Basketball ABA League Round 6 Recap: Cibona with 1st victory & Only Win For Croatian Participants

Burak Canboy

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November 5, 2023 – While Split continues to struggle in the Adriatic Basketball League, Zadar showed weakness during the last 2 minutes to miss achieving a positive balance and Cibona Zagreb managed to pull off their first win by the closest of margins. Source: 

Photo: Cibona/Ivana Dergez

CIBONA – Mornar-Barsko zlato 73:72 (18:20, 15:19, 25:15, 15:18)

Cibona Zagreb have gotten their first win of the season after they beat Mornar-Barsko zlato on their home court following a thrilling game in Zagreb. They showed an impressive comeback after having been beaten decisively in Zadar (91:64) the previous week.

Mornar-Barsko zlato controlled the game throughout the first half, Cibona briefly held a 1-point lead in the first 20 minutes. Alex Gavrilović was on fire for Mornar-Barsko zlato in the first half scoring 16 points. Cibona forced their way back with a terrific third quarter, they opened the half with a 12:0 run which would give them the momentum that they carried until the end of the game. 

Following a thrilling finish to a game that seemed like it was headed into overtime, Cibona made crucial plays late in the game to secure their first win of the season. 

Key moments: After Mornar-Barsko zlato came back and the game was tied up at 67:67 heading into the final 3 minutes of the game, Cibona went on a crucial 5:0 run. Alex Stein came up clutch hitting a crucial shot from downtown to give Cibona a 3-point lead. After that, Mornar-Barsko zlato missed an easy layup for an opportunity to cut the Cibona lead to just one. Cibona’s Domagoj Prolet hit two free throws to bring the lead to 5 with a minute and a half remaining in the game. 

Photo: Cibona/Ivana Dergez

Man of the match: Tomislav Buljan was absolutely terrific today. Coming off the bench, Buljan finished the day with a double-double, scoring 19 points and pulling down 13 rebounds for a valuation of 28. 

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Photo: MEGA MIS/Ivica Veselinov

MEGA MIS – Zadar 91:81 (26:17, 25:18, 15:26, 25:20)

This game could have gone either way. Zadar took a time out at 75:75 with almost three minutes left to play, but a 12:1 run made by Mega MIS in the final minutes of the game definitely decided the winner. It is worth mentioning that their two best players in this match Topić & Plavšić scored all 12 points for the Pink squad during that run. Topić scored 8 out of those 12 points, while Plavšić made the remaining 4.

Mega MIS and Zadar now have the same overall score as both teams are at 3-3 after the opening 6 rounds in the 2023/24 AdmiralBet ABA League regular season.

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Photo: Split/Ivica Cavka

Split  – PARTIZAN MOZZART BET 53:76 (13:22, 16:22, 11:20, 13:12)

Despite the debut of returning US Guard Shannon Shorter, the Yellows from Split had no voice on who would win this game.

In the second quarter Split managed to cut the Partizan Mozzart Bet advantage to just 5 and it seemed that there may be a competitive game. But coaching legend Željko Obradović’s squad had something to say about that as they went on a 15:5 run to close off the first half. The run was highlighted by 3 successful shots from downtown, two from Uroš Trifunović and one from Ognjen Jaramaz. 

Uroš Trifunović stood out for Partizan Mozzart Bet as he finished the night as their top scorer with 13 points to go along with 6 rebounds and 1 steal. 

Split continues to be at the bottom of the table with only a single victory, now same as Cibona Zagreb, Krka Novo Mesto and Mornar-Barsko zlato

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