Cibona troubles continue with mass exodus

CibonaKK Cibona VIP Zagreb is having a testing season as the club comes to terms with huge financial problems that are proving to be crippling. The team is currently playing in the Adriatic League and has recently been knocked out of the Eurocup, but will be facing up to the rest of the season with a weakened roster after numerous players departed the team.

D.J. Strawberry (196 cm, Maryland´06) has played his last game for the club after being with Cibona since the start of the 2012/2013 season. The American guard has played ten Eurocup games this season and averaged 10.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.1 blocks and 1.2 steals per game. Strawberry is being followed out of the exit by fellow American Matt Janning (197 cm, Northeastern´10) who has left the club to return to reigning Italian Serie A champs Montepaschi Siena.

The Americans are not the only ones leaving Cibona as homegrown talent is also departing the club. Croatians Andrija Zizic (207 cm) and Darko Planinic (211 cm) are no longer on the roster; Zizic will be particularly missed after he secured 14.5 points and 5.9 rebounds per game over eight Eurocup appearences. Planinic was on loan from Israeli powerhouse Maccabi Tel-Aviv and has now returned to his club.

Cibona´s team roster has now been slashed to just eight players and reports suggest that Jerel Blassingame (175 cm, UNLV´05), the sole American left at the club, will also be leaving shortly. While financial woes are being attributed to the mass exodus, the club is still looking to sign fresh recruits. American guard Ronald Ross is the Croatian league´s top scorer with an average of 19.1 points per game and he is on his way to join Cibona.

However, Ross left his current club, Jolly, without anybody knowing and he has been reported to FIBA and fined by the club, putting more misery at the door of Cibona.

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