Our friend Matej Bergant from Slovenia provided us with an excellent preview to the Adriatic League Final Four that will be played in Ljubljana this weekend. Well, it was not such an easy affair that it is played in the capital of Slovenia as you can read here.
The Adriatic League Final4 will be held in Ljubljana, Slovenia this weekend on the 25th and 26th of April. The teams which qualified for this event are: Slovenian Union Olimpija, Croatian KK Zadar and two Serbian teams, Hemofarm Vrsac and Partizan Belgrade. It’s already the second time that Ljubljana hosts the Final4 event.
Firstly, I have to say that Katie Melua kicks ass (and she’s damn cute too). Why? Her concert and Nine Million Bicycles beat basketball in Ljubljana. What the hell?! Yeah, the Final4 was at first scheduled from 25th until 27th, but they decided to change it due to Katie Melua concert on 27th of April (of course this laughable fact wasn’t given in official statement why dates were changed). Anyhow, let’s go to more serious discussion.
The fact that Ljubljana will once again host Final4 event surprised almost everyone. The candidates for the organization of the event were: Zadar (Croatia), Podgorica (Montenegro), Banja Luka (BiH) and Vršac (Serbia). Ljubljana joined the competition for organization of this event in second stage and was considered as backup plan. Those who don’t understand the situation probably think what happened.
Podgorica would be among favorites to host the event only if Buducnost would make it there, but they didn’t. Vrsac and Banja Luka were outsiders in this race due to simple fact – lack of organizational funds. This comes to Zadar and Ljubljana. As I said, Ljubljana joined the race for Final4 organization in second stage, after Olimpija won the crucial game vs. Crvena Zvezda and qualified for the Final4.
Zadar was favorite to get this Final4 before even the season started. Why Zadar wasn’t picked? Good question. Zadar promised to build a new arena until this event even before season started. The arena isn’t finished yet, so this should be good enough reason? But as I heard this wasn’t the main reason.
Serbian teams Partizan and Hemofarm said that they would prefer playing in Ljubljana than in Zadar and also the fact that Ljubljana offered more than ten times more organizational funds than Zadar is good enough fact. Zadar and their small Jazine arena are known to be one of the hottest places in the world to play basketball and fans are especially motivated against Serbian teams, I think no explanation is needed and reason why Partizan and Hemofarm management preferred Ljubljana over Zadar.
The chances for Zadar to win the event would be far better in Croatia, so I heard that Cibona Zagreb and their people also wanted the event to be played in Ljubljana due to fact that Zadar is in the race with Cibona Zagreb for new Euroleague contract and Adriatic League also counts, but that’s more like a background story.
So that’s about why the Final Four is played in Ljubljana. We come back to the games in a next article.