By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Crvena Zvezda Meridianbet is stuck between AdmiralBet ABA League and Serbian SuperLeague schedules, and the club’s general manager, Nemanja Vasiljevic, opened up about the complicated situation.
Dates for ABA finals and SuperLeague finals are suddenly overlapping, with the Belgrade club expected to play for the Adriatic crown 21 days after advancing from the semis, and Vasiljevic believes the only solution is for the SuperLeague to be finished before the regional competition, as the club announced.
“Our priority is winning the domestic league, and we’ll always participate there, along with the Serbian Cup. We’ve never backed down, even when we were in a worse position, while others haven’t played SuperLeague for two years. Should there be a date change in the Serbian League now? Absolutely not. Our statement was clear, and those who view things realistically must have recognized it as the only logical solution.
Otherwise, we would finish the ABA League on June 22 and then immediately start the Serbian League, concluding the season in early July. The NBA has 30 teams and will finish their season before the ABA league,” Vasiljevic said to Mozzart Sport.
The players are the ones who suffered the most with the significant gaps between games, as Crvena Zvezda played only three games in May after seven months of playing in a dens schedule with EuroLeague, ABA League, and Radivoj Korac Cup matches. Also, with regional competition potentially ending on June 22, they won’t have much time to rest before their national team duties with the FIBA World Cup upcoming.
“Does anyone think about the players? They have been playing since October and won’t have time to rest, considering that they will soon start their national team duties. They don’t know what’s happening. They just want to play, to win the title, and now someone wants to take away their right to fight for it.”
Zvezda tried to schedule some friendly matches to stay in shape but couldn’t find opponents due to playoffs being played across the continent.
“We didn’t have anyone to play with because everyone is playing in the playoffs in their national championships. We wanted to go abroad as well, but there were no opponents. Even if there were, a friendly game is not the same as a competitive game. We held one training game, and now the players are playing between themselves.”
With the season dragged to late June and uncertainty about being part of the EuroLeague for the next one, planning for the future gets complicated, as Vasiljevic recently explained to Eurohoops. Mainly because the A-licensed teams already started making moves.
As Eurohoops reported, Crvena Zvezda’s star player Facundo Campazzo has a deal to return to Real Madrid on a three-year contract. Still, Vasiljevic noted that the Belgrade club also made him an offer.
“We want to keep him. We presented him with an offer for the next season a while ago, and he said we’ll discuss it after the current season. He’s focused on the ABA League and wants to win it. Regardless of what happens, we’ll assemble a strong team and focus on having as many local players as possible.”
As for the Serbian players, Crvena Zvezda wants to keep Luka Mitrovic and Ognjen Dobric.
“We want both of them to stay. We’re in talks regarding new contracts and hope for a positive outcome. They are Zvezda’s children,” the Belgrade club’s GM, Nemanja Vasiljevic, concluded.