Milan Kotorac: Basketball team has all chances for success at V Asian Games

Photo: Photo by Yuri Shkurin

In September of the last year, Serbian specialist Milan Kotorac held seminar for the coaches of basketball clubs in Ashgabat under the Olympic Solidarity programme. International Olympic Committee with the assistance of International Basketball Federation was the organizer of seven day training. At the same time, national federation discussed the perspective of cooperation and in February of this year, Turkmen National Basketball Federation concluded contract with Milan on training of woman and man national team of 3X3 format for V Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games.

- Milan, you are the coach of national teams for more than half a year. What’s your impression of the work in Turkmenistan?

- I feel comprehensive support from the Federation and I am happy with the conditions and understanding between my colleagues from coach headquarter and players. There were no any problems for this period.

- Who made the composition of the team?

- I have watched the videos of Turkmenistan woman and man championships, consulted with experienced coach, Acting Chairman of National Basketball Federation NAriman Velishayev about the candidates. The best players, who are numerous champions of the country among men and women, play in Ashgabat team “Turkmenistan. Thus we formed man and woman teams where eight players at the moment. Here is difficult moment for the coach in any sports – screening of technically weakest sportsmen, as the team will compose only form 6 players.

- What is the difference between 3X3 and classic basketball?

- There are few of them. First of all, the competitions are held on the field with one basket only. At the same time, the game is very dynamic and goes rapidly and the sportsman required to be of a great endurance together with tactical and physical capabilities. Unlike classic basketball with clear division on positions, here, every player is versatile

- What are the summands of success in sports?

- First of all, this is a team spirit. All players understand the objectives set by coach staff and tries to fulfil them. In May of this year, I as a Head Coach had a serious exam at V Islamic Solidarity Games in Baku. Our boys and girls competed with honour, having entered the four of the best teams. France hosted international tournament in June with participation of the best European teams from Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland and it gave as opportunity to analyse our weak and strong sides and to continue to work on tactical and technical training. After those matches, women team took part in the world championship where it list to Spain and France but won Venezuela.

- What match was the most difficult for the girls?

- All three games were not easy. The rivals are tough and experienced athletes. For sure, the format of such tournaments does not leave much space for more detailed preparation to certain match but in the recent game, our girls managed to implement their game plan and as the result won. The games with teams from other countries under training camps were continued after international tournaments.

- How important are such games for preparation to large tournaments?

- We had number of matches with local teams in Zlatibor, Serbia in July. As for today, Serbian clubs are one of the strongest in the world. I speak it with the pride for my compatriots – men team is the world champion in this year as well as specialist. That is why together with the management of national federation we decided to have training camp in Serbia. If the team will start figure out the results and choose weak or average rival, it will lead to loss. I do not think who would be better to play with – we are ready to face any team. the most important thing is that the rivals would be experienced. We will have another training camp on August 14 – 22 in Turkey – they have very developed infrastructure of 3X3 basketball and we had an agreement to have several games with local clubs.

- What is distinctive feature of good team?

- Stability. Good team plays steady. Yes, sometimes it may not to perform at their full potential but it does not affect the final result. We try to achieve that. At the moment, the base of our teams is composed of talented players and there are all prepositions to demonstrate quality and stable game. I would like to address the fans: matches of home Asian Games are complicated and responsible exam for young team and required special psychological mood and concentration and the support of the fans is an important stimulus for victory!