The Adriatic League (ABA) starts today. The new sponsor name until 2025 will be Admiral Bet ABA league, but media and fans will probably still refer to just “ABA” or “Adriatic League.”
This season promises to be one of the most competitive ever. There are also two significant changes. The first one is that six teams will participate in the playoffs. The second change is that the referees will apply FIBA rules instead of Euroleague rules.
The Adriatic league kicks off today with Crvena Zvezda Belgrade from Serbia, and KK Split from Croatia. Both are in trouble already. Crvena Zvezda will probably miss SIX players in tonight’s game while Split is staring into a financial abyss. They had asked the municipality of the city of Split for € 935.000 in financial aid, but the request was turned down. The future of the team that won three Euroleague titles in the past is now uncertain.
While the future of KK Split looks uncertain, that of Mega Soccer Bet seems pretty bright. That Serbian team is packed with talented youngsters and may have the youngest team in Europe with an average age of only 20.6!
The owner of Mega is player agent Misko Raznatovic and his agency Beobasket. He is the backbone of Mega’s financial stability and the man behind the club’s business model. That business model’s core is to find young talented players, develop them, and then sell them for a juicy transfer fee. Preferably to NBA clubs. So far, 13 players from Mega have been drafted!! The search for gifted youngsters is not limited to Serbia or ex-Yugoslavia but is now global.
The club doesn’t only get transfer fees for young players, but increasingly for veterans too. Many players who are represented by Beobasket go through Mega before they move on to a club abroad.
Imagine an American player who played in France last season and gets an offer from Germany. Instead of going directly from France to Germany, he first signs a contract with Mega and then goes to Germany. Mega gets a hefty transfer fee, and the German team saves on income tax. It is a win-win situation, and everybody is happy.
Serbian rivals Crvena Zvezda and Partizan are the top favorites to win this year’s edition of the Adriatic league, and all eyes are on Partizan’s new coach Zeljko Obradovic, one of the greatest European coaches of all time.