Pekovic Recovered And Ready

29.08.2011

EUROBASKET 2011

14. Nikola Pekovic (Montenegro)
Nikola Pekovic is ready to lead Montenegro at EuroBasket

Montenegro fans can breathe a sigh of relief.

The captain and star of the team, Nikola Pekovic, has recovered from the knock he picked up in a friendly victory over Ukraine that forced him to miss two games against Turkey and is ready for the EuroBasket.

The 2.09m center will be in the line-up for Montenegro's first Group C game against FYR of Macedonia on Wednesday.

"I rested a few days because of minor injuries that I suffered against Ukraine," Pekovic said, "but the situation is now much better.

"I had no problems with my last workout and I'm ready for the start of the European Championship."

Pekovic says there should be no cause for concern with respect to some of the losses the Montenegrins suffered in friendly games.

"If you don't count the tournament in Ljubljana, which we joined immediately after strenuous preparations in Zlatibor, we need to be satisfied with the preparations," he said.

"In the last two games we played against Turkey, a national team at the very top of European basketball, and when you look at the entire preparatory period, it's clear that we have not lost a single game by a big difference.

"I can say that we have done well and I hope that we will be ready for the beginning of the championship."

Wednesday will be an emotional one for everyone involved with Montenegrin hoops because the national side could not have made it to the top level of the European game any faster after becoming an independent country.

"The EuroBasket is a big challenge for us all," Pekovic said.

"This is what we played for the last three years, passing the hard path from Division B through qualification to the elite.

"What is certain is that all the players are excited and just waiting for the beginning of the championship."

The clash with FYR of Macedonia is an important one.

"I hope the first game against FYR of Macedonia will produce a positive charge," Pekovic said.

"That would be very important, both for confidence and for our desire to pass into the second phase."

Meanwhile, Montenegro coach Dejan Radonjic elected to make Vladimir Golubovic and Suad Sehovic the last two cuts from his squad.

Montenegro squad: Goran Jeretin, Vladimir Mihailovic, Omar Cook, Boris Bakic, Vlado Scepanovic, Vladimir Dasic, Milos Borisov, Milko Bjelica, Vladimir Dragicevic, Nikola Vucevic, Nikola Pekovic and Slavko Vranes.


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