Budućnost Defeats Red Star



Pionir Hall View from our Seats, originally uploaded by bill kralovec.

Last night Owen, Ollie, and I attended the Adriatic Basketball Association game between our favorite Red Star and Budućnost of Montenegro. It was an important game for both teams as they are in 7th and 6th place in the league standings respectively.

The superior guard play of Montenegrins and the weak defense of Red Star contributed to the 88-77 win by Budućnost. I was very impressed with the backcourt tandem of Goran Jeretin (26 points) and Nikola Otasevic (a 6 foot guard who can reverse dunk). They really controlled the game. Red Star did make a run and tied the game with 4 minutes left in the third quarter at 56 apiece behind a couple of nice plays by Red Star import Mike Taylor.

Budućnost pulled away from that point outscoring Red Star 32-21 the rest of the way. Red Star has several problems. Number one is they don’t play defense with intensity. The two guards for the Montenegrins kept penetrating and passing effectively the whole game. Second, Red Star has no guards and play makers. The team is heavy on tall, stiffs with few ball skills. Our favorite player, Vladimir Štimac played little and was constantly being yelled at by the coach. I would find a new coach ASAP if I was Red Star management. I would also find a slasher/scorer at the 2 or 3 position as well as a solid point guard.

We got to stay for the whole game. Ollie most loved the popcorn and running around the stadium. It is a great night out for the kids. I bought a ticket for 200 RSD ($3) , the kids were free, and the boys had popcorn and pop for another 200 RSD. The crowd was enthusiastic, but not violent or rude. Serbians love basketball (košarka) and play it well. Serbs are a tall, athletic race in general, and it shows with the quality of basketball. There are many Serbs in the NBA and US universities. They also play all over Europe and Partizan, the defending champion of the NBL, went far in the Euroleague Basketball last season.

We also had a final day in the snow. The weather was above freezing yesterday and much of the snow melted. We took advantage of the snow again yesterday morning, and went to Banavo Brdo (Ban’s Hill) a suburb of Belgrade. They have a big sledding hill and boys loved it. I promised no more snow videos or pictures but I couldn’t resist. Here is Owen heading down Ban’s Hill. As I update this late on Wednesday evening, the snow is almost gone.

Last Snow Video


Ollie & Papa Toboggan, originally uploaded by bill kralovec.

Owen shot this video yesterday of us going down Senjak Hill. Kablarska street is blocked off to traffic by two garbage containers and made into a sledding hill. We are planning to go again today. I promise no more snow videos. it is just after so long in the tropics, I am really enjoying the winter. It reminds me of my childhood in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I am happy to experience this with my children.

I have used the opportunity to introduce the boys to the Olympic sports of luge and bobsledding. We did a bobsled competition last night in the house. They were having trouble understanding the concepts of tenths of a second and the lower number means a faster time and a higher place in the standings.

Yesterday both Nadia and I took advantage of having our housekeeper working this week and we both went for runs. I went outside and Nadia inside. Despite a temperature of -11 C, the whiteness was refreshing and I enjoyed a long run.

In the afternoon we almost completed our Christmas shopping. Nadia baked gingerbread cookies last night and we ate tacos. I hope I can take the boys to the Red Star basketball game this evening.

Ocean Walks Through the Yard

Toboggan Run in the Neighborhood


With all of the snow we received last week and the cold temperatures this weekend, conditions are perfect in Belgrade for sledding runs. Last year, we had to go over to Banavo Brdo (Ban’s Hill) which is a neighborhood on the other side of Kosutnjak park. This year, there is a sledding run 100 meters from our house. The street is blocked to cars with two large garbage bins. A bunch of kids were there yesterday afternoon. I took the kids over with a toboggan we bought in Slovenia last year. Owen and Ollie loved it. Ocean didn’t as she was a bit scared. Above is a video of one of Owen’s run. If you listen closely, you can here Nadia in the background. We’ll head back today for another run. 

It was a nice Sunday. I went for a long run in the morning and cooked a hearty pancake breakfast. We went grocery shopping in the late afternoon. We finished off the night with dinner and watching Mythbusters and Atlantis. 


Ollie pulls Ocean down our Street