Author : Tobias Seitz from hoopnation
Overall Record Prediction : 4-10
It seems like every year we fear Cibona Zagreb might finish the first round without a single win. And then they end up reaching the Top 16 or slightly missing it like it happened last year.
Because of its empty pockets, the Croatian powerhouse lost most of his best players including NT guard Davor Kus. Of all the team’s American players, only shooting guard Chris Warren stayed put. Brand new head coach and former NT player Josip Vrankovic had to go shopping and came back home with a couple of familiar names.
Combo guard Damir Mulaomerovic won the Euroleague with Panathinaikos in 2002. He remains a good asset but at 33 yrs old, he might be a little past his prime. Same goes to Puerto Rican gunner Larry Ayuso, now 30, who played in Kaunas 2 years ago. Last but not least, Sam Hoskin showed some flashes of brilliance off the bench for Pini Gershon at Olympiakos last year and is killing the opposition in the Adriatic League so far.
Speaking about the Adriatic League, Cibona’s overall record (3-3) is not a good omen.
Especially with rivals Partizan (5-1) and Olimpija (4-2) ahead in the standings. Cibona went into the unknown giving the point guard duties to rookie Tre Kelley and expecting a solid contribution from 22 years-old center Luka Andric. Once again looking at their roster, we would bet on an abysmal season but count on the Croatian team for a couple of upsets and a fight for the last Top 16 ticket of their group.
Final 4: CSKA Moscow, Panathinaikos Athens, Unicaja, Olympiakos
Winner: CSKA Moscow