua’s tactician Cameron Appleton. “The racing area is in a beautiful bay surrounded by massive mountains so we are expecting flat water and lighter shifty winds. This becomes tricky as no one will have a clear advantage.”
Returning regulars, with only small changes to their crew line-up and looking to monopolise on their consistency, include long term favourites Chris Bake’s Team Aqua, Hugues Lepic’s Aleph Racing, Vladimir Liubomirov and Kirill Frolov’s Bronenosec Sailing Team and Torbjörn Törnqvist’s Artemis Racing.
However in 2018 the teams topping the leaderboard showed surprisingly little consistency. Nico Poon’s Charisma won the 2018 season by a single point over Vladimir Prosikhin’s Team Nika and Igor Lah’s Team CEEREF. Throughout 2018 both Poons and Prosikhin struggled desperately with consistency and only prevailed in the final event of the season. Going into the new season Poons, again like Prosikhin, will be struggling as he too takes on a change in tactician, as American team coach and Olympic 470 silver medallist Morgan Reeser steps into the role left open by Kiwi America’s Cup legend Ray Davies.
“Our main challenge for 2019 is not the other teams but the change of our tactician and one of the key crew member (Sean Clarkson) who’s also left for the America's Cup. Nothing can be predicted!” said Prosikhin.
Perhaps these crew changes will create a chink in the armour that will allow back in one of the strongest teams in the fleet and the kings of consistency, Team CEEREF.
The only crew to glean a fraction more experience over the rest of the fleet in terms of the 2019 44Cup’s first venue is the newest: Tavatuy Sailing Team. Having joined the fleet for a single regatta in 2018, they have committed to the 44Cup for the full season and in preparation have already put in a week of training in Montenegro: “Porto Montenegro is a great place for a regatta. We were lucky with the weather in February and we were able to do a good training session in the strong north-east Bora wind. It is a beautiful marina and I’m sure the other teams will be as impressed as we were,” said Sergejs Filatovs [ is this name right – if he’s not the owner, then who is he?]
Hosted for the first time by Porto Montenegro over 10 – 14 April the 44Cup Porto Montenegro will be the first event of what promises to be a close, hard-fought 44Cup season span five regattas between now and its conclusion in Palma in November.
30 March 2019 - Youngster Goga Bitadze has stunned the basketball part of the region by winning the awards of the Regular Season MVP, Top Prospect and a spot in the Ideal Starting Five. He has summed up his impressions in an interview for the official ABA League website.
Congratulations on the prestigious 2018/19 Regular Season MVP and Top Prospect awards of the ABA League, as well as your earned spot in the Ideal Starting Five. Did you expect this to be possible before the beginning of the season?
“I worked hard during the summer, but frankly I did not expect to win these awards. I just tried to do my best to play every game in the best possible way, to give 100% at every game and I am truly glad that my effort was recognized and that I won the awards.”
This is your second season in the ABA League and even though you have demonstrated your vast potential already in the previous season, you have shocked the region with the way you were dominant. What is the secret of your unbelievable progress and your good games this season?
“I believe that it has everything to do with great effort. One needs to be focused on the game, to think about basketball every day, to stay positive and as I said – work hard. You need to give 100% of your capabilities in every practice. Of course, I have to stress that I have been working with great coaches and players that help me a lot.”
You started your ABA League story with Mega Bemax, which is well known for the quality of developing youngsters and this season you moved to Budućnost VOLI, ABA League champions, where only quality and success in every game is tolerated. How much did playing for each of those clubs help your development?
“Mega Bemax helped me to grow up as a player and person. They have helped me to show my quality, helped me play, and coaches and players have helped me vastly. At Budućnost VOLI I have received plenty of help as well, and it is a huge experience to play for such a club, where everyone expects victories in every game and against everyone. Also, it is a huge experience for me to play in the EuroLeague against quality players in Europe so I can say that both clubs have helped me a lot.”
How did the teammates accept you at Budućnost VOLI and what is your cooperation with Jasmin Repeša like? How different is he from Dejan Milojević?
“The teammates have accepted me greatly. They are excellent guys and I have great relationships with everyone. I still haven’t been cooperating with coach Repeša for a long time, but I have great respect towards him and respect what he does. I have grown up alongside Dejan Milojević and I cannot describe how thankful I am to him. I believe that I have learnt 90% of my game from him. No words can describe my thankfulness.”
What do you expect from the remainder of the season with Budućnost VOLI?
“My expectations are great. I arrived at Budućnost VOLI intending to win the title again. I repeat this time after time, but this is actually my main goal and I am fully devoted to every game for the team to reach this goal.”
Source: ABA League