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MVP of January: Filip Čović (FMP)

FMP played 5 games in January, they won 4 of them, while their team captain collected no less than 129 index points. That is 25,8 index points per game! The numbers are quite clear - Filip Čović is the MVP of the month in ABA League.

Filip Covic (Photo: FMP)

FMP played 5 games in January, they won 4 of them, while their team captain collected no less than 129 index points. That is 25,8 index points per game! The numbers are quite clear - Filip Čović is the MVP of the month in ABA League.

In victory against Krka, FMP point guard had 14 points and 4 assists. While then he 'exploded' in the next match against Igokea in which he had 36 points, including 9 three-pointers, then 5 assists and index rating of 42! That was the first time in this month that filip Čović became the MVP of the round.

In the following match FMP defeated Mornar, while Čović left his signature by making 13 points and 14 assists for the overall index rating of 21. Finally, in the last match against Cibona, the captain of the Panthers scored 30 points, had 7 assists and claimed his 2nd MVP of the round award in this month.

FMP suffered only one single defeat in January. It was the away game against Partizan NIS, while Čović had good numbers in that match as well, as he made 15 points, collected 8 assists and had the overall index rating of 22.

In those 5 games in January Filip Čović got fouled 37 times, he had 34 free-throws attempts and missed only one of them. By averaging 21.6 points per game he was the top scorer in January, while with 7.6 assists per game he is placed at the 2nd spot on the top passers list.

"Honestly, I did not think about my stats. The only thing that mattered to me was to help my team win games. At one point of the season we were not well positioned on the standings, while FMP haven't been part of the regional league for quite a long period. That made our situation even more difficult, especially if you consider the average age of our team. Beside me there are just a few more experienced players, while the rest of the team have never played ABA League before. It certainly feels good that I am playing at this level, but as I have previously said, team results are much more important to me," said Filip Čović.

There is a saying that point guards are line wine - They get better with the age. Do you feel like that with 27 years?

"I have always played for the team, that is how I was raised as a basketball player. Accordingly, I have always liked to make assists more than to score points. And that is something which will not change."

How much does it mean for the two time regional champion FMP to be back in the elite league?

"It is good for many reasons. Both for the club and for the players. I feel sorry because we were not part of the ABA League in the previous season when we also played very good basketball. I was disappointed because our young players did not have a chance to show their huge potential. We were dominant in the domestic league, and that brought us into some unusual situation in which it was difficult to accept defeats. Now, everything is different."

With 4 wins out of the previous 5 games FMP have escaped from the danger zone in ABA League...

"ABA League is extremely interesting competition in which anyone can beat anyone. We have escaped the last placed teams a bit and we are on the right way to secure the ABA League status. However, there is still much to be played. The thing that pleases me is that we regained our confidence, which was pretty shaken before this run of good results. After all, we are a very young team, but now we bounced back and we will continue to improve.

FMP have always been considered as a 'basketball factory' which produces many talented young players. That trend has continued in this season, especially if you take a look at Jonah Bolden and Isaiah Austin...

"I do not like to single out any player from the group. There are plenty of talented players in our club who might have great careers. They just need time and many high-quality games, like they have now in ABA League. Bolden could not find the right rhythm at the beginning, but now he is playing great. He came directly from the college and he needed some time to get used to all the things here. Bolden has a great potential and he has started showing it to everyone. I am especially pleased with our cooperation so far. As far as Austin is concerned, he is quite a story. He has a huge motive and that is why the time is on his side. Because of his problems he could not play basketball for two years, but his talent is still enormous. Austin has the height of a center and the shooting skills of a guard. The most important thing for him is to fit well into our team as soon as possible. Like I have previously said, FMP have plenty of excellent players and I am sure that most of them will use their skills to build great careers. That is something I wish them from the bottom of my heart, because they are not just good players, but a good men as well."

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MVP januara – Filip Čović: Više volim asistenciju od koša

FMP je u proteklom mesecu igrao pet mečeva, četiri pobedio, a njegov kapiten sakupio 129 indeksnih poena, odnosno 25,8 prosečno po meču. Brojke koje su otklonile svaku dilemu – Filip Čović je MVP januara.

U pobedi protiv Krke, organizator igre Pantera učestvovao je sa 14 poena i četiri asistencija, za indeks 10. A, onda je eksplodirao na gostovanju Igokei gde je ubacio 36 poena, od čega devet trojki, imao pet asistencija i indeks 42. Tada je prvi put u mesecu poneo laskavo priznanje MVP kola. Pobedu protiv Mornara potpisao je sa 14 asistencija, 13 poena za indeks 21. Ciboni je ubacio 30 poena, imao sedam asistencija i ponovo bio MVP kola. U jedinom porazu, na gostovanju Partizanu, Čović je takođe imao sjajne brojke. Ubacio je 15 poena, uz osam asistencija i imao indeks 22. U tih pet mečeva, kapiten FMP-a, 34 puta se našao na liniji penala i promašio samo jednom. A, nad njim je napravljeno čak 37 ličnih greška. Sa prosekom od 21,6 poena, Čović je najefikasniji igrač u januaru, dok sa presekom od 7,6 asistencija zauzima drugo mesto u ligi.

"Iskren da budem nisam razmišljao o svom učinku, jedino što mi je bilo bitno da tim pobeđuje. U jednom trenutku smo bili u jako loše plasirani, a FMP baš dugi niz godina nije bio deo regionalne lige. Što je našu poziciju činilo još težom, pogotovo kada se zna prosek godina našeg tima. Pored mene tu je još svega par iskusnijih igrača, dok ostatak ekipe nikada nije pre igrala ABA ligu. Sigurno da mi prija što igram na tom nivou, ali zbog svega što sam naveo, igre i rezultat tima su mi bili daleko važnije," rekao je Filip Čović.

Za plejmejekre se kažu da su kao vino, što stariji to bolji. Da li se vi u 27 godini tako osećate?

"Uvek sam igrao za tim, tako samo učen i vaspitan. U skladu sa tim uvek mi je bilo draže da nekome asistiram, nego da dam koš. I to se neće menjati."
Koliko za FMP kao bivšeg dvostrukog šampiona regionalne lige znači što je ponovo u elitnom društvu?

"Značaj je višestruk. Za klub i igrače. Mnogo mi je žao što i prošle godine nismo bili deo ABA lige, s obzirom na partije koje smo pružali. Bilo mi je krivo što naši mladi igrači već tada nisu imali priliku da pokažu ogroman potencijal. Bili smo dominantni u domaćoj ligi, zbog čega smo u jednom trenutku ove sezone, bili u za nas atipičnoj situaciji. Porazi su nam baš teško padali. Ali, sada je već drugačije."

Sa četiri pobede iz pet kola FMP je pobegao iz opasne zone?

"ABA lige je izuzetno zanimljiva i praktično svako svakoga može da pobedi. Mi smo se sada malo izdvojili, na dobrom smo putu da obezbedimo opstanak. Ali, ima još dosta da se igra. Ono što posebno raduje jeste očigledno samopouzdanje koje nam je pre ove serije bilo dosta uzdrmano. Ipak, mi smo veoma mlad tim. Sada smo se izdigli i napredujemo iz meča u meč."

FMP je uvek važio za fabriku mladih igrača. Taj trend je nastavljen, a posebno se izdvajaju Bolden i Ostin?

"Ne volim da izdvajam igrače. U našem klubu je mnogo talentovanih igrača pred kojima su velike karijere. Trebaće vremena i još dosta jakih utakmica, što sada imaju kroz ABA ligu. Bolden se u početku nije snašao, a sada igra sjajno. Došao je sa koledža i trebalo mu je vremena da se navikne. On poseduje fantastičan potencijal i počeo je da ga pokazuje. Mene posebno raduje kvalitet naše saradnje. Ostin je priča za sebe. Njega krasi ogroman motiv i zbog toga vreme je njegov saveznik. Zbog svima poznatih problema dve godine nije igrao košarku. Ali, njegov talent je ogroman. Ima visinu centra, a brzinu, šut i sve ostale crte beka. Sada je najvažnije da se što pre uklopi i pomogne timu. Ali, kao što sam rekao, FMP ima plejadu vanserijskih igrača i siguran sam da će većina to pretočiti u značajne karijere, što im od srca želim, pogotovo jer svi pored igračkih imaju i sjajne ljudske kvalitete," rekao je Filip Čović.