KK MZT Skopje Aerodrom
|КК МЗТ Скопје
BC MZT Skopje
Macedonian First League
|Team colors||Blue and White
|Head coach||Aleš Pipan|
|Championships||3 Championships of Macedonia
7 Macedonian Cups
KK MZT Skopje (Macedonian: КК МЗТ Скопје) is a basketball club based in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia. The club competes in the Macedonian First League and Adriatic League. The club's home ground is Jane Sandanski Arena, but due to small capacity the matches in the Adriatic League and Eurocup from 2012-2014 were played in Boris Trajkovski Arena. From the season 2014/2015 the new home will be the renewed Jane Sandanski Arena.
In its history, MZT Skopje has won the Macedonian First League 9 times (1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1979, 2012, 2013 and 2014) and the Macedonian Cup 7 times (1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2012, 2013 and 2014).
- 1 History
- 2 Honours
- 3 Current roster
- 4 Management
- 5 Notable former players
- 6 Head coaches
- 7 MZT Skopje in Europe
- 8 MZT Skopje in ABA League
- 9 The eternal basketball derby
- 10 Supporters
- 11 References
- 12 External links
KK Skopje was formed in 1966 by a group of enthusiasts led by the first president of the club Mile Melovski. The interest in basketball was high, and even though there were 4 clubs in Skopje, there was still need for more clubs. That is why the appearance of KK Skopje was welcome, and numbers of young people joined the club and started training on an open field in Avtokomanda. The first team roster consisted of Trpezanovski, Atanasovski, Strezovski, Lazarevski and Domlevski, who was also the team coach. In two years the club became a member of the Macedonian league. Many people expected KK Skopje to get relegated, but the team fought hard and became a standard member in the league.
In 1971 Uroš Maljković was chosen to be the new president of the club, with Boris Sokolovski becoming the new head coach. After the reorganization of the leagues in Yugoslavia, KK Skopje gained the right to play in the Second league – South. In the first season of this league KK Skopje finished 7th. The second season the team reached the First league qualifications. The first try failed and due to leaving the field in Ivangrad KK Skopje received a penalty of 8 points for the next season.
KK Skopje got relegated again to the regional league and Taki Dzikov was selected to be the head coach. In 1979 the team finished first in the Macedonian league and managed to qualify for the Second league yet again. With this success the factory Metalski Zavod Tito or MZT started investing in KK Skopje. Slobodan Mucunski, one of the leading people of MZT became the president of KK Skopje. In 1984 MZT completely took the club under their wing, building the new arena Jane Sandanski in Aerodrom. In 1986 KK Skopje, under the new name MZT Skopje and the leadership of Lazar Lečić, reached the Federal First league where they competed for two seasons.
Independence of Macedonia (1991–2008)
After the independence of Macedonia, MZT Skopje immediately became one of the leading basketball clubs in the country. In the mid 90s MZT Skopje had a few successful runs on the European field, the most memorable being the 1996–97 season when the team played in the Raimundo Saporta Cup. In this period MZT Skopje struggled to get more respectful results in Europe, led by coach Aleksandar Knjazev beating teams like Real Madrid, Benfica, Ratiopharm, MZT Skopje managed to qualify for the 1/16 finals, without losing one match at home in Jane Sandanski. This was the first time Macedonia had a representative in the matches after New Year. The draw allocated that MZT Skopje were to play F.C. Porto, with the first match to be played at home. The home form continued when MZT Skopje managed to defeat Porto in Jane Sandanski. But the win was not enough, as F.C. Porto won at home by a bigger margin, ending MZT Skopje European season. However, this season in domestic competition was failure wherein MZT was defeated by Zito Vardar in the semifinal. The next few seasons MZT Skopje had a marginal role in the European cups, playing against teams like Žalgiris, ASVEL, Cholet, Split and others. In the Macedonian National championship, MZT Skopje had a few tries to get to the championship trophy, playing in the play-off finals six times, and even though a few times the team was a so-called "dream team" they couldn't win the trophy in this period. During this few seasons many players emerged through MZT Skopje like Mirza Kurtović, Vrbica Stefanov, Todor Gečevski, Pero Blazevski, Gjorgji Knjazev, Dejan Jovanovski, Gjorgje Vojnovic, Bobi Petrovski, Srdjan Stankovic, Dejan Dimov, Riste Stefanov, and internacional players like David Daniels, Lorenzo Orr, Fraizer Johnson, Levy Middlebrooks, Bojan Tadic and Bryan Smith. Although they couldn't win the championship, this period they won 4 Macedonian Cups, in 1996 against Rabotnički at Gradski Park (69-64), next season in 1997 against Tikveš Kavadarci in Radoviš (92-86), in 1999 against Nikolfert Gostivar at Jasmin Sports Hall (78-73) and in 2000 at home in Jane Sandanski again against Rabotnički (68-66).
Moments of downfall (2008–2011)
In 2008, after many years of failed operations of the then management of the club, the fans decided to start a boycott in order to change the entire set of the management team of MZT Skopje. Finally, the summer of 2009 the entire management left the club, leaving many debts behind. There were less than two weeks left to the beginning of the season, and MZT Skopje at that moment had no players, no coach, no junior school, and even worse, they had no sponsors whatsoever. A day before the deadline for application of teams for the current championship, the Family Aerodrom fan group organized a march in order to save the club. Fortunately, this produced results, so during the first season the club was taken over by the Municipality of Aerodrom, and the club received players who were told that the club had had no money. Due to the financial problems of the club, it had the worst season since the independence of Macedonia, so KK MZT Skopje had to play in the play-out, to secure its place in the league. Fortunately, MZT succeeded, which meant much better days for the club were to come. The next season, 2010–11, the club got solid sponsors, and there was complete reorganization of the management set, the junior school was reactivated, which had been non-functional for eight years. All debts were repaid, and the team succeeded in entering the playoff semifinals, and the finals of the Macedonian Cup.
The club's most successful season (2011–2012), ABA league and Eurocup (2012-present)
After all the turmoil and upheavals in the past, after a long time, KK MZT Skopje created a team which became a favorite for winning the first title since its existence. Before the start of the season, an agreement had been reached on Liga ABA participation in the 2012–13 season. On May 2, 2012, for the first time in history, MZT Skopje won a championship, playing in the finals against Feni Industries and beating them with the score 4–1. That same season, MZT Skopje was the winner of the Macedonian Basketball Cup, having the best results at the Boris Trajkovski arena. MZT Skopje’s debut season in the ABA league can be assessed as highly successful. Before the season’s start, the club’s only goal had been to ensure survival in the league, but as the season went by, at one given period, MZT was strong enough to fight for the Final Four Tournament. On its first official game in the Adriatic League, MZT won a victory over Cibona in Zagreb, which was immediately followed by its first official victory at home over Siroki Breg.
Although it used to be considered as a club with one of the smallest budgets in the ABA League, MZT has managed to outperform teams with budgets many times bigger, as well as former European champions. The list of teams that MZT has outperformed consists of Cedevita, Cibona, Krka, Zadar, Siroki Breg, Split, Szolnok, Union Olimpija, and a crown of the successful season was its latest triumph at home over Partizan. In the last round, MZT had a chance to qualify for the Eurocup. It was necessary to defeat Krka in Slovenia, and for Cedevita to be defeated by Siroki Breg. The task was fulfilled by the Macedonian champion, but the qualification did not depend on MZT alone, and eventually MZT ranked seventh, with a score of 14 wins and 12 losses, thus ensuring its participation in the ABA League next year, too. In the Macedonian league, MZT is still being dominant. First, they won the Cup of Macedonia defeating Kumanovo in the finals, while in the playoff MZT Skopje succeeded in making it to the title with no single defeat, achieving victories over Feni in the semifinals with 3-0, and over Kozuv in the finals with 4-0. In 2014 MZT becоme champion again third time in a row, beating the eternal rival Rabotnicki in the final (3-1). The same year MZT won Macedonian Cup aнd this trophy was 7th in the history.
- KK Skopje (1966–1984)
- KK MZT Skopje (1984–1998)
- KK MZT Boss Skopje (1998–2000)
- KK MZT Skopje 2000 (2000–2004)
- KK MZT Skopje (2004–2008)
- KK MZT FON Univerzitet (2008–2009)
- KK MZT Skopje Aerodrom (2009–present)
However, the club is best known under the name KK MZT Skopje.
|Macedonian Republic League||Winners||6||1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1979|
|Macedonian League||Winners||3||2012, 2013, 2014|
|Macedonian League||Finalist||9||1993, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2012, 2013, 2014|
|Macedonian Cup||Winners||7||1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2012, 2013, 2014|
|Macedonian Cup||Finalist||11||1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014|
|Macedonian Super Cup||Winners||1||2004|
Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.
KK MZT Skopje Aerodrom roster
- Club Owner: Aerodrom Municipality
- President: Kire Donevski
- General Manager: Vidoja Sekulovski
- Sport Director: Vrbica Stefanov
Notable former players
MZT Skopje in Europe
|BK JIP Pardubice||MZT Skopje||97-82||81-111|
|MZT Skopje||Ratiopharm Ulm||78-75||70-85|
|BC Baltai||MZT Skopje||60-44||74-80|
|KK Zagreb||MZT Skopje||94-80||64-81|
|MZT Skopje||Arsenal Tula||91-78||70-94|
|Real Madrid||MZT Skopje||92-65||68-69|
|Plama Pleven||MZT Skopje||103-94||68-91|
|MZT Skopje||Ratiopharm Ulm||92-89||73-94|
|MZT Skopje||Hapoel Galil Elyon||65-55||79-95|
|MZT Skopje||BC Porto||73-69||74-80|
|Znicz Pruszków||MZT Skopje||85-79||64-110|
|MZT Skopje||BC Tallinna Kalev||54-77||90-81|
|ASVEL Villeurbanne||MZT Skopje||68-48||53-58|
|MZT Skopje||Zalgiris Kaunas||93-95||49-97|
|KK Zagreb||MZT Skopje||77-61||52-71|
|Cholet Basket||MZT Skopje||90-61||71-86|
|MZT Skopje||Slovakofarma Pezinok||60-75||84-76|
|Türk Telekom B.K.||MZT Skopje||91-73||57-75|
|MZT Skopje||KK Split||74-85||71-69|
|Geofin Nový Jičín||MZT Skopje||94-87||100-74|
|KK Vojvodina||MZT Skopje||93-85||78-81|
|UNICS Kazan||MZT Skopje||85-61||62-88|
|MZT Skopje||VEF Riga||70-77||80-71|
|Maccabi Haifa||MZT Skopje||79-60||83-86|
|MZT Skopje||Kalev Cramo||79-70||84-69|
MZT Skopje in ABA League
|Budućnost||69-76 / 81-71||78-71 / 87-79|
|Cedevita||74-61 / 78-80||75-81 / 77-67|
|Cibona||82-76 / 72-77||88-93 / 93-90|
|Crvena Zvezda||60-75 / 87-72||65-58 / 87-77|
|Igokea||77-81 / 79-55||90-82 / 65-79|
|Krka||92-88 / 68-80||80-75 / 73-50|
|Levski||not participated||not participated|
|Mega Vizura||not participated||80-72 / 101-82|
|Metalac Valjevo||not participated||not participated|
|Partizan||66-64 / 68-58||69-70 / 66-73|
|Radnički||75-83 / 89-83||87-95 / 69-79||not participated|
|Szolnoki Olaj||87-53 / 81-72||73-63 / 81-69|
|Široki||63-59 / 71-72||82-71 / 67-63||not participated|
|Split||73-65 / 93-84||not participated||not participated|
|Union Olimpija||76-87 / 60-64||79-60 / 73-62|
|Zadar||94-69 / 68-76||78-69 / 72-70|
The eternal basketball derby
- MZT Skopje has traditional rivalry games with Rabotnicki.
MZT Skopje's fans, Family Aerodrom, were formed in spring 1997 as a legitimate heir of Service Crew and Piramida Aerodrom.
- "MZT Skopje Adriatic League". ABA Liga.com. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
- "MZT Skopje in Eurocup". eurocupbasketball.com. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
- "Историјат на Кошаркарскиот клуб МЗТ Скопје". KKMZTSkopjeAerodrom.com. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
- "Club Page at the ABA Liga website (abaliga.com)" (in Macedonian). Retrieved 28 February 2015.
- Official Website
- KK MZT Skopje Aerodrom on Facebook
- Team info at MKF
- Team info at Eurobasket
- Supporters Website
- MZT Skopje ABA info
- MZT Skopje Eurocup info
- MZT Skopje YouTube channel 1
- MZT Skopje YouTube channel 2
- MZT Skopje on Twitter