Two games were played on Friday night as the ABA Liga opened the 2018-19 season. Last season’s runner-up Crvena Zvezda MTS Beograd got off to a blistering start on their road to redemption with a 78-68 win over KK Cibona Zagreb. The other game, Petrol Olimpija Ljubljana cruised to a convincing 78-66 victory over KK Mornar Basket Bar.
This season will be a whole different story. The league has doubled in size from 2017-18, with 24 teams vying for gold, pride and glory as the top team in the Adriatic.
Crvena Zvezda 78-68 Cibona
Joe Ragland spearheaded the win for Red Star as he dropped 22 points and seven assists. He shot a perfect 6-of-6 from two-point range and made 3-of-6 shots from beyond the three-point arc. While their offense was laudable, credit once again must go to their defense. The team recorded seven steals and five blocks in this game to slow down Cibona.
Cibona was led by Marco Ljubicic who posted 17 points.
Olimpija 87-66 Mornar Bar
Olimpija stepped on the gas from the opening whistle and did not look back. Their frenetic pace and aggressive offense blazed through a path towards this win that was unstoppable. Five players scored in double figures, with Mirza Begic and Blaz Mesicek powered their team to the victory with 16 points, apiece.
Mornar Bar put up a good effort for Mornar Bar with 11 points and 11 rebounds.