Mega MIS basketball players failed to defeat Zadar in their away game at the Krešimir Ćosić Arena. The Croatian team triumphed after 40 minutes of intense battle, winning 74-71 (17-17, 23-14, 16-21, 18-19) in the 19th round of the ABA League in front of their home crowd. Marko Barać’s team managed to erase a double-digit deficit, bringing the match to a thrilling finish, but despite fighting until the last second, they couldn’t secure their 10th victory of the season. They remain in seventh place in the standings with a record of 9-10, while Zadar climbed to fifth place with an 11-8 record.

Nikola Đurišić led Mega with 17 points, Stefan Miljenović added 14, and Filip Jović also scored 17 points in double figures. Andrija Jelavić and Timotej Malovec contributed nine points each.

Luka Božić was the top scorer for the winning team with 20 points, followed by Karlo Žganec with 16, and Lovro Mazalin with 10.

After an equal start, Mega took the lead with a 9-2 run. They led 9-14 after consecutive baskets from Ilyasoglu, Malovec, and Miljenović, but Zadar managed to tie the score at 17-17 by the end of the quarter. Zadar then gained control, extending their lead to double digits (34-23) entering the final three minutes of the first half. Mega struggled to score but stabilized towards the end of the second quarter, keeping Zadar from pulling away significantly, with the halftime score standing at 40-31.

The second half saw back-and-forth action, with Barać’s team gradually closing the gap. After Malovec’s three-pointer with three and a half minutes left in the third quarter, Mega trailed 49-46. Despite their efforts, Mega couldn’t complete the comeback, and entering the final quarter with a score of 56-52, it was clear that the decisive period would be intense and uncertain.

Zadar managed to extend their lead to 64-56 within three minutes, but Mega fought back. Plavšić and Đurišić scored crucial points, and Miljenović’s three-pointer capped a 9-2 run, bringing the score to 66-65. The game became a battle for every loose ball. Iljasolu had the chance to tie the game with six seconds left but only made one free throw. Barać’s team continued to fight but couldn’t turn the game around. Miljenović attempted a shot from the center court in the final seconds for the tie but missed, sealing Zadar’s victory.

In the next round of the ABA League, Mega MIS will host Mornar from Bar, with the 20th round scheduled for Sunday at noon in the Ranko Žeravica Sports Hall.

Mega MIS: Milijašević, Miljenović 14, Jelavić 9 (5 rebounds), Popović, Milutinović, Ilyasoglu 5 (6 assists), Đurišić 17, Kovačević, Gnjidić, Plavšić 7 (5 rebounds), Jović 10, Malovec 9

Zadar: Davis 2, Klarica, Vujačić, Žganec 16, Mazalin 10, Lakić 9, Mekić, Jambrović, Drežnjak 9, Grbić, Božić 20, Ramljak 8

Photo: KK Zadar/Zvonko Kucelin