The basketball club Mega MIS has finished the league part of the ABA League season in a magnificent way. Under coach Marko Barać’s guidance, the players secured seven consecutive victories, setting a new club record in the regional competition. With a record of 16 wins and 10 losses, Mega claimed the fourth position before the ABA League playoffs, repeating the success of the 2015/16 season when Mega reached the finals:

The greatest success so far, perhaps even greater than that in 2016 when we were also in the fourth position. However, I am sure everyone will agree that the ABA League is now incomparably stronger, with two stable EuroLeague teams, as well as many other highly quality and experienced teams competing in other European competitions,” began Goran Ćakić, the general manager of Mega, and continued:

This achievement gains even more significance when considering that at the beginning of the season, we suffered two defeats against Krka and Borac at home. After that, without any panic or unrest, we reached the fourth position, believing in our system and that quality work in training would eventually show in the results. It’s truly a fantastic result, and all credit goes to the players and the coaching staff led by Marko Barać and everyone in our Mega family.”

This season marks the 25th anniversary of the club’s existence, and besides the excellent results, it’s worth noting that for the first time in history, Mega defeated both Partizan and Crvena Zvezda in a single season in the regional competition:

This season, we are particularly proud of those victories against Partizan, secured in the last second, as well as the away win against Crvena Zvezda after a great comeback, where the whole team once again showed that they never give up. What’s particularly pleasing is the stability shown by the team after the victory against Crvena Zvezda, as we ended the league part of the season in the best possible way, with secure triumphs against Split at home and Igokea in Laktaši. Additionally, we set a club record with seven consecutive wins in the regional competition.

As every year, Mega was once again the youngest team in the ABA League, with an average age of 19.8 at the beginning of the season, led by captain Uroš Plavšić, who was the oldest player in the team at 25:

This team began its journey on July 24 last year when we started with preparations, and most importantly, it showed great progress and maturity compared to the beginning. Apart from Đurišić, it was practically a team without experience in playing in the ABA League. A significant number of young players have been affirmed, and they are expected to be among the key players of our national team in the future. Moreover, Mega players were chosen as MVP of the round in the ABA League six times, so we truly have many reasons to be proud.”

Nikola Topić joined Mega this season after spending six months in Mega’s system playing for OKK Beograd. Thanks to his outstanding performances, Topić has risen to the top in the forecasts for the upcoming NBA draft, currently projected as the fourth pick:

The progress Nikola Topić has made in just one year within Mega’s system is remarkable. I am confident that a very bright future awaits him. Also, it’s certain that we should be very satisfied with how the team, led by the coaching staff and coach Barać, reacted after his departure to Crvena Zvezda. Roles in the team had to be redistributed, but the players readily accepted them, which is confirmed by their further progress and the team’s results. A record of 10 wins and only three losses in the second part of the season is also something we are extremely proud of. We’ve had quite a few injuries this season; Gnjidić, who came in as a replacement for Topić, won’t be able to help us in the continuation of the ABA League season due to injury, but the players and coaching staff always found a way to overcome these challenges, and we believe they will continue to do so.”

The ABA League playoffs await Mega, where they will have the home-court advantage in the quarterfinals against Cedevita Olimpija. The series is played to two wins, with the first game scheduled for Monday, April 15, at 8 p.m. in the Ranko Žeravica Sports Hall. The second game in Ljubljana will be played on Sunday, April 21, at 8 p.m., while a potential decider will be played on Saturday, April 27, in the Ranko Žeravica Sports Hall. Admission for the first and potential third game against Cedevita Olimpija will be free:

Mega is playing exceptionally fast and quality basketball this season, considered by many as the most beautiful among all teams in the ABA League. We have a playoff series against Cedevita Olimpija ahead, and this young and extremely talented Mega team certainly deserves great support. Accordingly, we invite all basketball fans, especially those from Novi Beograd, to come in large numbers. I am confident they will have the opportunity to enjoy a good game, and we hope for another significant victory that would make the first step towards reaching the ABA League semifinals,” concluded Ćakić.

Photo: Mega MIS