The regional and European competitions this season are entering the finals, and for Montenegrin national player Aleksa Ilić, it was a period of significant progress on the Budućnost Voli team. Five days before the first match of the quarterfinals of Eurocup against Darušafaka, it is clear that Ilić will be one of the essential weapons of the team.
Ilić was faced with injuries several times during the season, but he reached a good average of 4.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game in the Eurocup.
"The personal plan was to earn important minutes in the ABA League and Eurocup as a new opportunity to improve my game. I believe that I gained experience, because in the previous two seasons in Eurocup I did not have such a significant role. Everyone on the team is happy because of the excellent results, and we have earned this chance to play against Darušafaka in the quarterfinals," Ilić said.
This season Ilić has played 17 minutes on average in Europe, as opposed to nine minutes on the parquet floor last season.
He played his best game against Galatasaray scoring 13 points and eight rebounds, and four points and 11 rebounds against the powerful Lokomotiva. For a player of only 21 years, progress is continuous.
"I’m only thinking about staying healthy, playing good in games, working on my physical progress, and helping the team in every match. The experience of the matches from the national team means a lot. These senior-player appearances in the qualifications for the World Cup preceded the matches for the young, junior and cadet national teams every summer, "Ilić said.
The next game is against Partizan, two rounds before the end of ABA League, and it’s going to be a hard match in Belgrade. But the much more important game in the quarter-finals of Eurocup will be the historic match for Budućnost Voli on Wednesday.
"Both the team and the younger players have more room for improvement. This chance to play in the quarterfinals of Eurocup is precious to us and well deserved. We know our worth, and we will have something to show against the favorites, both in Istanbul and Podgorica," Ilić pointed out.
Budućnost Voli will play against Partizan away on Sunday. If Budućnost wins this match, they will definitely secure the second place before the ABA League play-off. On Tuesday, Darušafaka will be the host in the game against the "blue team", which will be followed b a match in Podgorica three days later in a series where one team must achieve two victories to advance in the next round.
Text by Pobjeda, read more at CDM.