Vucevic Headlines Montenegro Final Squad

30 August 2013

EUROBASKET 2013

4. Nikola Vucevic (Montenegro)
Nikola Vucevic headlines Montenegro's squad for EuroBasket 2013

Montenegro will not arrive after all at EuroBasket 2013 with a dream frontcourt that could have been the envy of the tournament, but head coach Luka Pavicevic can still count with a formidable roster in the big event in Slovenia.

Star center Nikola Pekovic, who pulled out of the EuroBasket, and young big man Marko Todorovic, who battled a hand injury throughout the summer, are the most notable absences from the Montenegrin roster.

But Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic, who was the second-leading rebounder in the NBA last season, will take to the court in Slovenia, bolstering enormously a team that had already impressed in last year's Qualification Round by defeating the likes of Serbia and Israel both home and away.

The two other major additions to the Montenegro squad when compared to last summer come in the shape of shooting guard Bojan Bakic and point guard Tyrese Rice.

Rice has replaced fellow guard Taylor Rochestie on the roster as Montenegro's naturalised player.

"Rochestie and Rice are both excellent people and at a high level as players," Pavicevic explained his decision.

"They have different qualities to their game, especially in the physical aspect and after analysing the situation during two months of preparation, I decided it was best for the team to travel to Slovenia with Rice.

"Taylor would not have been the wrong decision, but we had to choose only one, and the choice was Rice in the end."

Coach Pavicevic steered away from making promises but revealed his satisfaction from the team's commitment to the cause during training camp.

"I have to congratulate all the players, especially those who knew that they will not be on the final list, but still generously gave their time and energy so that the team could prepare better.

"All players, including those who joined us later due to injuries, have worked with the maximum motivation and I could not have asked for more."

Montenegro's 12-man roster for EuroBasket includes Tyrese Rice, Nikola Ivanovic, Suad Sehovic, Bojan Bakic, Aleksa Popovic, Sead Sehovic, Marko Popovic, Vladimir Dasic, Milko Bjelica, Nikola Vucevic, Blagota Sekulic and Bojan Dubljevic.

Montenegro were drawn into First Round Group B at the EuroBasket, together with F.Y.R. of Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lithuania and Latvia.


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