City of Nis is a traditional basketball hot-spot during February and traditional host of the competition which carries sounding name of Radivoj Korac, one of the best european players of all time. First trophy of the season in Serbia, has lost lost its significance, since winner gets nothing but a glory. Anyway, every participating team takes very dedicated and serious approach and tries to bring joy to the fans. In this short analysis we will try to present 2016/2017 “Radivoj Korac” Cup participants including their merits and demerits.
- Mega Leks
We will start our analysis with surprising last year winners, Mega Leks. Dejan Milojevic`s team is not performing on a high level, as they did last year, due to exhausting fixture schedule for such a young team. Playing FIBA Champions League, besides ABA League has been to much for this team full of future basketball stars. We can definitely expect, after elimination from FIBA competition, that Mega Leks will play with much more energy and enthusiasm by the end of the season. If their key players, Zagorac, Mushidi, Kaba along with ex-Crvena Zvezda players – Rebic, Tejic and Macedonian veteran, Predrag Samardziski can pull out some magic during this weekend, we can definitely see another “miracle”.
Their quarter-final match against Dynamic BG will be interesting and exciting to watch, but taking their place in semi-finals is out of doubt.
- Crvena Zvezda
First contenders and definitely a team which every other team would love to avoid. Red-white expedition is playing above all expectations this season, both in EuroLeague and ABA League and anything except easy walk to the Final would be enormous surprise.
Their biggest enemy are injuries and motivation. After Cup weekend Crvena Zvezda will play key games in EuroLeague, which will determine whether they are going to take place in play off, or not. Dangubic, Wolters and Bjelica are injured, Kuzmic and Jovic are still not recovered enough from previous injuries. Winning over KK Vrsac (second places team in Serbian KLS) 99-47 showed us how motivated and determined they are.
Projected final between Crvena Zvezda and Partizan will come true only if both teams show their full potential. After losing last weekend game (and second position in the ABA League) against Cedevita, but before re-match against PAOK in FIBA Champions League on Wednesday, the momentum for black-white team is not perfect but they will definitely give their best performances and try to win first trophy of the season. Partizan`s roster is finally completed and all players are recovered from injury. Quarter-final game against KK Dunav will show us how well prepared Partizan is. Anything except going straight to the Final will be a big disappointment for Partizan`s fans.
Three times Cup trophy winners and group of very talented players can be very tough team to defeat in this type of competition.
FMP has already took their place in semi-finals after yesterday`s win over KK Spartak, 77-58.Covic, Apic, Davidovac, Radanov, Bolden and Austin can potentially become big surprise, but Crvena Zvezda is waiting for them in semi-final and that is farthest FMP can go this year.