Mega Basket was the first team that scored more than 100 points in the ABA League, while Cedevita Olimpija celebrated in the Slovenian Derby.
The opening game of the AdmiralBet ABA League 2021/2022 between Mornar and Cibona brought the first surprise. The Croatian squad unexpectedly outplayed the home team with a score of 87-77. The first half was enough for Cibona to make double-digit leads and secure a win over the team from Bar.
The MVP of the match was Roko Prkačin with 24 points (9/9 for two). On the other side, both Marko Jeremić and Vladimir Mihailović scored 18 for Mornar.
As expected, Crvena Zvezda protected the home court against Split. Dejan Radonjić’s team won 97-61, mostly thanks to its excellent defensive play. In this match, Nikola Jovanović, with 20 points, led the way (index rating of 35) for his teammates. Sani Čampara was the only one in double digits (10 points) for Split.
Igokea’s guard James Robinson III two-point shot, three seconds before the end, decided the winner in the third game of the round. Borac was defeated by 2 (91-81). In the beginning, it looked like Igokea would easily win, but the team from Čačak completely returned and took the lead in the third quarter. The home team came back in the last part and finally won in the last seconds.
Two players scored 15 points for Igokea. The first one was the hero of the game James Robinson III and the second is Markel Starks. Hunter Hale and Nemanja Todorović were the players with the most points for Borac. Both of them finished the match with 17 points.
In the Slovenian Derby, Cedevita Olimpija outgunned Krka (88-56) for the starting victory in the league. Three players had more than 10 points for the home team and Marcus Keen was the best with 17. Temple Gibbs was the only one with 10 points for Krka.
Sunday’s matinee game between Mega Basket and SC Derby suited more the home team than the ABA League’s newcomer. The home team scored 101 and only allowed 68 points to the opponent.
Derby only showed a fight in the first quarter but maybe because Mega’s youngsters were worming up. In the second quarter, they took control and didn’t allow any surprise till the end. After the match, Mega’s couch Vladimir Jovnović emphasized that his team needs to continue to work hard.
“We lost 6 leaders from the last year and because of that, I thought we would need time to adapt as a team. I expected a difficult game, but from the beginning, we were focused both on defense and on offense. We just need to continue to work in order for newcomers to realize how hard work shows results.”
Three players scored 17 points in this game. One was from Mega – Malcolm Cazalon, while for Derby those who scored most points were Kyle Vinales and Justin Edwards.
Justin Cobbs led Budućnost against FMP. The team from Montenegro won with a score 82-72 and protected its home court in the first round of the ABA League. Cobbs scored 18 points. The player with the most points for FMP was Bryce Jones with 13.
The closing game of the round was the derby between Zadar and Partizan. The Croatian team hosted its well-known opponent but didn’t manage to protect the home court. The final score was 73-78 and Željko Obradović’s team will return to Serbia with the victory.
Kevin Punter and Dallas Moore were the best scorers for Partizan with 14 points. Domagoj Vuković from Zadar finished the match with 16.