Turkish Airlines Euroleague
May 23, 2013
bwin Euroleague Fantasy Challenge
Tel Aviv 2004
Qualifying Rounds 2012
NIKE International Junior Tournament
Star Turn, Q & A: Slavko Vranes, Partizan
Slavko Vranes slide show
Slavko Vranes profile
The tallest player ever to reach the Final Four stands ready to make the difference for Partizan Belgrade in Paris. Over three seasons with Partizan, 2.29-meter center Slavko Vranes has become a force in the Euroleague as his team's defensive anchor, blocking plenty of shots and intimidating opponents from even trying others. He has also become one of the Euroleague's top per-minute rebounders and a more efficient player on offense. Vranes first played professionally for FMP Zeleznik, near Belgrade, and made his Euroleague debut with Buducnost of Montenegro during the 2002-03 season. Vranes proved his defensive skills right away in that rookie season, averaging 1.2 blocks in less than 10 minutes per game. Brief stops in the NBA and Crvena Zvezda ended with Vranes returning to Buducnost for three seasons. Partizan head coach Dusko Vujosevic, always on the lookout for interesting prospects, persuaded him to move to Belgrade and join Partizan in the summer of 2007. Since then, Vranes has proven himself to be a game-changer in the paint. At age 27, Vranes has entered the prime of his career as a pillar in coach Vujosevic's squad as he and Partizan once again try to beat the expectations at the 2010 Final Four in Paris.
Few people thought that Partizan would make it to the Final Four. What does it mean for you to be in Paris?
"We started the season as outsiders and tried to take things one game at a time. We made it to the playoffs, like we have in the last two years, and had a good opportunity to advance this year. It is a big challenge for a lot of our young players. We will do our best, stay together and be as strong as we can be. We will try to use my height, Bo McCalebb's quickness, good shooters like Aleksandar Rasic and Dusan Kecman. We can use our young players and play good defense… all that stuff. We have to put everything together, play the game and not think too much about our opponent. We have to play as if it was a regular season game and stay focused from the first to the last second, right until the end of the game."
Now that you are a Final Four team, do you view yourselves as underdogs or a team with a fair chance to lift the title?
"Well, all teams have chances, but we have to be the outsiders. If you have a look at our players, talent and age, we have to be the outsiders. Of course, if you have a look at all four teams at the Final Four, we are probably the one with the lowest budget - perhaps in all the Euroleague. I see us as the outsiders, but we will play hard and avoid thinking about the next day or the next game. We will give our best and play at 100 percent of our abilities."
What's it like to be so adored and to get that unique support from Partizan fans?
"Our fans just make us a better team. They support us and believe in us all the time. The support we get is something you don't see anywhere else. They are always with us, whether we are winning by 20 or losing by 20. Whenever we lose at home, they stay in the gym for half an hour, for two hours... They love us and believe in us. It is the kind of atmosphere that allows you to give everything you can and if you lose, you try to give your best again in the next game. The fact that we had over 20,000 fans in playoff games the last two seasons speaks for itself. We don't need to say anything to them but 'thank you'. They understand us and know us even better than we know each other. They know if we are giving 100 percent or not, how to support us and keep us in the game."
How has playing in the Euroleague for a coach like Dusko Vujosevic made you a better player?
"It has definitely helped a lot. I have played for a lot of clubs, quality teams, but I always tried to find a place like Partizan. Since I got here, I have had a great time with my teammates, coaches and staff. When I switched clubs and moved to Partizan, I felt that I fit in. Our fans support me as if I had always been a Partizan player. I didn't feel like I had moved from a different club. Of course, Coach Vujosevic knows how to make the most out of my size, how to use it always to help the team."
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Regal FC Barcelona
NIKE International Junior Tournament
FINAL FOUR TEAMS
REGAL FC BARCELONA
FINAL FOUR SCHEDULE
SEMIFINALS - FRIDAY, MAY 7, 2010
Regal FCB 64-54 CSKA Moscow
Partizan 80-83 OT Olympiacos
3RD PLACE - SUNDAY, MAY 9, 2010
CSKA Moscow 90-88 OT Partizan
FINAL - SUNDAY, MAY 9, 2010
Regal FC Barcelona 86-68 Olympiacos
Final Four Slides
PAST FINAL FOURS
TEL AVIV 2004