The youth categories of Mega Bemax this season continued to succeed. After the cadets who won the title of the Serbian champion, Mega Bemax juniors became vice-champions of Europe at the final Euroleague tournament in Vitoria. Mega’s juniors have beaten European giants Maccabi, Bayern and Zalgiris in a row. In the final, they lost to Real Madrid 95:76, but they can be proud of everything they have shown in Spain. Starting from the game to the behavior both on the field and outside of it, because the team is more important than the success of an individual.
Branko Milisavljevic, former basketball player, and now coach of Mega’s juniors, insisted on that all the time. From the moment Crvena zvezda was defeated in the qualifying tournament “Marko Ivkovic” in Zeleznik, until the final of Euroleague in Vitoria, Milisavljevic was proud of the fact that they all believed in the collective, they had the desire and motive to succeed, to take a step further It was the case of earlier years.
This was the fourth time in a row that juniors of Mega took part in Euroleague’s final tournament. Thus they once again showed that this club seriously and systematically works with younger categories and that Mega is a real basketball talent factory. It should not be ignored, but in the first place, highlighting the fact that the Mega team in Vitoria was younger in the aftermath of the rest, played with five players born in 2002. This fact gives even more importance to Mega’s success. Vice-champions of Europe were welcomed by ovations at Nikola Tesla Airport in Belgrade, and Branko Milisavljevic directed all the words of praise to the players who made the biggest burden.
– I want to congratulate players who were incredible from the start of the tournament until the final match and afterwards. In some of our earlier preparations and arrangements for the whole competition, we have made a plan for us to be characteristic of trust, emotion, great work, dedication and socializing. We nurture all of this every day. As you have seen, we were, in fact, a champion team in every way. Not only in the way we played, but also how we acted. Everybody present in Vitoria, the guys fascinated with their energy, joy, and heart. As a trainer, people from the organization came to congratulate me on their behavior and on what they did every day. So that is the greatest success of all of us in the organization of Mege Bemax. I say, all congratulations and credits go for the players, they are most deserving of all,
Former basketball player of the Radnicki from Crveni Krst and Partizan and a number of European clubs, and now the strategist of junior’s Mega team, asked from his players couple of things.
– First of all, be a team! It’s a fantastic group of young players who come every day to train twice a day despite school obligations. They really do their best. It was a joint arrangement that, when that tournament was over, we could sit together, go for a drink and say, “Hey, guys, we’ve done our best!” We gave the maximum, we finished the tournament. And it would not matter if we were the first or the last, but only that we played as we agreed – an elevated forehead, with hugs, smiles and kisses. And that’s it, we are.
In addition to respecting all the Euroleague teams that Mega had beat not only in Vitoria, but also at the qualifying tournament in Zeleznik, Milisavljevic also wanted to add:
– My players showed something different than all the other teams, which are character and courage. I asked them to never fear anyone, not to be afraid of challenges, but to accept it and bravely enter every match. We are all convinced that we will continue to continue in the next season, and that next year is theirs.
Five players in the Mega’s team were born in 2002. This means that they can play at least one more year for juniors.
– We really need to look at it objectively, the teams that we have beat in Vitoria are fantastic. I, as coach and former player, see that they all have exceptional individuals and great talents, but what my guys differ from them is that they are the team. The team is always ahead and better than any individual. We are convinced that they will continue to behave like this, to work and breathe together, as one, and the future is ahead of them. Let them enjoy this fairy tale, they deserve it.
Aleksandar Langovic is the best player of the Mega’s U18 team. He was brilliant at the qualifying tournament in Zeleznik when he was selected as a member of the All Tournament team, and continued with good games in Vitoria.
– I would congratulate the professional staff and teammates on a great game and a great success. We started on the road, like every team, with the desire to win this tournament. We ended up happily and we lost, but we’re going further. In every game, we were one. The coach cheered, braved us, we did not give a lecture at any moment. The effort eventually paid off. All of this, not only to me, but also to my teammates, will do much to prepare for what is waiting for us in the senior competition.
Marko Andric, the team’s playmaker, pointed out that the impressions have not yet settled, but that this great generation will not stop only on this:
– Uh, vice-champions of Europe, great feeling! We were a little younger team compared to the rest, but I think that this is a good upturn for the next season in which everyone sees us as favorites for winning this tournament. It was a great experience, especially for us who are younger and who will be able to play in this competition next year. We were on a really good level, but we’ll be better off for the next season in which we hope to win the Euroleague.
Photo: Mega Bemax/Ivica Veselinov