This week on the Recap: Partizan wins the Euroleague Derby, Serbia remembers the birth of legendary coach Dušan Ivković, while Nemanja Majdov judos his way to a Gran Slam gold. Also featured, the Water Polo European Championship is moved to a new host country and much more.

Deby Partizan
Photo: KK Partizan, via IG

The first Serbian Euroleague Derby of the season ended in a 88:86 win for Partizan. In the packed black and white Arena, the squad of coach Željko Obradović managed to oust Zvezda’s excellent second half. Unfortunately, there were no visiting fans to enhance the derby atmosphere. We hope this can change as the season moves forward.

The game was a true treat for European basketball fans, showcasing why Serbia absolutely deserves a double spot at the Euroleague table.

The next derby is played on Monday (Oct 30th, 20.00) as part of Aba League R5. Partizan will once again have the home grounds of the Štark Arena.

Across the Pond, basketball fans enjoyed the start of the NBA league. Very few Serbian fans slept as the Nuggets opened their reigning championship season with a win. Including a triple-double from Nikola Jokić (29/13/11).

Luka Dončić, another Serbian favorite also scored an opening triple-double (33/13/10). Becoming the first in Mavs history to make these numbers. Coach Darko Rajaković made NBA Night 1 the perfect Serbian NBA opener. Toronto Raptors head coach was given a champion’s welcome after his opening W.

Serbia remembers legendary coach Dušan Ivković

Today marks what would have been the 80th birthday of basketball legend Dušan Duda Ivković. Born and raised in Belgrade he fell in love with basketball early, wishing to spend every waking moment near the courts. First watching his older brother Slobodan playing for Radnički, then becoming a player himself for the same team in the late 50s and early 60s.

Duda Ivković
Foto: Marina Lopicic

It was not long before Dušan Ivković showcased his brilliant coaching talent. Once again, it all began with Radnički, having won the Yugoslav Championship title. It continued with Partizan, where Ivković became assistant coach to the mythical Ranko Žeravica, while taking the helm a year later (1978). These were also the years when Ivković first stepped into the Yugoslav national team coaching system.

His club career took him around Europe and Yugoslavia, having lead Aris, Šibenik, Vojvodina, Panonios, Olympiacos, PAOK, AEK, CSKA, Dinamo Moscow, Efes with great success… However Ivković remains the greatest contemporary symbol of the Reprezentacija. Coach Ivković lead FR Yugoslavia to a Gold at the Universiade (1987), European Golds (1989, 1991, 1995-assistant coach), a World Title (1990), Olympic Silver (1988)…

Yugoslavia was not allowed to play at the Barcelona Olympics, however the age of domination that Ivković lead remains a how-to for many young coaches wishing to reprise at least some of this triumph.

As assistant coach, Ivković heavily contributed to the following success of the Yugoslavia: Olympic Silver (1996), Eurobasket Gold (1997), World Title (1998), Eurobasket Bronze (1999). He then took a hiatus from the National team, only to return in 2008, where he is entirely responsible for the renaissance of the National Team, now competing under the name – Serbia.

Leading a young squad to a European bronze, Ivković created the basis for the later success of both these individual players and the entire squad. He took a team of boys and turned them into triumphant men. These are the years most remembered by the new generation of basketball fans who will forever associate Duda with the Serbian Reprezentacija.

Waterpolo Euros under uncertain circumstances

The upcoming Water Polo European Championship will not be held in Israel. The Euros was supposed to be played Jan 3-16th 2024 in Netanya. However the current events show it is impossible for any competition to be played in Israel. This means LEN will have to search for an alternative. With two months left until the competition, finding a new host country will be difficult. The LEN state they are working on modifying the competition calendar.

The European Championship is supposed to be followed by the World Championship. Both provide precious Olympic tickets for Paris 2024 which we eagerly await in the Summer. SidelineSRB will continue reporting on all relevant information.

Judo success in Abu Dhabi

Nemanja Majdov won gold at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam in the 90kg category, while Aleksandar Kukolj won Silver in the 100kg category at the same tournament. An excellent rendition for Team Serbia and a great perspective on what we can expect at the Paris Olympics.

To finish things off – Novak Đoković and Rita Ora spotted watching a game together

The final of the Rugby World Cup featured an interesting view, but not towards the field. A camera panned towards the crowd only to show Novak Đoković and Rita Ora sitting next to one another.

The interesting turn of events places Ora at a rugby match thanks to the singer’s husband directing a movie on French Rugby. The culmination obviously takes place at the World Cup final. The Priština-born pop star was recently attacked by the Albanian media for wrapping herself in a Serbian flag on and off stage given to her during a concert in Hungary. Ora later stated she was unaware of this being the flag of Serbia.

The World Number One, known for his patriotism and the beautiful singer who supports Albania, had obviously enjoyed the final. South Africa beat New Zealand (12-11), while both sport and music fans are united in the friendly banter. The only ones not enjoying the situation are the Albanian media, but hey… You can’t make everyone happy.

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