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Vatroslav Piacun

Vatroslav Piacun

Vatroslav Piacun (born Skopje, Kingdom of Yugoslavia, April 4, 1931; died Zagreb, Croatia, June 6 1999), was a Croatian basketball player and coach.

Career

The eldest son of Antun and Terezija, Vatroslav moved to Zagreb in 1947. Soon afterwards, he started playing handball alongside Nikola Dasović who shortly thereafter introduced him to basketball. Piacun began playing competitive basketball for a team called "Zagreb" and, a year after he first started playing basketball, he helped his team win the Croatian Championship in 1948.

In 1949 the team changed its name to "Polet" and unsuccessfully petitioned to be included in the Yugoslavian national basketball league. In September 1950, with the new name "Lokomotiva", the team was included into the national league with Piacun playing in the starting rotation.

Through 1959, Piacun had played in 65 national competition games scoring a total of 367 points. "Lokomotova" and Piacun had occasionally also played in international exhibition matches, most notably in The Netherlands and Sicily.

Coaching

The first title for Lokomotiva, later Cibona, Vatroslav won coaching junior team September 261954. His boys became well knows players and coaches: Đorđe Bjegović, Šunjić, Ivan Šiprak, Milan Vidaković, Vrhovac, Mirko Novosel - Hall of Fame 2007, Magić, Petrović, Marijan Catinelli, Zdilar, Borišić, Štuka, Marko Rittig, Boris Lalić.

Ljubljana New Year's Tournament

The first international title Vatroslav accomplished in Ljubljana in January 1961. "Lokomotiva" got wild card and managed to be the best. Honved, having all Hungarian representatives and European Champions in 1960, KK Crvena Zvezda from Belgrade and KK Olimpija as the host team, with great player Ivo Daneu were not good enough. Playing Honved and the result 70-62 showed the quality and talent of team members:: Zvonko Petričević, Dragan Kovačić, Mirko Novosel, Eduard Bočkaj, Ivan Franić, Matan Rimac, Mladen Momčinovič, Matko, Vladimir Anzulović, Vilim Kocijan, Duško Džepina, Ilija Matijević and Boris Lalić. Losing against the host team and powerplay over team from Belgrad 94-62, made "Lokomotiva" the best of four teams.

Vatroslav once again coached the team in 1965. The team ended 4th. Team members: Dragan Kovačić, Zvonko Petričević, Eduard Bočkaj, Milivoj Omašić, Matan Rimac, Mirko Novosel, Zdenko Grgić, Tomislav Bajza, Stipe Vrcan, Roman Jurca, Vladimir Gruškovnjak, Đorđe Novaković, Marijan Fotivec, Krešimir Kralj, MIlan Vlatković, Topalović. The season was bad with some annulled matches, Vatroslav even got hit during the game in Skopje, and the team was out of the championship race.

Vatroslav came back for a short period of time in 1980 as consultant in women's basketball club Monting which in 1980 won Lilliane Roncheti Cup, and Mirko Soboćan as team coach.

Vatroslav spent some time as referee, see referee identity card, which is in his sister's, Nevenka Lončarić, possession.

Sources

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