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ABA League

ABA League JTD
Current season, competition or edition:
2015–16 ABA League
Sport Basketball
Founded 2001
CEO Josip Bilić
Inaugural season 2001–02
No. of teams 14
Countries  Serbia
 Croatia
 Bosnia and Herzegovina

 Montenegro
 Macedonia
 Slovenia
Continent FIBA Europe (Europe)
Most recent champion(s) Crvena Zvezda (1st title)
(2014–15)
Most titles Partizan (6 titles)
TV partner(s) Arena Sport
BNT
Doma TV
RTRS
Sport 1
Official website abaliga.com (English)

The ABA League JTD, commonly known as the Adriatic League, is a regional professional basketball league that originally featured clubs from the former Yugoslavia (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia). In later years, the league also consisted of clubs from the Czech Republic, Israel, Hungary and Bulgaria that received wild card invitations. Due to sponsorship reasons, the league was also known as the Goodyear League from 2001 until 2006, and as the NLB League from 2006 until 2011.

The league exists alongside scaled-down national leagues in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia. All but one of Adriatic League clubs join their country's own competitions in late spring after the Adriatic League regular season and post-season have been completed.

The Adriatic League is a private venture, founded in 2001 and run by Slovenian limited liability company called Sidro. Adriatic Basketball Association is the body that organizes the league and is a full member of ULEB as well as a voting member of the Euroleague board. The competition can thus be considered a local version of the Europe-wide Euroleague, in which a few Adriatic League clubs also compete.

The formation of the Adriatic League has inspired similar regional competitions all over Europe such as: Baltic Basketball League (started in 2004), Central European Basketball League (2008-2010), Balkan International Basketball League (2008), and VTB United League (2008).

Contents

  • History 1
    • Debut season 1.1
    • Second season 1.2
    • Logos 1.3
    • All-time participants (2001–2015) 1.4
  • Competition 2
    • Competition system 2.1
      • 2012–13 season 2.1.1
    • National standings 2.2
      • 2012–13 season 2.2.1
    • Current season teams (2015–2016) 2.3
  • Title holders 3
  • Finals 4
  • Titles by club 5
  • Titles by country 6
  • Individual awards 7
    • Most Valuable Player 7.1
    • Top Scorer 7.2
  • Adriatic League records 8
    • All-time leaders 8.1
  • Notable players 9
  • See also 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12

History

At various points throughout mid-to-late 1990s, in the years following the breakup of SFR Yugoslavia and ensuing Yugoslav Wars, different basketball administrators from the newly independent Balkan states floated and informally discussed the idea of re-assembling a joint basketball competition to fill the void left by the dissolution of the Yugoslav Basketball League whose last season was 1991–92.[1]

However, no concrete action towards that end was taken before the summer 2000 Ljubljana on 3 July 2001 by representatives of four basketball clubs: Bosna, Budućnost, Cibona, and Olimpija. Though club representatives from four countries attended the meeting, the main individuals behind the venture were six Slovenians and Croatians: Roman Lisac, Zmago Sagadin (at the time head coach of Olimpija and arguably the biggest authority figure in Slovenian basketball), Radovan Lorbek (at the time president of Olimpija), Josip Bilić, Danko Radić, and Bože Miličević (at the time president of Cibona). Established as a private venture, the league was placed under the umbrella of Sidro d.o.o. company that was registered in Slovenia on 14 September 2001. The company actually controls the competition through legal entity called Adriatic Basketball Association (ABA), which also manages the league's day-to-day operations.

The 2001 establishment of the Balkan-wide regional Adriatic League meant that existing FIBA-affiliated national basketball leagues in Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina underwent major re-organization with their respective top clubs leaving their domestic competitions to compete in the regional one. The ABA clubs returned in late spring for the end of the domestic season.

On the public relations front, Adriatic League was met with strong and mixed reactions. Though many hailed it as an important step for the development of club basketball in the Balkans region, many others felt that it brings no new quality and that it's not worth dismantling three domestic leagues. There was a lot of negative reaction from political circles, especially in Croatia, with even TV panel discussions being broadcast on Croatian state television. A very vociferous opinion in the country saw the league's formation as a political attempt to reinstate Yugoslavia.[2] The league organizers for their part did their best to appease the Croatian public with statements such as the one delivered by Radovan Lorbek in Slobodna Dalmacija in September 2001:

Ten years later, in a 2011 interview for the Serbian newspaper Press, Roman Lisac explained the league's behind the scenes strategy during its nascent stages was actually quite different:

On 28 September 2001, the league announced a five-year sponsorship deal with Slovenian company Sava Tires from Kranj, a subsidiary of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. The deal also included naming rights, hence from 2001 until 2006, the competition was known as the Goodyear League.

Debut season

With twelve clubs taking part in the inaugural 2001–02 season, the competition commenced in fall 2001 with four teams from Slovenia, four teams from Croatia, three teams from Bosnia-Herzegovina, and one team from FR Yugoslavia. The very first game was contested in Ljubljana between Olimpija and Široki on Saturday, 29 September 2001 at 5:30pm.[6]

Though the competition purported to gather the strongest sides from former Yugoslavia, as mentioned, teams from Serbia were noticeably absent, particularly Belgrade powerhouses and biggest regional crowd draws Partizan and Crvena Zvezda. In addition to no clubs from Serbia proper, the league had no Serb-dominated clubs from Bosnia-Herzegovina either. Since the league founders mostly avoided talking about the issue due to fears of media backlash, the fact that no invitations were extended to Serbian clubs was generally explained through security issues due to organizers' fears of crowd trouble if Croatian and Serbian clubs were to start playing again in the same competition. Then in early February 2002, the public got a preview of just that when Cibona and Partizan met in Zagreb as part of that season's Euroleague group stage. In a nationalistically charged and incident-filled encounter, Croatian fans peppered the Partizan players with rocks, flares, and even ceramic tiles before physically assaulting Partizan head coach Duško Vujošević in the guest team dressing room after the game.[7]

The Adriatic League debut season was marked by dwindling attendances and lukewarm media support. Still the league did receive a bit of a shot in the arm on 24 February 2002, when its managing body ABA got accepted as full member of ULEB.[8]

Second season

For the 2002–03 season, the league remained at the total number of 12 teams, while it went through major re-tooling internally. By the time season started, four teams dropped out (Sloboda Dita, Budućnost, Triglav, and Geoplin Slovan) to be replaced by: Israeli powerhouse Maccabi Tel Aviv, Crvena Zvezda (the first team from Serbia in the competition), the Bosnian outfit KK Borac, and Croatian club KK Zagreb.

Getting Maccabi on board brought the league some much needed credibility and positive media exposure. Still, it was understood all along the Democratic Party in Serbia: Živorad Anđelković, Igor Žeželj, and Goran Vesić) hired Zmago Sagadin to be the club's new general manager - and soon after, in June 2002, the club broke the ranks by negotiating terms on its own thus agreeing to join the Adriatic League for the 2002–03 season.[10]

Maccabi Tel Aviv left the league after one season, but the league expanded to 14 teams for 2003–04, and to 16 for 2004–05.

The league reverted to 14 teams for 2005–06. In September 2006 the league signed a general sponsorship contract with Nova Ljubljanska banka (NLB) and was renamed to NLB League, whilst keeping Goodyear as one of the major sponsors.

In 2010, the Czech club Nymburk joined the league for the first time.

In 2011, in search of increased level of competition, the Israeli powerhouse Maccabi Tel Aviv returned to the league after an eight-year absence. In next 2012–13 season, the ABA League is going to have the one Macedonian team, MZT Skopje and one Hungarian team, Szolnoki Olaj.

Logos

All-time participants (2001–2015)

The following is a list of clubs who have played in the Adriatic League at any time since its formation in 2001 (as Goodyear League) to the current season. Teams playing in the 2015–16 ABA League season are indicated in bold. A total of 33 teams from 10 countries have played in the Adriatic League.

Club 01

02
02

03
03

04
04

05
05

06
06

07
07

08
08

09
09

10
10

11
11

12
12

13
13

14
14

15
15

16
Total
seasons
Highest
finish
Borac Banja Luka
11th
13th
2
11th
Bosna
12th
12th
QF
QF
10th
7th
13th
7
Quarter-finals
Igokea
11th
SF
6th
12th
5
Semi-finals
Sloboda Tuzla
5th
1
5th
Široki
6th
9th
12th
13th
11th
11th
12th
10th
9th
5th
10th
14th
12
5th
Levski Sofia
14th
1
14th
Cedevita
7th
7th
2nd
6th
2nd
2nd
7
2nd
Cibona
SF
5th
2nd
QF
QF
SF
QF
2nd
2nd
12th
7th
11th
1st
11th
15
1st
Split
8th
10th
9th
15th
14th
10th
10th
14th
8
8th
Šibenka
11th
1
11th
Triglav osiguranje
10th
1
10th
Zadar
7th
1st
8th
QF
QF
7th
SF
5th
8th
14th
12th
13th
8th
14
1st
Zagreb
6th
11th
12th
13th
12th
11th
13th
6th
5th
9th
10
5th
Nymburk
8th
1
8th
Szolnoki Olaj
13th
12th
7th
3
7th
Maccabi Tel Aviv
2nd
1st
2
1st
MZT Skopje
7th
9th
13th
4
7th
Budućnost
9th
5th
14th
5th
QF
6th
5th
SF
SF
5th
5th
SF
13
Semi-finals
Lovćen
14th
1
14th
Sutjeska
1
N/A
Crvena Zvezda
SF
SF
SF
SF
6th
QF
SF
9th
13th
10th
2nd
SF
1st
14
1st
FMP
1st
SF
1st
2nd
QF
8th
12th
7
1st
Mega
8th
10th
3
8th
Metalac Valjevo
6th
2
6th
Partizan
2nd
2nd
1st
1st
1st
1st
1st
SF
1st
SF
SF
12
1st
Radnički Kragujevac
11th
10th
8th
SF
11th
5
Semi-finals
Vojvodina Novi Sad
QF
9th
14th
3
Quarter-finals
Vršac
1st
SF
SF
2nd
SF
SF
6th
12th
8
1st
Helios Domžale
16th
12th
8th
13th
12th
14th
13th
7
8th
Krka
2nd
7th
7th
11th
SF
11th
9th
7th
9th
10
2nd
Olimpija
1st
SF
SF
QF
10th
9th
SF
9th
SF
2nd
6th
8th
10th
5th
15
1st
Slovan
11th
10th
10th
9th
13th
14th
6
9th
Tajfun
1
N/A
Zlatorog Laško
SF
8th
6th
9th
14th
14th
6
Semifinals

Competition

Competition system

As of the 2013–14 season the league comprises a 26-game regular season, with the top 4 sides making the play-offs.[11]

From 2002 through 2004, four teams qualified, and the playoffs were termed the "Final Four"; starting in 2005, eight teams advanced to the "Final Eight" round. All playoff rounds consist of one-off knockout matches, unusual among European leagues. However, since all Adriatic League clubs play in domestic leagues at the same time, and many also play in the Euroleague, the current format has the virtue of limiting fixture congestion for the playoff sides.

2012–13 season

In the 2012–13 season, 14 teams will play in the regular part of the season.

Each team plays against every other team twice, once at home and once away. After 26 rounds, when all teams play against each other, first 4 teams are qualified to the "Final Four" tournament.

1st team after regular part of the season plays in the first semifinal game (only one match is played) against 4th team after regular part, and 2nd team after regular part plays against 3rd team after regular part of the season in the second semifinal game (only one match is played).

Winners of both semifinal matches play the final match (only one match is played), there is no match for 3rd place.[12]

National standings

The coefficient is the sum of all victories clubs from a certain country achieve in a regular season divided by the number of clubs from that country. By using this coefficient majority of places for current season are allocated, while the remaining places are given via wild cards from league board. This standings are applied for clubs from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia, while clubs from other countries can play in league only via wild cards.

2012–13 season

A new method of place allocation has been used since the 2012–13 season. Using the national coefficients from the last ten seasons nine positions were allocated, with Croatia and Serbia receiving 3 each, Slovenia receiving two and Bosnia and Herzegovina receiving 1. These spaces are filled based on the final standings of each country's respective league (i.e. the champions of each country's league and runners-up according to the number of places each country has been allocated. The five remaining positions in the league are allocated by wild-card. One wildcard place is awarded to the 4th placed team of either Croatia or Serbia, with another space being reserved for either a 3rd Slovenian or 2nd Bosnian team.

The league's board decide who they would like to award the final three wildcards. Usually they are awarded to the national champions of other countries. In the 2012–13 season the wildcards were awarded to the champions of the Montenegrin, Macedonian, and Israeli leagues; however, Maccabi Tel Aviv having won the previous season with only one competitive loss (and a forfeit for being unable to arrange transportation for the visiting team) decided to withdraw from the competition. Hungarian champions, Szolnoki Olaj were invited to take their place.[13]

Country No. 2014–15 coeff. 2015–16 no. of clubs
 Serbia 3 16.5 4
 Croatia 3 13.33 3
 Slovenia 2 9.0 3
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 1 9.0 1

Current season teams (2015–2016)

Country Teams Qualification Team City Venue (Capacity) European participation in 2015–16 season
Serbia 4
1st in the Basketball League of Serbia Crvena zvezda Telekom Belgrade Pionir Hall (8,150) Euroleague
2nd in the Basketball League of Serbia Partizan NIS Belgrade Pionir Hall (8,150)
3rd in the Basketball League of Serbia Metalac Valjevo Valjevo Sports Hall (2,500)
4rd in the Basketball League of Serbia Mega Leks Sremska Mitrovica Sports Hall Pinki (3,000)
Croatia 3
1st place in the A-1 League Cedevita Zagreb Dom Sportova (3,500) Euroleague
2nd place in the A-1 League Cibona Zagreb Dražen Petrović Basketball Hall (5,400)
3rd place in the A-1 League Zadar Zadar Krešimir Ćosić Hall (10,000)
Slovenia 3
Champion of the 1.A SKL Tajfun Šentjur Golovec Hall (?)
1st place in 1.A SKL Krka Novo mesto Leon Štukelj Hall (3,000)
Wild card Union Olimpija Ljubljana Arena Stožice (12,480) Eurocup
Bosnia and Herzegovina 1 Champion of Premijer liga BiH Igokea Aleksandrovac Laktaši Sports Hall (3,050)
Macedonia 1 Champion of Macedonian First League MZT Skopje Skopje Jane Sandanski Arena (6,000)
Montenegro 1 Champion of Montenegrin Basketball League Budućnost Podgorica Morača Sports Center (5,000) Eurocup
1 Qualification TBD TBD TBD

Title holders

Finals

Year Final Semifinals
Champion Score Second place
2001-02
Details

Olimpija (Union)
73–59
Krka

Pivovarna Laško

Cibona (VIP)
2002-03
Details

Zadar
91–88
Maccabi Tel Aviv (Elite)

Crvena Zvezda

Olimpija (Union)
2003-04
Details

FMP (Reflex)
71–70
Cibona (VIP)

Crvena Zvezda

Olimpija (Union)
2004-05
Details

Vršac (Hemofarm)
89–76
Partizan (Pivara MB)

FMP (Reflex)

Crvena Zvezda
2005-06
Details

FMP
73–72
Partizan

Crvena Zvezda

Vršac (Hemofarm)
2006-07
Details

Partizan
179–165
(85–83 / 94–82)

FMP

Cibona

Vršac (Hemofarm)
2007-08
Details

Partizan (Igokea)
69–51
Vršac (Hemofarm)

Olimpija (Union)

Zadar
2008-09
Details

Partizan
63–49
Cibona

Crvena Zvezda

Vršac (Hemofarm)
2009-10
Details

Partizan
75–74 (OT)
Cibona

Vršac (Hemofarm)

Olimpija (Union)
2010-11
Details

Partizan
77–74
Olimpija (Union)

Budućnost (m:tel)

Krka
2011-12
Details

Maccabi Tel Aviv (Electra)
87–77
Cedevita

Budućnost (VOLI)

Partizan (mt:s)
2012-13
Details

Partizan (mt:s)
71–63
Crvena Zvezda (Telekom)

Igokea

Radnički Kragujevac
2013-14
Details

Cibona
72–59
Cedevita

Crvena Zvezda (Telekom)

Partizan
2014-15
Details

Crvena Zvezda (Telekom)
Play-off
3–1

Cedevita

Partizan (NIS)

Budućnost (VOLI)

Titles by club

Rank Club Titles Runner-up Champion Years
1. Partizan 6 2 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2012-13
2. FMP 2 1 2003-04, 2005-06
3. Cibona 1 3 2013-14
4. Olimpija 1 1 2001-02
5. Vršac 1 1 2004-05
6. Maccabi Tel Aviv 1 1 2011-12
7. Crvena Zvezda 1 1 2014-15
8. Zadar 1 2002-03
9. Cedevita 3
10. Krka 1

Titles by country

Rank Country Titles Runners-up
1. Serbia 10 5
2. Croatia 2 6
3. Slovenia 1 2
4. Israel 1 1

Individual awards

Adriatic League records

Source:[14] [15]

Players

Clubs

  • Most Lost Games in a Season

All-time leaders

From the 2001–02 to the 2014–15 season:

Accumulated
Points Siniša Štemberger 2472
Rebounds Todor Gečevski 1314
Assists Jakov Vladović 711
Steals Nebojša Joksimović 355
Blocks Slavko Vraneš 272
Index Ratings Todor Gečevski 3212
Games Played Čedomir Vitkovac 300

Notable players

Well-known basketball players who have played in the Adriatic League include:

Australia

Belize

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bulgaria

Canada

Croatia

Czech Republic

Finland

France

Gabon

Greece

Guyana

Hungary

Israel

Jamaica

Latvia

Macedonia

Montenegro

Nigeria

Panama

Puerto Rico

Serbia

Slovenia

Turkey

United Kingdom

United States

See also

References

  1. ^ Mitrović: Bogosavljev je dao ideju;Press, 11 July 2011
  2. ^ Jadranska liga ili samoubistvo pod obručima;NSPM, 31 December 2008
  3. ^ Deset godina NLB lige: Kako je Partizan gurnut u Jadran;Press, 15 July 2011
  4. ^ Jadranska liga donosi košarkašku REVOLUCIJU!;Slobodna Dalmacija, 28 Septembar 2001
  5. ^ Lisac: Jadranska liga bi propala bez Srba;Press, 23 July 2011
  6. ^ Deset godina NLB lige: Huligani odložili ulazak Partizana;Press, 12 July 2011
  7. ^ Deset godina NLB lige: Huligani odložili ulazak Partizana;Press, 12 July 2011
  8. ^ Deset godina Jadranske lige: Košarka nas je održala;Press, 10 July 2011
  9. ^ Deset godina NLB lige: Zvezdin izlazak na Jadran;Press, 13 July 2011
  10. ^ Deset godina NLB lige: Zvezdin izlazak na Jadran;Press, 13 July 2011
  11. ^ "ADRIATIC LEAGUE - Players showing off World Cup credentials". FIBA. 10 December 2013. Retrieved 29 December 2013. 
  12. ^ "Competition System". abaliga.com. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  13. ^ "National Standings". abaliga.com. Retrieved 8 November 2012. 
  14. ^ "Individual Statistics". abaliga.com. Retrieved 2 October 2014. 
  15. ^ "ABA League – interesting facts and figures". abaliga.com. Retrieved 2 October 2014. 

External links

  • Official website
  • Adriatic League page at Eurobasket.com
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