Mega MIS basketball players lead 1-0 in the quarterfinal series of the ABA League playoffs, as they convincingly defeated Cedevita Olimpija at the Ranko Žeravica Sports Hall, setting a club record for the most points scored in a single game in the regional competition, 119-98 (27-23, 30-29, 37-22, 25-24). They also broke the playoff record of 113 points but fell short of breaking the league record of 122 points. Nonetheless, they can be satisfied with their fantastic performance. They increased their lead from quarter to quarter, scoring an impressive 37 points in the third quarter to establish an unreachable advantage, which they comfortably maintained until the end. All this despite the injury to Omercan Ilyasoglu in the middle of the second quarter, as well as the absence of Lovro Gnjidić, Luka Paunović, and Oleksandr Kobzystyi.

Another outstanding performance came from Nikola Đurišić, who led Mega with 31 points, seven assists, and five rebounds for a PIR of 38. Andrija Jelavić supported him with 20 points (PIR 25), Stefan Miljenović and Filip Jović with 16 each, and captain Uroš Plavšić with 13 points.

In the Ljubljana team, D.J. Stewart and Justin Cobbs scored 20 points each, Alen Omić added 16 points, while Jaka Blažič contributed 12 and Zoran Dragić 10.

The game was played at a high pace from the start, with both teams evenly matched. For every attempt by Mega to pull away, the guests had an answer – and vice versa. Towards the end of the first quarter, Jović finally gave Barać’s team a lead with five consecutive points, but the team from Ljubljana quickly responded and turned the game around. However, Jelavić and Jović ensured that Mega MIS ended the first quarter with a lead (27-23). After the break, Mega’s players showcased a series of dunks, taking a 35-28 lead after just two minutes of play in the second quarter following Ilyasoglu’s three-pointer. The talented point guard got injured, and the Slovenian team responded, narrowed the gap to two points, then took the lead with four minutes remaining. However, Mega regained control and led 55-49 with 80 seconds left, ending the half 57-52.

Although the first half was undoubtedly exhausting for both teams, Mega stepped up their game in the third quarter, going on a 14-3 run to establish a commanding 17-point lead after just over four minutes of play (76-59). Đurišić scored nine consecutive points during that period. Mega MIS continued to play excellently, maintaining their lead, and entering the final two minutes with a 20-point advantage, leading 94-74! Mega maintained a large lead in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, and the outcome became clear quickly at the Ranko Žeravica Sports Hall. It was a significant victory and the first step toward the ABA League semifinals.

The second match of the ABA League quarterfinal series between Mega MIS and Cedevita Olimpija will take place on Sunday, April 21, at 8:00 PM in Ljubljana. A potential third game would be played on Saturday, April 27, also at the Ranko Žeravica Sports Hall.

Mega MIS: Milijašević 5, Miljenović 16 (6 assists, PIR 21), Jelavić 20 (5 rebounds, PIR 23), Marković, Popović, Milutinović, Ilyasoglu 9, Đurišić 31 (7 assists, 5 rebounds, PIR 38), Kovačević 6, Plavšić 13 (5 rebounds, 5 assists, PIR 22), Jović 16 (6 rebounds), Malovec 3

Cedevita Olimpija: Stewart 20, Radović, Cobbs 20, Glas 3, Blažič 12, Jones 8, Ščuka 4, Klobučar 3, Omić 16, Dragić 10, Šaškov 2

Photo: Mega MIS/Ivica Veselinov