The experienced coach Milan Rondovic (ex Primorka, Teodo, White Eagles etc.), who is known as one of the few coaches in Montenegro that won promotion with almost every team he coached, talks for eurobasket.com about his career and plans for the future.
Could you tell us more about your playing career?
I started playing basketball in elementary school in the youth team of Rudar. But I stayed there very short. At that time Berane was one of the stronger teams in Montenegro and I went there as a high school student. There I remained for one season and was one of the best players in the league along with Arsenije Pesic, Dusko Pavlovic, Mihailo Pavicevic etc. Next year as a prospect I joined Buducnost and played there with the generation of Dragan Ivanovic and Dusko Ivanovic. I stayed there for two seasons and entered college. In 1979 I came to Bar and I had to sit out a half-season because I did not get the letter of clearance from my previous club. It was the time of the earthquake that devastated Montenegro. Mornar had a very good generation: Dusko Pavlovic, Djodjije Pavicevic, Mihailo Pavicevic , Nikica Kovacevic, Dodo Pelicic etc.
How did you decide to start coaching?
I finished my career as Ced Duraskovic arrival as head coach of the club and I was offered the position of assistant. At that time I was 28 years old. He told me: I do not count on you this year and I think that's better for you to be my assistant coach. It was hard for me to accept it, I felt like my world was collapsing but I decided to accept. It was 1987. Two years later came Mikica Petrovic, former coach of Buducnost, who later successfully worked in Italy, and to whom I was also assistant coach. That season (1989/1990) did not succeed to avoid relegation from the national league to the republic league and a couple of rounds before the end of the season I was offered to coach the team independently since Petrovic left the head coaching staff. Next season I was the first coach of the team in republican league. I had no experience, and we ended the season in the middle of the table. After that season Mihailo Pavicevic replaced me and I took care of the youth team.
How did you come up with the idea to form VOLI youth league and who are the most famous players who came out of the league?
Primorka, still a respected company at that time, decided to be sponsor of the league. In the organization have been involved all the former players: Dusko Pavlovic, Brano Dobrkovic, Bobo Ljutica, Nikica Kovacevic, etc. Through this competition we developed our own potentials such as Mladen Sekularac (203-G/F-81), Slobodan Tosic (195-G-80, agency: BeoExcell), Djuro Ostojic (211-C-76, agency: Beo Basket), Dusko Nedic, who previously played football etc.
Actually, that league was a test for your upcoming project- forming a second team from Bar called Basketball Club Primorka.
Yes, Primorka was formed in 1995 and in 2000 we made it into the First Federal League (YUBA). I had a chance to develop as a coach with that club. In this team I had a young Mladen Sekularac, then probably the greatest talent in the Balkans, which was the co MVP player of Cadet European Championships along with Andrei Kirilenko (209-F-81).
However, after the great success you suddenly left the club and went to the third division side Rudar from Pljevlja?
I accepted the invitation from Bogdan Tanjevic (agency: Interperformances ), who is originally from Pljevlja, to help the club tomake it to the Second Division. I managed to make that dream come true because we have been successfull against strong teams Jedinstvo and Ljubovic, then ran by Goran Bojanic. Rudar got a new gym, which was always full. There started his career Mark Rakocevic who later played in Lovcen and abroad, and I brought also Vjekoslav Vujacic from Bar. Our point guard was Dusan Vidic, brother of Nemanja Vidic, Manchester United football star, who was a very talented player and one of the best point guards in the League. I have stayed there for two years...
After the experience with Rudar you joined again Primorka in Division II and started building up a new team?
We have formed a team of juniors of Primorka that were 16 years old with a few lmore experienced players born in Bar. Although at the beginning we were not sure if we should compete or not but we decided to try it and after a couple of defeats we played the rest of the season well and qualified for the First division. That team was led by the prospects such as Goran Martinic (184-PG-87, agency: BeoExcell) and Slobodan Pejovic (192-PG-86) that both later made successful senior careers. In the first division we were not able to be equal rival with others because these guys lacked experience, but we brought a couple of anonymous players (Danilo Draskovic and Radomir Marojevic) that are today well known players. A year later Primorka ceased to exist ..
Where did you go after that?
I went to Ulcinj, where I put together a solid team and brought Ranko Carapic (185-G-70, agency: Beo Basket) and Milisav Susic, but I had to leave them for family reasons. After that I did a season in Jedinstvo Bijelo Polje and although we did not have some great results, I met a lot of friends there.
After that comes a turning point in your career and you joined Teodo Tivat, a newly formed club that played in Second division.
With Teodo I won promotion to the First Division where we played a significant role and advanced to the Superleague every year. There I met some wonderful people led by General manager Misko Lucic. I'm glad to see that this season Teodo achieved some great results in the Balkan League as well as in the domestic league.
Last year in Teodo you coached your son Nikola Rondovic (207-F-91, agency: Interperformances), a talent of Red Star Belgrade. How difficult it to work with your own son? Could you tell us something about that?
This is an extremely difficult task, and I'd like to have a prescription how it works also. Nikola was the National team member of Serbia and won the gold medal at the Cadet and Junior European Championships, he is still young and I hope he will make progress and successful career. He is now the member of Mornar from his home town Bar and it all depends on him. We will see what happens in the future with him.
After a short stay in Sweden, with the White Eagles from Stockholm, you left the team in October this year, and returned to Bar. What are your plans for the future?
Honestly speakling, I have spent many years in professional basketball and now I want to dedicate myself to working with youth players again. I decided to start my own basketball academy and I will give training in the new hall of the elementary school Anto Djedovic. I am very motivated to again do what I love most.
Thank you for the interview. Eurobasket.com and myself wish you a lot of luck with your upcoming activities.
Thanks to you for giving me the opportunity. All the best.
Adriatic League: Buducnost escape with narrow win over Igokea - 6 days ago
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Igokea - Buducnost 92:93 Buducnost recorded the fifth straight win in the Adriatic League season. They nipped Igokea in Laktasi on Saturday. Five players scored in double digits for the Montenegrin side. Buducnost claimed a 24:21 lead after the opening frame. The Montenegrin side boosted the margin in the second stanza. Buducnost recorded a 49:42 halftime lead. The visitors maintained the lead throughout the third quarter. Buducnost arrived at the final intermission up by 8 points. Igok... [read more]
Igokea - Buducnost 92:93
Buducnost recorded the fifth straight win in the Adriatic League season. They nipped Igokea in Laktasi on Saturday. Five players scored in double digits for the Montenegrin side. Buducnost claimed a 24:21 lead after the opening frame. The Montenegrin side boosted the margin in the second stanza. Buducnost recorded a 49:42 halftime lead. The visitors maintained the lead throughout the third quarter. Buducnost arrived at the final intermission up by 8 points. Igokea denied the deficit in the fourth quarter. James Robinson (190-PG-94, college: Pittsburgh) put the hosts in front 92:91 late in regulation. But Suad Sehovic (197-G/F-87) responded with a jumper and sealed the win for Buducnost. Suad Sehovic posted 18 points to lead the effort. Petar Popovic (194-PG-96, agency: BeoBasket) and Marcus Williams (191-G-85, college: Connecticut) netted 13 points each for the winners. James Anderson responded with 26 points for Igokea. Robert Rikic (219-C-90) had 14 points in the loss.
The new season in Montenegrin basketball league started yesterday and all 4 games were played. The curiosity is that 3 out of 4 guests won and it gives the special taste to the first round. The only team that was able to open the season with a home win is Sutjeska. They won 94-77 against the newcomer from Herceg Novi in a game that was closer than the final score says. However, in the last quarter more experienced team from Niksic played better and secured a win. Marko Perovic (203-C-92)... [read more]
The new season in Montenegrin basketball league started yesterday and all 4 games were played. The curiosity is that 3 out of 4 guests won and it gives the special taste to the first round. The only team that was able to open the season with a home win is Sutjeska. They won 94-77 against the newcomer from Herceg Novi in a game that was closer than the final score says. However, in the last quarter more experienced team from Niksic played better and secured a win. Marko Perovic (203-C-92) led the home team with 18 points while Nikola Lalic (187-PG-89) continued where he stopped last season- he had 16 points, 5 steals and 4 assists. The guests were led by Jovan Bacovic (197-F-86) who scored 26 points.
Jedinstvo and Ibar played a very tied game that was decided in the last seconds and brought joy to the away team (75-77). Former Jedinstvo player Marko Ljujic (207-C-90) had 20 points and 8 rebounds for the guests while Arso Lekovic (200-SF-90) led the home team with 22 points.
Another close game was played in Podgorica against Studentski centar and Danilovgrad. Studentski had a small lead during most part of the game but Danilovgrad did not let them get big lead and in the second half stopped their offense which led to an upset in Podgorica (71-78). Former Studentski player Milorad Sutulovic (196-G-90) had a great game against his former teammates and scored 29 points. On the other side Elvis Cekic (F-97) scored great around the rim and had 22 points but it was not enough for the win.
Teodo had no trouble against Ulcinj (73-58). Teodo's players just proved to have more players in rotation and it led them to the first win of the season. Petar Kusovac (195-F-93, college: S.Centar, agency: AproK Sports Group) led Teodo against his former team with 20 points. Ulcinj was led by Mihailo Radunovic (203-F-96) and Filip Patkovic (200-PF-90) who both scored 13 points.
KK Jedinstvo Bijelo Polje (Erste Liga) tabbed 31-year old Montenegrin center Danilo Draskovic (207-85, agency: BeoExcell). It is actually his comeback to Bijelo Polje as he has played here before. Draskovic played most recently at Lucon Basket Club in French NM2 league. The previous (14-15) season he played at CEP Lorient (also in NM2). Draskovic's team made it to the Radivoj Korac (Serbian Cup) Semifinals in 2011. He is a very experienced player. Draskovic has played also professionally... [read more]
KK Jedinstvo Bijelo Polje (Erste Liga) tabbed 31-year old Montenegrin center Danilo Draskovic (207-85, agency: BeoExcell). It is actually his comeback to Bijelo Polje as he has played here before. Draskovic played most recently at Lucon Basket Club in French NM2 league. The previous (14-15) season he played at CEP Lorient (also in NM2). Draskovic's team made it to the Radivoj Korac (Serbian Cup) Semifinals in 2011. He is a very experienced player. Draskovic has played also professionally in Cyprus (Etha), Greece (Xanthis), Serbia (Metalac, Atlas, Radnicki KG 06 and Radnicki 1950 Kragujevac) and Montenegro (Primorka).
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