Danilo Nikolic on Playing in the EuroLeague
Buducnost VOLI Podgorica’s forward Danilo Nikolic reflected on the honour he’s had in playing in the EuroLeague. He believes that the league itself is a bastion of improvement and learnings in the game for aspiring players. He is definitely a product of the league’s goodwill in the game.
Looking back on their success last season, most of the players in the team were having their first stint on the EuroLeague. It took some time for them to get familiarised with their environment, but then they later played at a high level that no one expected from them.
They knew that it was going to be a really big challenge sooner or later. Being domestic players, they assumed that the EuroLeague was just another level of basketball. They have worked hard back then and loved how they did good in their job to deliver for Podgorica.
They just wanted to show that the city is ready to embrace the higher form of basketball.
The team had a rough start back then. They lost six straight games before moving on to win the next two of three. It was just an adjustment period for them, they had to keep up with the pace in the league.
‘Yes, it was a tough period for us because of the national team situation. In the beginning, we couldn't practice enough together, so we needed some time to adjust’, Nikolic explained. ‘The new players really needed that time to know us, the court, the environment... We knew that and kept working. And now the results are coming’.
The team showed some impressive potential in their season. They have set a EuroLeague record for most threes at that time. They drained 21 threes against Kirolbet Baskonia while hitting 14 against their next win against CSKA Moscow.
‘Yes, we have great shooters, but I think the best thing that we do is defence. We are a great defensive team and opponents don't score a lot of points against us; only Real Madrid did, scoring around 100 points against us’, Nikolic said of the team’s three-point efficiency.
Nikolic reflected on how he felt playing in the EuroLeague. He said that it was like no other. It was the best for him in Europe. He claims that it is a big challenge for every player to step up and play in the biggest stage of basketball in Europe.
In the end, he just simply said that it is an honour to have the chance to play in the EuroLeague, simply because he loves the game so much. He even said that he wants to keep on learning in the game as he continues his career.
Words: Paul Daniel Flores