It was a busy weekend in the ABA League as Round 11 was played out and completed. Interestingly enough, there were more than a handful of surprising results that affected the league standings.
On Saturday, league-leading Buducnost suffered their second loss of the season. This came via an 89-79 victory by FMP. The hosts’ hard work on controlling the boards gave them the edge they needed to upset the top team in the ABA League.
At 9-2, Buducnost’s hold over the pole position remains intact. For now. But there are three other teams hot on their heels, trailing them just by one full game. Cedevita Olimpija, Primorska and Partizan all share 8-3 records and sit at second through fourth places, respectively. Any of these three teams can lay claim to the top spot in the coming weeks.
Cedevita came through with a blowout win at home, 72-56 over Krka Novo Mesto on Sunday. Marko Simonovic paced the victors with 16 points, while Mikael Hopkins was effective with a 15-point, 12-rebound double-double.
Similarly, BC Partizan MTS Beograd completed a high-scoring blowout over Cibona Zagreb in Belgrade 102-66. Seven Partizan players recorded scoring in double figures as the team used their patented unselfish offense to great success in this outing. By contrast, only Shane Gibson cracked the double-digit scoring for Cibona.
It was not all roses and balloons for Serbian clubs over the weekend in the ABA League. Crvena Zvezda’s struggles reared its ugly head anew on Sunday. They lost a close nailbiter to KK Zadar, 78-76. The defending champions are now in sixth place with a 6-5 record, one shared by Mornar Bar, two games behind their Eternal Derby rivals Partizan, who currently occupy that coveted fourth-place spot. Red Star will need to tighten up their defense to help avoid losing close games like this one.
However, if they want to reach that zone, they will need to get passed FMP (7-4), who sit in fifth place. It’s a lot of work, but Crvena Zvezda are still a championship-caliber organization. They just need to get their act together and fast.