There were plenty of interesting victories at the weekend in the first round of the Adriatic League (ABA Liga) but the player on everybody’s lips lost his game. No matter what happens in ABA Liga this season, all eyes are on Dario Saric.
Dario Saric put in the type of display that will have NBA draftniks salivating in Cibona Zagreb’s 66-82 loss to Radnicki. Saric, who opted against declaring for last June’s draft to enter 2014’s more loaded class, had 17 points on 53.8 per cent shooting with 3 boards for his trouble too. Saric also had 3 turnovers in a display where he tried to be the meast when his side was clearly the least. Mouphatou Monrou had a huge day for Radnicki with 19 points off an 8 of 9 display from the field and he picked up 6 rebounds too. In all the victors had four players in double digits while an 8 point display in just 10 minutes meant Nikola Jevtovic was a valuable contributor from the bench. To save this column turning into being all about Saric every week, we’re going to include a Dario Watch at the end of each ABA Liga round-up from next week onwards.
After being utterly dominant in Slovenia over the past four season, Krka had a winning return to ABA action with a 60-57 win over Buducnost. Malcolm Armstead carried his team over the line with 21 points, 5 rebounds, and 7 assists.
Reigning champions Partizan got off to a winning start with a 67-56 win over Igokea. Leo Westermann had 18 points and 4 assists for the Belgrade side with Tarence Kinsey 15 points, 4 boards, and 3 assists. Bogdan Bogdanovic made his return to club action after impressing at EuroBasket with 9 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 dimes.
Crvena Zvezda, whose performance in ABA Liga last season catapulted them into Euroleague, got off to a losing start despite showing solid balance. Siroki held on in a nail-biter to win 80-79 in the opening round. Boris Barac, with 25 points, and Domagoj Bosnjak, 17 points and 5 assists, carried the load for the victors. Elsewhere there were wins for Skopje over Union Olimpija 79-60, Zadar over Szolnoki 71-67, and Cedevita over Mega Vizura 72-62.
Round two kicks off on Tuesday night with three games with the remaining four on Wednesday. Saric is next in action with Cibona at Union Olimpija where both sides will be seeking their first wins of the season.