The former Panathinaikos player has already won eight trophies in cup competitions across Europe in his career so far. This weekend Copa Del Rey comes down to the final 8 and Ukic praises the difficulties of the competition in Spain unlike the Greek Cup.
“The two competitions are different. In Spain the differences between the clubs that participate in are very tight. Copa Del Rey is consisted from the top eight clubs of the league. The winner is the one who is in better form at that moment. It's very difficult to win three game in three or four days. On the other hand in the Greek Cup there is a huge interest when Panathinaikos play against Olympiakos, because the gap with the other clubs is big. I played in the Greek Cup final as a Panathinaikos player against Aris last season but the game lost its meaning after a while as we were 20 points ahead,” Ukic told sdna.gr.
The Croatian guard recalls the 2013 Cup final in Greece when he was named as the MVP of the final but his memories from this kind of games in Greece have been tarnished from the riots that have occured. “I will never forget the Cup final of 2013 when I was named as the MVP. The most important is that my team won the trophy, but this was one of my best displays. Every time you manage to win your biggest rival (Olympiakos) is very important. It was a crazy day and definitely one of the remarkable moments in my career. The fans were throwing firecrackers to each other, so we had to stop playing up until the stadium was fully empty. It was impossible to play under these circumstances. But in Spain it's completely different. The Cup finals are a festival,” Ukic says.
This year Ukic has returned stronger after a tough season and that makes him really determined to keep going. “Of course, the current season is very different from the two I had at Panathinaikos. I just wanted a decent season in order to find my rythm again. I had a difficult season last year with a lot of injuries, but I'm back stronger. I think playing in that game against Olympiakos cost me. I was not 100% ready. Cedevita are an ambitious club, with bright future. We've got a brilliant coach. Also I'm very determined to return to the Croatia National Team. The fact that we hos the Eurobasket gives me an extra challenge. I can't miss such an opportunity as I have been 10 years in the National Team. I hope this won't be my last year in the national level and I wish to achieve great things in front of our fans.”