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Montenegro Internationally

Darko Pekic

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Erste Liga Standings
 1. Teodo Tivat 19-3 
 2. Lovcen 16-8 
 3. Ibar Rozaje 16-8 
 4. Sutjeska 15-9 
 5. Ulcinj 13-11 
 6. S.Centar 9-14 
 7. Jedinstvo 8-16 
 8. Danilovgrad 6-18 
 9. Primorje 1945 4-20 
Play in international cups:
 1. Buducnost
 2. Mornar Bar
Prva B Standings
 1. Berane Bobcats 12-4 
 2. Centar BP 8-8 
 3. Zeta 8-8 
 4. Rudar 6-10 
 5. Strsljen 6-10 
Eurocup Standings
Group A
 1. Andorra 0-0 
 2. Cedevita 0-0 
 3. Darussafaka 0-0 
 4. Fiat TO 0-0 
 5. Paris-Levallois 0-0 
 6. Unics 0-0 
Group B
 1. B.Muenchen 0-0 
 2. Buducnost 0-0 
 3. Galatasaray 0-0 
 4. Grissin Bon RE 0-0 
 5. Hapoel J-M 0-0 
 6. Lietkabelis 0-0 
Group C
 1. ALBA 0-0 
 2. Lietuvos rytas 0-0 
 3. Limoges 0-0 
 4. Lokomotiv 0-0 
 5. Partizan NIS 0-0 
 6. RETAbet BB 0-0 
Group D
 1. ASVEL 0-0 
 2. Dolomiti En. TR 0-0 
 3. Gran Canaria 0-0 
 4. Ratiopharm 0-0 
 5. Tofas 0-0 
 6. Zenit 0-0 
Basketball Champions League Standings
Group A
 1. Banco di Srd 0-0 
 2. Enisey 0-0 
 3. EWE Baskets 0-0 
 4. Hapoel Holon 0-0 
 5. Monaco 0-0 
 6. UCAM Murcia 0-0 
Group B
 1. Chalon 0-0 
 2. Gaziantep 0-0 
 3. Iberostar Tener. 0-0 
 4. Neptunas 0-0 
 5. PAOK 0-0 
 6. Ventspils 0-0 
Group C
 1. AEK Athens 0-0 
 2. Banvit BK 0-0 
 3. Bayreuth 0-0 
 4. Strasbourg 0-0 
 5. Umana VE 0-0 
 6. Un.Olimpija 0-0 
Group D
 1. Aris 0-0 
 2. Besiktas 0-0 
 3. CEZ Nymburk 0-0 
 4. Oostende 0-0 
 5. Scandone AV 0-0 
 6. Stelmet ZG 0-0 
ABA League Standings
 1. Buducnost 0-0 
 2. Cedevita 0-0 
 3. Cibona 0-0 
 4. Crvena Zvezda 0-0 
 5. FMP 0-0 
 6. Igokea 0-0 
 7. Mega Leks 0-0 
 8. Mornar Bar 0-0 
 9. MZT Skopje 0-0 
 10. Partizan NIS 0-0 
 11. Un.Olimpija 0-0 
 12. Zadar 0-0 
Balkan League Standings
Group C
 1 Beroe 5-1 
 2 Kozuv 3-3 
 3 Feni Industries 2-4 
 4 Sutjeska 2-4 
Group D
 1 Kumanovo 5-1 
 2 Teodo Tivat 3-3 
 3 Peja 3-3 
 4 Karpos Sokoli 1-5 
Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
  Avg: 19
 1. Koljevic, S.Centar19.0 
 2. Knezevic, Lovcen17.7 
 3. Bogojevic, S.Centar17.1 
 4. Latkovic, Lovcen16.7 
 5. Hadzibegovic, Danilovg.16.4 
 6. Draskovic, Jedin.16.0 
 7. Lekovic, Jedinstvo15.3 
 8. Ratkovic, Danilovgrad15.1 
 9. Salic, Sutjeska14.9 
 10. Bacovic, Primorje.14.2 
Rebounds Per Game
  Avg: 10
 1. Lopicic, Lovcen10.0 
 2. Hadzibegovic, Danilovg.9.6 
 3. Jocovic, Primorje.9.5 
 4. Draskovic, Jedin.8.2 
 5. Ljujic, Ibar Rozaje8.0 
 6. Knezevic, Jedinstvo7.2 
 7. Bacovic, Primorje.7.0 
 8. Popovic, Teodo T.7.0 
 9. Cekic, S.Centar6.7 
 10. Knezevic, Lovcen6.6 
Assists Per Game
  Avg: 5.9
 1. Latkovic, Lovcen5.9 
 2. Stanojevic, Teodo T.5.3 
 3. Ratkovic, Danilovgrad4.5 
 4. Kalic, Ibar Rozaje4.3 
 5. Jovanovic, Lovcen3.7 
 6. Fisik, Jedinstvo3.5 
 7. James, Sutjeska3.4 
 8. Nurkovic, Ibar R.3.1 
 9. Djurisic, Teodo Tivat2.9 
 10. Bogojevic, S.Centar2.9 
Steals Per Game
  Avg: 2.6
 1. Latkovic, Lovcen2.6 
 2. Stanojevic, Teodo T.2.0 
 3. Ratkovic, Danilovgrad2.0 
 4. Lalic, Sutjeska1.9 
 5. Hadzibegovic, Danilovg.1.9 
 6. Ivanovic, Danilovgrad1.8 
 7. Koljevic, S.Centar1.7 
 8. Djokovic, Sutjeska1.6 
 9. Kalic, Ibar Rozaje1.5 
 10. Draskovic, Jedin.1.5 
Blocks Per Game
  Ibar Rozaje
  Avg: 2.2
 1. Ljujic, Ibar Rozaje2.2 
 2. Cekic, S.Centar1.4 
 3. Vujovic, Sutjeska1.3 
 4. Draskovic, Jedin.1.1 
 5. Lopicic, Lovcen0.9 
 6. Hadzibegovic, Danilovg.0.7 
 7. Salic, Sutjeska0.6 
 8. Marojevic, Teodo T.0.5 
 9. Rondovic, Ibar R.0.5 
 10. Jeknic, Ulcinj0.5 

First Round Schedule
Group A
Cedevita 57% Oct.11 Fiat TO
Andorra 57% Oct.11 Unics
Paris-Levall 57% Oct.11 Darussafaka
Group B
Buducnost 57% Oct.11 Grissin Bon
Galatasaray 57% Oct.11 B.Muenchen
Lietkabelis 57% Oct.11 Hapoel J-M
Group C
Limoges 57% Oct.11 Lokomotiv
ALBA 57% Oct.11 Partizan NI
Lietuvos ryt 57% Oct.11 RETAbet BB
Group D
Ratiopharm 57% Oct.11 Tofas
Gran Canaria 57% Oct.11 Zenit
Dolomiti En 57% Oct.11 ASVEL
Check Full Games/Schedule
First Round Schedule
Din.Tbilisi 50% Sep.19 Joventut
Keravnos 50% Sep.19 Avtodor
Bosna-Royal 50% Sep.19 Ludwigsburg
Karpos Sokol 50% Sep.19 TLU/Kalev
Groningen 50% Sep.19 Vytautas
Sigal Prisht 50% Sep.19 Tsmoki-Minsk
Kapfenberg 50% Sep.19 Benfica
BC Lulea 50% Sep.19 Antwerp
Check Full Games/Schedule
First Round Schedule
Crvena Zvezd 54% Sep.29 Mornar Bar
Mega Bemax 54% Sep.29 Cibona
Un.Olimpija 58% Sep.29 Igokea
Buducnost 55% Sep.29 Zadar
Cedevita 58% Sep.29 FMP
MZT Skopje 54% Sep.29 Partizan NI
Check Full Games/Schedule
Exclusive for Interview with Nikola Vucevic, NBA star and Montenegro national team starting center - Sep 25, 2016

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Nikola Vucevic (213-C-90, college: USC) is a well known name to basketball fans in the whole world. Born in Switzerland, raised in Belgium and Montenegro, professional player in the best league in the world- the National Basketball Association (NBA). interviewed him during his stay in Montenegro, while he was on a mission with Montenegrin National Team which ended successfully (Montenegro qualified for the European championship).

Hello Nikola, could you tell us how did your basketball career start?

I have started playing basketball in Belgium, my father played there professionally. I watched him play, he was my role model and I felt in love with basketball at the age of 9. Then my family moved back to Montenegro.

Coming back to Montenegro was probably a cultural shock knowing that you were raised in Belgium?

Actually, it was not such a big cultural shock for me as I already had friends here. We used to come every summer for vacation to our home country. The only little issue was the knowledge of the local language. I went to French schools so it took me a while to adjust to learning in a different language although I was able to speak it fluently. Basketball was not a problem, its a very universal language so it did not take me long to learn basketball expressions. I was very skinny and I played as a shooting guard at that time.

Your father Borislav Vucevic (201-F-58) was a well known player who played in KK Bosna and Yugoslavian National team as well as abroad. He had a long career and even played at the Belgium League All Star game in his 40s. Did you see his basketball past as a burden for your basketball development or as a motivation to become even a better player?

He did not put any pressure on me. I told him that my wish was to play basketball and he replied that I was talented but I need to work a lot and make sacrifices to be successful. He warned me that I would not have the same life style as my friends if I wanted to be a good basketball player but I was motivated to give it a try. Both my mom and dad played basketball so after a while I realized basketball could be my profession.

As a high school student you were at the crossroads- what to do next? Not many people know that you actually went to Serbian team FMP Zeleznik for try-outs but at the end decided to go to a high school in America. Could you tell us more about that decision?

My first option was FMP Zeleznik. I did try-outs with them, for head coach Slobodan Klipa. They were interested in me but we did not reach agreement. At that time I head from a family friend Vito Dragovic whose son Nikola Dragovic (206-F-87, college: UCLA, agency: BeoBasket) played for UCLA that American basketball would be an option to consider. My dad liked the idea, we thought about it and decided to take a chance. Now I realize it was the best move for me and I am proud on my decision. I was also lucky to go to a good high school and later to a good college. I think that the US system can be very beneficial for our basketball players because between 300-400 NCAA colleges you can choose one that will give you a chance and help you improve.

From a small city like Bar you moved to a big state (California). You got a chance in a good school and after promoting yourself there you had another choice to make- finding the right college to continue your basketball development. How did that choice go?

I talked to my family. It was a hard decision to make, I did not have many offers though. The most serious offers were Nevada Reno and USC. There were some other schools that showed interest too. My first choice was Nevada but at the last minute I changed my mind and went to USC. It took me one month to make that decision. But it was the right decision. I had a chance to collaborate with good coaches and teammates, got a chance to play immediately. As a sophomore I started and played over 30 mins a game.

After your junior year you decided to apply for the NBA draft. You had one more year of eligibility. Why did you make that decision?

I thought the level I reached in college was good enough to try to fulfill my dream and play in the NBA. I made a big step forward in the final part of my junior year and it convinced my to try new challenges. I also knew that I was as good as any other post player in my draft class so it gave me confidence. My goal was to make to be a first round pick. I had work outs with 13 NBA teams, two work outs a day. The predictions were that I would be picked as a late first round pick or early second round. But after the work outs my chances got better and I was chosen by the 76ers as a first round draft pick.

You spent your rookie season with the 76ers. How did the team accept you as a rookie?

It was a good year for me, I had ups and downs of course but I believe I had a good rookie season. The team was a mix or experienced and young players and they accepted me well, especially Andre Iguodala (198-SF-84, college: Arizona) who was the team captain and best players and he helped me a lot to adjust to the NBA level.

After the 76ers traded you to the Magic you came to a team that started a rebuilding phase. You got a chance immediately to show your worth as a started. How hard it was to adjust to a new role knowing that you were just a rotation player at the 76ers?

I was not sure that I would be a starter. They had Gustavo Ayon (207-C/F-85, college: San Jose St.) as a center but I knew I could fight for the starting five position so I arrived earlier to Orlando, 20 days before the start of the training camp, and it helped me a lot. It was a big change for me. I was not one of the leaders because Orlando had Jameer Nelson (183-PG-82, college: St.Joseph's), Hedo Turkoglu (208-F-79), Glen Davis (206-F-86, college: LSU) etc but I played as the starting center and contributed to the team's results. The teammates and coaches believed in me and I started growing as a player during the season.

This season you were considered one of the elite centers in the NBA. During the summer there were rumors that you would move to a new club but it did not happen and you decided to stay in Orlando.

Yes, the club brought few good players this summer and I believe we can make the play offs in the upcoming season. Of course we will need to work hard to do that but its my desire to reach the play offs with Orlando as I am now one of the most experienced players there and its my fifth year in Orlando.

You got a call from Montenegro National Team at the end of season and decided to play for your home country in the qualifications for the European Championship. Interestingly, the head coach of the National Team is Bogdan Tanjevic (agency: Interperformances ) who coached your father in Bosna long time ago. Do you feel honored to be coached by him?

I did not have any doubts about that decision. Actually, I was looking forward to collaborate with coach Tanjevic. He helped us a lot because now we have good team chemistry and its very important for any team. We come to practices happy and he is a big reason why Montenegro had a successful campaign this summer and qualified for the European Championships. I am very glad I was a part of this team.

Thank you Nikola for the interview and good luck in the upcoming season.

Thank you.   

Nando De
France roll over Montenegro in Toulouse - 7 hours ago
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Italy - Montenegro 67-66 Italy pip Montenegro 67-66 in Toulouse International tournament with 4 participating teams. The latter had a good start and took a 20-14 lead after the first 10 minutes. Moreover they added another 19-12 rally to enjoy a 39-26 halftime advantage. Italy however dominated the second half and won both quarters. They posted a 20-14 run in the third quarter and closed the game with a final 21-13 rally. Marco Belinelli (196-G-86) top-scored for the winners with 24 poi...   [read more]

Milo Vukcevic signs at Andujar - 2 days ago
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