Cedomir Vitkovac, KK Buducnost Voli

Nov 26, 2012 by Milivoje Kovacevic, Podgorica Print
Cedomir Vitkovac, KK Buducnost Voli
Cedomir Vitkovac - KK Buducnost VOLI (Photo: ABA Liga)Midway through the Eurocup Regular Season, KK Buducnost Voli seems on track to reach the Last 16. The Montenegrin champs boast a 2-1 record and play two of their remaining three games at home. Buducnost wasn’t far from leading the group, but lost on the road at Gescrap Bilbao Basket on opening night after the home side forced overtime at the regulation buzzer. Nevertheless, Buducnost has battled on and impressed at every turn. The leader of the team’s effort is veteran swingman Cedomir Vitkovac. At age 30, Vitkovac is not only the team’s oldest and most experienced player, but so far this season he leads the team in scoring (11.3 ppg.) and assists (2.3 apg.). Moreover, in last week’s road win at Spirou Charleroi, Vitkovac tallied 10 points and 11 rebounds for his first career Eurocup double-double. With both player and club on a hot streak, there was no better time to check in with Vitkovac and to talk about his and the team’s progress and their outlook. In this Eurocupbasketball.com interview, Vitkovac comes across as a modest and dedicated team player who is willing to do whatever it takes to help his team win. "The secret of our success is hard work. Dejan Radonjic has coached Buducnost Voli every year to demonstrate that tremendous work in practice brings positive results in games. This is the only way to success," Vitkovac told Eurocupbasketball.com. "We simply do our best every game, so we'll see where that will take us."

Hello, Cedomir. Congratulations on the big win against Belgacom Spirou. What did you do well to pick up that important road win?

"The secret of that victory and the secrets of all our victories and of all our good games is a fanatic defense. We are the kind of a team that is designed to bring out all the good things from our defense. And we did so also against Belgacom Spirou."

It was your best rebounding night in your five seasons in this competition. You also led the team in performance index ranking. Does that make this win more special?

"No, never in my career have I paid attention to the statistics. I always give my best, I'm always a function of the team and I want to win. My teammate played great defense in Belgium. The opposition missed shots and allowed me to easily collect all those rebounds."

Before that, you managed to beat a tough team, Lukoil, in Podgorica. How important was that win and what allowed you to get it?

"Every victory is motivation. First of all we are in a tough group with two teams that played last year in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague, Gescrap Bilbao is on a superb level. Lukoil was building a team to go through qualification for the Turkish Airlines Euroleague, too. This group is a great motive for the whole team to express ourselves and to prove that we are a great team, too. After two victories, we are still in a good position. But it will not be easy."

You were about to beat Gescrap Bilbao Basket on their home court, but lost the chance in the final minutes of regulation when the win seemed to be yours. Did you use that loss as a wake-up call? What did you learn from it?

"We are very sad because we dropped a chance to surprise in Bilbao against a team that last year was a great competitor in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague. It’s a pity. But we are growing as a team. There were some close finishes at first that we lost, but we won against Lukoil."

This is your second Eurocup season with Buducnost. Before that, you played in this competition with Crvena Zvezda from 2003 to 2006. How did the competition change in the five years you were away from it?

"The Eurocup has always been an extremely interesting competition. Among the participants there are always several teams with Euroleague quality. When you see some games and also the list of the participants, there is no doubt it is a very serious competition. I would say that the energy level and quality of the Eurocup games are not far behind the games of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague. The competition is attractive and appealing to the fans."

You just turned 30 but are the most veteran player in the team. Do you feel like a leader in Buducnost? Do younger players ask you for advice during the season?

"Honestly, I don’t feel like a leader. But as much as I can do to influence to the young guys with advice and experience, I do it. Our team does not have a typical leader. Last year we had the proof – and I hope that we confirm it again – that basketball is a team game. Buducnost Voli’s roster consists of fantastic guys who are very, very hard working and eager for success. Several of them have the potential to make great careers. They are hard-working players; they are committed to basketball and I'm very glad to help them any way I can."

Cedomir Vitkovac - KK Buducnost VOLI (Photo: ABA Liga)Nikola Ivanovic is the youngest player on the team, but one of its leaders already. What do you like about Nikola and what can basketball fans expect from him in the future?

"Nikola is a remarkable guy, very hardworking and industrious; I like him very much. I look forward to seeing him play every time. He has great potential and he needs to realize it. I hope he will continue doing nice things for those who like him, like he has until now."

Buducnost lost Bojan Dubljevic and Bojan Krstovic this summer, but has managed to stay very competitive. What is the secret?

"The results are not the same, but we are on the right path. We have to try much harder to reach last year's level. The Eurocup quarterfinals and a victory over Valencia at home are no small feats. For the time being, it is miles away. But the secret of our success is hard work. Dejan Radonjic has coached Buducnost Voli every year to demonstrate that tremendous work in practice brings positive results in games. This is the only way to success."

After so many years in Belgrade, how do you like life in Podgorica and playing for Buducnost?

"Each club has its own uniqueness. Buducnost Voli’s results are based on extremely seriously and hard work no less than in Belgrade. What is the advantage of Podgorica? You've got twice as much free time! In Belgrade you lose half of your life to traffic. My family is with me in Podgorica. We are here together, we are happy and from that I draw the motivation to play even better."

Last but not least, Buducnost reached the Eurocup Quarterfinals last season. What can your fans expect from this Eurocup season?

"The fans can expect from us to play every game for victory. We showed that in Bilbao, too. We do not respect any opponent. We simply do our best every game, so we'll see where that will take us."