CSo they have a rivalry older than basketball itself and it’s not going to stop. Ettore Messina (Catania, 1959) and Dusko Ivanovic (Bijelo Polje, 1957) are two of the great minds thinkers of sport at a continental level. Winners by definition, ‘gurus’ of the game and immersed in chapter 24 of their rivalry in the Euroleague. They will conduct at the Armani Milan-Baskonia of the Mediolanum Forum of the Italian city (8:30 p.m., MD2) its umpteenth crash. They have experienced everything and it doesn’t seem like it will be their last game… quite the opposite.
Their confrontations experienced the most glorious episode in the 2001 finals. The Euroleague was still decided in a final five-game series and there the Italian’s Bologna knocked down Baskonia in the fifth game. It was the second crown of the four (1998, 2006 and 2008) that Messina has won. worse luck for Ivanovic, only champion of one Korac Cup, in 1999-00, with Limoges on an international level.
Messina takes the duels, with 15 victories to Dusko’s 8. A particular duel within that battle to be the greatest in a competition in which the transalpine team has more than 300 wins and the Balkan team has more than 200. Always with big clubs, such as Real Madrid, Barcelona, Khimki, Panathinaikos… or now Baskonia and Armani Milan.
Their rivalry went through all kinds of stages. Like a great controversy in the Final Four in Prague in 2006. There Messina’s CSKA beat Ivanovic’s Barça, and the Balkan said that refereeing was a shame for basketball. “I feel that a coach of the level of Ivanovic behaves so differently compared to his time at TAU. Maybe the atmosphere of Barcelona affected him“Messina replied.
He also had a chapter in the 2010 Endesa League Playoffs. In the semifinals between Real Madrid and Baskonia, Messina criticized the refereeing after Tomic was sent off. Ivanovic had no qualms in answering: “It’s the typical way of putting pressure on the referee… and looking for a way to find excuses.” 13 years later the two are still at the foot of the canyon.