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ABA League


ABA League
Current season or competition:
2013–14 Liga ABA
ABA liga logo.png
ABA League logo
Sport Basketball
Founded 2001
Commissioner Josip Bilić
Inaugural season 2001–02
No. of teams 14
Countries  Bosnia and Herzegovina
 Croatia
 Hungary
 Macedonia
 Montenegro
 Serbia
 Slovenia
Continent FIBA Europe (Europe)
Most recent champion(s) Serbia Partizan
(2012–13)
Most titles Serbia Partizan
(6 titles)
TV partner(s) Arena Sport
Šport TV
Sport 1
MKTV
RTS
RTRS
HRT
RTCG
Official website abaliga.com (English)

The ABA League, 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 clubs from the Czech Republic, Israel and Hungary 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 be 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 (2007), Balkan International Basketball League (2008), and VTB United League (2008).


Liga ABA History


Throughout mid-to-late 1990s, in the years after the breakup of SFR Yugoslavia and ensuing Yugoslav Wars, various basketball administrators from the newly independent Balkan states talked about re-assembling a basketball competition to fill the void left by the dissolution of the Yugoslav basketball league whose last season was played in 1991–92.[1]

Such a competition was agreed in principal at a meeting in citation needed]

The 2001 establishment of the Balkan-wide regional Adriatic League meant that existing 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:

This is not a Yugoslav league, and it will never become a Yugoslav league. The Adriatic League has no clubs from Serbia and Macedonia, therefore the Adriatic League and a Yugoslav league are not the same thing.[3][4]

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:

I'm convinced the league would've never been able to survive without Serbian clubs. Getting Crvena Zvezda and Partizan to join the league was something that we worked on from day one. However, the situation ten years ago was not that simple. Too much antagonistic post-war politics was still all around us, and it made our task all the more difficult. Everything that smelled of old Yugoslavia caused a lot of resistance both in Croatia and in Serbia. I repeat, the idea of having both Crvena Zvezda and Partizan in the league was there from the very beginning, but we avoided talking about it publicly because of politics.[5]

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.


Liga ABA 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]


Liga ABA 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 Serb 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 [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.


Liga ABA Logos


Liga ABA All-time participants (2001–2013)

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 2013–14 Liga ABA season are indicated in bold. A total of 30 teams from 9 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 Total
seasons
Highest finish
Bosnia and Herzegovina Borac Banja Luka
11th
13th
2
11th
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosna Sarajevo
12th
12th
QF
QF
10th
7th
13th
7
Quarter-finals
Bosnia and Herzegovina Igokea Aleksandrovac
11th
SF
3
Semi-finals
Bosnia and Herzegovina Sloboda Tuzla
5th
1
5th
Bosnia and Herzegovina Široki
6th
9th
12th
13th
11th
11th
12th
10th
9th
5th
10th
12
5th
Croatia Cedevita Zagreb
7th
7th
2nd
6th
5
2nd
Croatia Cibona Zagreb
SF
5th
2nd
QF
QF
SF
QF
2nd
2nd
12th
7th
11th
13
2nd
Croatia Split
8th
10th
9th
15th
14th
10th
10th
14th
8
8th
Croatia Šibenka Dalmare
11th
1
11th
Croatia Triglav osiguranje
10th
1
10th
Croatia Zadar
7th
1st
8th
QF
QF
7th
SF
5th
8th
14th
12th
12
1st
Croatia Zagreb
6th
11th
12th
13th
12th
11th
13th
6th
5th
9th
10
5th
Czech Republic Nymburk
8th
1
8th
Hungary Szolnoki Olaj
13th
2
13th
Israel Maccabi Tel Aviv
2nd
1st
2
1st
Republic of Macedonia MZT Skopje
7th
2
7th
Montenegro Budućnost Podgorica
9th
5th
14th
5th
QF
6th
5th
SF
SF
5th
11
Semi-finals
Montenegro Lovćen Cetinje
14th
1
14th
Serbia Crvena zvezda
SF
SF
SF
SF
6th
QF
SF
9th
13th
10th
2nd
12
2nd
Serbia FMP Železnik
1st
SF
1st
2nd
QF
8th
12th
7
1st
Serbia Hemofarm Vršac
1st
SF
SF
2nd
SF
SF
6th
12th
8
1st
Serbia Mega Vizura
1
Serbia Partizan Beograd
2nd
2nd
1st
1st
1st
1st
1st
SF
1st
10
1st
Serbia Radnički Kragujevac
11th
10th
8th
SF
5
Semi-finals
Serbia Vojvodina Novi Sad
QF
9th
14th
3
Quarter-finals
Slovenia Helios Domžale
16th
12th
8th
13th
12th
14th
13th
7
8th
Slovenia Slovan Ljubljana
11th
10th
10th
9th
13th
14th
6
9th
Slovenia Krka Novo Mesto
2nd
7th
7th
11th
SF
11th
9th
8
2nd
Slovenia Olimpija Ljubljana
1st
SF
SF
QF
10th
9th
SF
9th
SF
2nd
6th
8th
13
1st
Slovenia Zlatorog Laško
SF
8th
6th
9th
14th
14th
6
Semifinals

Liga ABA Competition



Liga ABA 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 agains 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]


Liga ABA 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.[citation needed]

2012–13 season

For season 2012–13 new method of places allocation is used. Based on national coefficient from last ten seasons Bosnia and Herzegovina gets 1, Croatia gets 3, Serbia gets 3 and Slovenia gets 2 places in league. Clubs that will participate will be decided based on their success in respectative national championships. Based on national coefficient in season 2011–12 two wild cards will be awarded, first to either Croatia or Serbia, and second to either Slovenia or Bosnia.

Three remaining wild cards will be awarded based on decision of league board. These wild cards were awarded to Budućnost from Montenegro, MZT Skopje from Macedonia, and Maccabi Tel Aviv from Israel. However, Maccabi decided to withdrawn from the league. Szolnoki Olaj received their wild card.[13]

Country No. 2011–12 coeff. 2012–13 no. of clubs
 Croatia 3 14.67 4
 Serbia 3 12.25 3
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 1 15 2
 Slovenia 2 8 2

Liga ABA Current season teams (2013–2014)

Country Teams Qualification Team City Venue (Capacity) European participation in 2013–14 season
Serbia Serbia 4
1st in the Basketball League of Serbia KK Partizan NIS Belgrade Pionir Hall (8,150) Euroleague
2nd in the Basketball League of Serbia KK Crvena zvezda Telekom Belgrade Pionir Hall (8,150) Euroleague
3rd in the Basketball League of Serbia KK Mega Vizura Belgrade Sports Hall Smederevo (2,600)
Wild card KK Radnički Kragujevac Jezero Hall (3,570) Eurocup
Croatia Croatia 3
1st place in the A-1 Liga KK Cibona Zagreb Dražen Petrović Basketball Hall (5,400) Eurocup
2nd place in the A-1 Liga KK Zadar Zadar Krešimir Ćosić Hall (10,000)
3rd place in the A-1 Liga KK Cedevita Zagreb Dom Sportova (3,500) Eurocup
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina 2
Champion of BIH League KK Igokea Aleksandrovac Laktaši Sports Hall (3,050) Eurocup
Wild card HKK Široki Široki Brijeg Pecara (4,500)
Slovenia Slovenia 2
Champion of the 1.A SKL KK Krka Novo mesto Leon Štukelj Hall (3,000) EuroChallenge
Runners up of the 1.A SKL KK Union Olimpija Ljubljana Arena Stožice (12,480) Eurocup
Hungary Hungary 1 Wild card Szolnoki Olaj KK Szolnok Tiszaligeti Sportcsarnok (3,000) EuroChallenge
Republic of Macedonia Macedonia 1 Wild card KK MZT Skopje Skopje Boris Trajkovski Sports Center (8,000) Eurocup
Montenegro Montenegro 1 Wild card KK Budućnost Podgorica Morača Sports Center (5,000) Eurocup

Liga ABA Finals


Year Host City Champion Runner Up Final
2001-02
Details
Ljubljana Slovenia KK Olimpija (Union) Slovenia KK Krka 73-59
2002-03
Details
Ljubljana Croatia KK Zadar Israel Maccabi Tel Aviv 91-88
2003-04
Details
Zagreb Serbia and Montenegro KK FMP (Reflex) Croatia KK Cibona 71-70
2004-05
Details
Belgrade Serbia and Montenegro KK Hemofarm Serbia and Montenegro KK Partizan 89-76
2005-06
Details
Sarajevo Serbia and Montenegro KK FMP Serbia and Montenegro KK Partizan 73-72
2006-07
Details
Belgrade Serbia KK Partizan Serbia KK FMP *85-83 / 94-*82
2007-08
Details
Ljubljana Serbia KK Partizan Serbia KK Hemofarm 69-51
2008-09
Details
Belgrade Serbia KK Partizan Croatia KK Cibona 63-49
2009-10
Details
Zagreb Serbia KK Partizan Croatia KK Cibona 75-74
2010-11
Details
Ljubljana Serbia KK Partizan Slovenia KK Olimpija (Union) 77-74
2011-12
Details
Tel Aviv Israel Maccabi Tel Aviv Croatia KK Cedevita 87-77
2012-13[14]
Details
Laktaši Serbia KK Partizan Serbia KK Crvena Zvezda 71-63

Liga ABA Titles



Liga ABA By club

Rank Club Champion Finalist
1. Serbia KK Partizan 6
2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013
2
2005, 2006
2. Serbia KK FMP 2
2004, 2006
1
2007
3. Slovenia KK Olimpija 1
2002
1
2011
4. Serbia KK Hemofarm 1
2005
1
2008
5. Israel Maccabi Tel Aviv 1
2012
1
2003
6. Croatia KK Zadar 1
2003
7. Croatia KK Cibona 3
2004, 2009, 2010
8. Slovenia KK Krka 1
2002
9. Croatia KK Cedevita 1
2012
10. Serbia KK Crvena Zvezda 1
2013
Regular season winners Titles Years Won
Serbia Partizan
4
2006, 2008, 2009, 2011
Croatia Cibona
2
2004, 2010
Bosnia and Herzegovina Igokea
1
2013
Israel Maccabi Tel Aviv
1
2012
Serbia FMP
1
2007
Serbia Hemofarm
1
2005
Serbia Crvena zvezda
1
2003
Slovenia Union Olimpija
1
2002

Liga ABA By nation

Country Winners Runners-up Years Won Years Runner-Up
 Serbia
9
4
2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2013
 Croatia
1
4
2003 2004, 2009, 2010, 2012
 Slovenia
1
2
2002 2002, 2011
 Israel
1
1
2012 2003
Regular season winners Titles Years Won
 Serbia
7
2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011
 Croatia
2
2004, 2010
 BIH
1
2013
 Israel
1
2012
 Slovenia
1
2002

Liga ABA Individual awards



Liga ABA Most Valuable Player

Season Player Team RPG
2001–02 Croatia Marino Baždarić Croatia Triglav osiguranje 17.64
2002–03 United States Kenyan Weaks Slovenia Pivovarna Laško 19.33
2003–04 Serbia and Montenegro Dejan Milojević Serbia and Montenegro Budućnost 29.35
2004–05 Serbia and Montenegro Dejan Milojević Serbia and Montenegro Partizan 30.35
2005–06 Serbia and Montenegro Dejan Milojević Serbia and Montenegro Partizan 26.21
2006–07 Serbia Milan Gurović Serbia Crvena zvezda 29.30
2007–08 Serbia Tadija Dragićević Serbia Crvena zvezda 21.93
2008–09 Croatia Ante Tomić Croatia Zagreb 22.42
2009–10 United States Chester Mason Bosnia and Herzegovina Široki 19.96
2010–11 Croatia Luka Žorić Croatia Zagreb 23.62
2011–12 United States David Simon Serbia Radnički 22.27
2012–13 Slovenia Aleksandar Ćapin Serbia Radnički 20.43

Liga ABA Top Scorer

Season Player Team PPG
2001–02 Croatia Marino Baždarić Croatia Triglav osiguranje 26.23
2002–03 United States Kenyan Weaks Slovenia Pivovarna Laško 20.14
2003–04 Serbia and Montenegro Igor Rakočević Serbia and Montenegro Crvena zvezda 23.22
2004–05 Serbia and Montenegro Dejan Milojević Serbia and Montenegro Partizan 21.77
2005–06 Serbia and Montenegro Dejan Milojević Serbia and Montenegro Partizan 17.68
2006–07 Serbia Milan Gurović Serbia Crvena zvezda 28.60
2007–08 Serbia Tadija Dragićević Serbia Crvena zvezda 20.46
2008–09 Serbia Dragan Labović Serbia FMP 17.96
2009–10 Croatia Andrija Žižić Croatia Cedevita 17.12
2010–11 United States Michael Lee Serbia Radnički 19.60
2011–12 United States David Simon Serbia Radnički 19.38
2012–13 Slovenia Aleksandar Ćapin Serbia Radnički 17.48

Liga ABA Adriatic League records



Liga ABA All-time leaders

Since the beginning of the 2001–02 season:

Accumulated
Points Croatia Krunoslav Simon 2333
Rebounds Slovenia Smiljan Pavič 1082
Assists Serbia Miljan Pavković 631
Steals Croatia Siniša Štemberger 267
Blocks Montenegro Slavko Vraneš 268
Index Ratings Republic of Macedonia Todor Gečevski 2879

Liga ABA Notable players


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

Australia Australia

Belize Belize

Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bulgaria Bulgaria

Canada Canada

Croatia Croatia

Czech Republic Czech Republic

Finland Finland

France France

Gabon Gabon

Greece Greece

Guyana Guyana

Hungary Hungary

Israel Israel

Jamaica Jamaica

Latvia Latvia

Republic of Macedonia Macedonia

Montenegro Montenegro

Nigeria Nigeria

Panama Panama

Puerto Rico Puerto Rico

Serbia Serbia

Slovenia Slovenia

Turkey Turkey

United Kingdom United Kingdom

United States United States


Liga ABA Footnotes


  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. ^ "ABA Liga, Final Four, April 25-27, 2013". ABA Liga - Adriatic League. Euroleague. Retrieved 29 December 2013. 

Liga ABA External links




Tabela ABA Lige Jadranska NLB Liga ABA League NLB ABA Liga SportSport.ba Sportnet HR ABA Liga Tabela 2013 ABA Liga Kosarka

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