The struggles of Crvena Zvezda “Red Star” Beograd in the ABA League reared its ugly head on Sunday once again. The defending champions were hoping to peel off a win as they visited a surging Cedevita Olimpija at Ljubljana.
Red Star’s chances of breaking into the ever-elusive top-4 took a massive blow with the loss as they fall to a 5-4 record. They’re now in sixth place, but are just one game ahead of a trio of teams who are gunning hard for that spot that they currently occupy in the standings. They are Krka, Cibona and Mornar Bar (4-5).
More importantly, this hurts their tiebreakers vs. Cedevita, who, thanks to this key win, are now 6-2 and are in second place in the standings. They are one game behind league leaders Buducnost Voli Podgorica (8-1).
Standing in Crvena Zvezda’s way as they target a playoff berth are three teams with a 6-3 record. They are FMP, Serbian rivals BC Partizan, and KK Primorska who are in third, fourth and fifth places, respectively.
Cedevita displayed some impressive form as they stayed in front of their guests for the majority of the game. Ryan Boatright and Marko Simonovic paced the home team with 17 and 16 points, respectively. Lorenzo Brown led Crvena Zvezda with 17 points of his own.
Will Crvena Zvezda find the path leading back to their winning ways of old? Major changes will need to take place if they want to defend their crown.