December 20, 2018 - In the hall where they have defeated Baskonia, CSKA and Barcelona, the basketball players of Budućnost Voli are looking for a new wonder - a triumph over the European champion. The match starts at 8 p.m.
Hell. This word best describes the layout of the basketball players of Buducnost Voli in the second half of December. After having played three matches in less than 96 hours and losing all three (to Gran Canarias, Cibona and Anadolu Efes), the guys from Podgorica had only a one day for break until the match with one of the greatest European teams – Fenerbahçe.
The team of Aleksandar Džikić will try to perform another sensation tonight (at 8 p.m.) in "Morača", so that after Baskonia, CSKA and Barcelona, the vice-champion of Europe also collapses. But in order to be able to imagine this, they have to play much better than they did two days earlier in Istanbul, when they lost to Efes 106:68.
"Unfortunately, we are a completely different team on the home court and elsewhere. The good thing is that we know that we will be able to compete tonight, because we play at home, but it is frustrating that we do not know why this difference takes place related to the matches here and away. The fact is that we have incredible fans, but they cannot be held responsible for 40 points. Now we are focused on the match with Fenerbahçe. and we know that we have beat big teams here, but we need to play better than against Efes so we can stay alive," Edwin Jackson is realistic. The French defender knows a recipe for the fight against the visiting team.
"We have to play wisely, not lose balls, control the game. It is also necessary to make them play defense, as they are a team that achieves a lot of points. We have to push them out of their rhythm and find our shot. When it comes to shooting, Buducnost has failed in the last few games, just like Jackson.
"I am not concerned only about me, the whole team has to find better chemistry, a better attack, the ball must be more fluid. If so, we will have every chance to score," 29-year-old from Poa is clear. The problem in the last few matches is that Nikola Ivanovic has not played due to injury.
"We only have a few defenders, he would definitely help us. He has great basketball intelligence, he understands the game, and he is another shooter that would be dangerous in the attack. Aleksa Ilic is also absent, and the season is going on and the exhaustion is slowly coming to us. It's not good when players are missing, because they are important both on the field and outside. I hope that Nikola will return as soon as possible," Jackson concluded.
"After three heavy matches away, we finally have one game at home to catch our breath, but Fenerbahçe is waiting for us, which has great series of nine victories in the Euro league. We do not need to waste words about the opponent, we all know what kind of team and individuals they are. For years they have been together, with the same trainer, a great system, but we have not sold our skin to anyone here, I hope that we will not have to do it to them. We will not look for an alibi in the tiredness and lack of players, we will go out on the field ready to achieve the best possible result," Petar Popovic made it clear.
The young player from Cetinje is aware of how much they miss having Ivanovic, but he does not want to search for justifications in that story.
"In such a strenuous rhythm every player who can play even for a minute, and especially Nikola, which means a lot to us, is important. We are ready to compensate for his absence and try not to feel it in the game," said Popovic.
The team that crashed Baskonia and Barcelona, and especially CSKA, cannot be tossed aside just like that. In the sold-out hall of “Moraca”, even Fener will not be easy, although it is difficult to find the weak point of that team.
"It's stupid to talk about Fenerbahçe's defects and how to find them, not many better teams than us on paper did it. The good thing is that we are accustomed to the audience and made such an atmosphere that everyone expects that we can win against Fenerbahçe. But first of all, we should be realistic and say that they are better than us, but that we will go out to fight and give the maximum. If we win, it would be a sensation," Petar Popovic concludes honestly.
Text by Nikola Nikolic, on December 20th, 2018, read more at Vijesti