Cibona was hosting the first leg of the final series, but the guests won 79-73 after they were trailing by ten points with less than five minutes left on the timer
Cibona and Cedevita started their Croatian Basketball League Play-off final series on May 17, 2017, and it was Cedevita who took the first win at the Dražen Petrović Hall.
Cibona opened the match with confidence and was the better team on the court for most of the first half. The teams went into the half-time break with Cibona leading 49-42. Cedevita’s shooters were not up to the task at that moment, as they made just 12 out of the 37 field goal shots attempted.
Cedevita was missing quite a few players due to injuries, and as the team lacked efficiency for that matter, coach Mršić decided to send his best player, Ryan Boatright, to the court, although it was not clear if he was healthy enough, also coming back from the injury list.
He responded in the best possible way, scoring 17 points, four rebounds, three assists, and seven steals. Cibona held the lead, but in the final couple of minutes, they made too many mistakes, and the guests overturned the result and took the win.
Veljko Mršić, the Cedevita coach, said that he knew Cibona has no stamina to endure 40 minutes of high-intensity play: “We knew that they did not have that in them, and we waited the last five minutes, and then started giving them trouble with our zonal defense. I am happy with the final result, but we have to play better if we want to be champions once again.”
Petar Marić, the Cibona player, congratulated the opponents but pointed out that it was their own mistakes that decided the winner: “Congratulations to Cedevita. We made too many mistakes at the end, and we gave away the win to them with our turnovers.”