30 June, 2018
08 July
12 Jovan Kljajic (MNE)
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Wait for first-ever U17 World Cup victory over for Kljajic, Montenegro

ROSARIO/SANTA FE (FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup 2018) - Montenegro made history on the second day at the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup 2018 as they knocked off fellow debutants New Zealand 80-56 to grab their first victory in the competition.

Jovan Kljajic nailed three three-pointers in scoring 22 points for Montenegro to go with eight rebounds and five assists in the Group C game, while Bojan Tomasevic added 20 points, five rebounds and four assists and Luka Zivanovic picked up 14 points, five assists and four rebounds.

"This means everything," said Kljajic, who is the Montenegro captain.

The victory comes a day after the runners-up from the FIBA U16 European Championship 2017 lost their first-ever game in the event - 92-67 after trailing just 48-44 with four minutes left in the third quarter.

“It was a great game. We had a tough game against Canada but we are now getting in shape and now we are thinking about Egypt," Kljajic said, looking ahead to the team's final game of group play. 

"We had three quarters (against Canada) that we played good but I think we played very bad the last quarter, so we thought about that and that we want to get better."

Kljajic, who in February became the youngest player to debut for the Montenegro senior national team in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 European Qualifiers window, said the anticipation for the tournament in Argentina has been big.


" We have been waiting all year to show ourselves," Kljajic said, referring to the wait after their second-placed showing at home in the U16 European tournament. 

And now with their first game (and defeat) and first victory out of the way, Montenegro can focus on challenging for a deep run in the knockout rounds.