Photo: Ivana Dergez / KK Cibona

Cibona was defeated in the 18th round of the AdmiralBet ABA League, with Zadar emerging as the stronger team. Despite a good start from the home team, the guests left Zagreb with a full haul.

Coaches Dino Repeša and Danijel Jusup decided to send the following starting lineups onto the court. Cibona started with: Krešimir Radovčić, Aleksandar Aranitović, Ivan Perasović, Tomislav Buljan, and Matej Bošnjak. Zadar’s lineup included: Karlo Žganec, Lovro Mazalin, Luka Božić, Juan Davis Jr, and Arijan Lakić.

Cibona opened the game with a three-pointer from Aranitović, and with strong rebounding and defense, they managed to take an 8-3 lead. Zadar stayed close, but the Wolves pulled away again, increasing their lead to a double-digit point margin. The hosts maintained a steady advantage and ended the quarter with a score of 20-11 in their favor.

Photo: Ivana Dergez / KK Cibona

In the early second quarter, Cibona extended their lead to +11 with a three-pointer from Majcunić. Zadar narrowed the gap to five points with a series of plays, prompting Coach Repeša to call a timeout. With solid defense and a few nice plays, Cibona held onto their lead. However, due to some mistakes by the hosts, the guests took the lead. With Lakić’s three-pointer at the buzzer, Zadar went up by +4, and the halftime score was 36-40.

Cibona started the third quarter with a 5-0 run, reclaiming the lead, but Božić nullified it with another three-pointer. The guests maintained their advantage with several easy open shots, going up by 13 points. Cibona found their rhythm and, fueled by the crowd and some good plays from Bundović, Coach Jusup was forced to call a timeout. Towards the end of the quarter, Zadar regained focus, and with Davis’ three-pointer, they restored an 8-point lead.

Radovčić led the home team’s comeback attempt, but Zadar extended their lead to double digits again with free throws from Drežnjak. With a 5-0 run by the Wolves, Jusup called another timeout, after which Drežnjak hit another three-pointer. The guests maintained their lead until the end of the game, and the final score was 71-88 in favor of Zadar.

Photo: Ivana Dergez / KK Cibona

Dino Repeša: “I would like to congratulate the opponent on their victory. They were more consistent throughout all forty minutes. We started the match very well, just as we planned. The ball movement was excellent against their defense. We had depth, isolations against targeted players we wanted to attack. Unfortunately, towards the end of the second quarter, with Zadar’s run, we fell behind by four points. There were a lot of tough shots, and in the end, it turned the game in the other direction. Again, the third quarter was neck and neck, and once again, at the end of the quarter, we had a fast break where we lost the ball, and they extended their lead. In the end, these quarter endings decided the game.”

Danijel Jusup: “Three days ago, we played a game against Split, and I’ve seen over these two days that we are a bit tired. We managed to recover Luka, so we had one more player. In the first half, we stood poorly, especially in defensive rebounds; they had ten offensive rebounds. Our goal was to stop Cibona’s passing game, which they do fantastically. I think we succeeded because as soon as they are unable to do that, their three-point shooting percentage decreases, and it becomes harder for them to play. I think we prepared well; the players did what was asked of them, and I congratulate them on the victory. We now turn our attention to the upcoming games, and that’s it.”

Cibona: Aleksandar Aranitović (15), Krešimir Radovčić (10), Ivan Majcunić (10), Filip Bundović (9), Ivan Perasović (8), Matej Bošnjak (6), Tomislav Buljan (6), Jakov Mustapić (5), Domagoj Proleta (2), Domagoj Vuković, Filip Ferderber.

Zadar: Luka Božić (22), Lovro Mazalin (15), Dario Drežnjak (14), Arijan Lakić (12), Juan Davis Jr (11), Karlo Žganec (8), Petar Vujačić (4), Krševan Klarica, Adem Mekić, Patrik Jambrović, Vice Grbić, Marko Ramljak.