autor: J. KOCEV
Petar Popovic has been one of the best young players in the area where ABA league is played for years. Already as a junior national of Montenegro, he attracted the attention of the basketball audience in Europe, and shortly afterwards he became more than successful at the club’s agenda.
Despite the huge problems with injuries, the historical season in the Buducnost Voli jersey he crowned with the title in the ABA League. Our interlocutor for the first time, according to the huge desire and demands of our readers, was the great guard of the new representative of the Region in Euroleague.
How do you describe your beginning and the time spent in KK Lovćen?
“I think that it is very important that from the first steps you have a love for basketball and that you have a good basis. I had that in Lovcen thanks to all my coaches, starting with Djordje Ivanovic, through Vesko Krivokapic, to Prle Radovic and I am grateful for all of them and everything they have taught me. “
A few years ago you had a great performance in the junior national team jersey, followed by a bid to go to Greece. How hard was it to leave Montenegro at 18 years old?
“From this point of view, I think I have made the most out of the two years in Greece, I did not play, but I learned how things work in senior basketball, I got stronger and it helps me today.”
How do you rate a short “stay” in Mega and work with Dejan Milojević?
“I enjoyed Mega for three months, I really just have the nicest things to say: great club, great organization, great coach. I also think it was a very good move for me. “
Buducnost decided two years ago to give a chance to young Montenegrin players: you, Aleksa Ilić and Zoran Nikolić. How much do you think it was the right move to come to Podgorica?
“It turns out that this was the best move, when you win the Aba League there is no doubt … it was a great move.”
Last season was one of the most successful in the recent history of the club. The secret of good results and, in fact, the basis for achieving the same was in reliance on domestic players. How much did this “chemistry” have an impact on you?
“It is extremely important that the team has a healthy atmosphere. I think our locker room and the atmosphere since last year can go to textbooks, in terms of how a team should function. I think that the key to this is 10,11 domestic players. “
You are a very motivated guy when you enter the floor, which the coach himself has highlighted on several occasions during the season. What is the source of your immense desire for an aggressive game, and, in general, the power to press first of all across the court?
“I have the desire to prove myself and compete at all times, I think that everything starts from there. I’m trying to work on whatever coach is looking for from me and that’s it. “
A large number of injuries was a huge problem for the team during most of the season. Nevertheless, in the end, the greatest satisfaction for the effort and all that you suffered was the title in the ABA League. How was the feeling a few days after the final series with the Red Star?
“It was really an incredible feeling, firstly because we saw that the city lived for these matches with Zvezda, especially after the break in Belgrade, we felt that we can do it and certainly it is the most beautiful moment in the career of many of us.”
You missed the summer of a National Team action due to a finger injury that you suffered during the ERSTE League playoffs. How much has the injury healed and what is your comment on the victory of Montenegro over Belarus and Slovenia, which are very important before the continuation of the Qualifications for the World Cup?
“I have completely healed, I have been working individually for a month already, I feel great. Two very important victories, it was not easy against Belarus, we had that pressure, but the guys did it right and the as the crown came the victory against the European champion. “
Season evaluation on the individual plan?
“I’m happy, it can always be better and I expect to be better this season.”