In the countdown to the first game of this year's ABA League Final Tournament we spoke with some players from the regional competition, who gave their opinion on who do they see as a favourite for this year.
Mladen Jeremić, Hemofarm Štada: I share the general opinion that Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv is an absolute favourite. Partizan mt:s is in a slight crisis but has a lot of experiences in winning trophies. I do believe this will help it in the semi-final. Budućnost and Cedveita have only little chances to do something bigger. Everything except Maccabi - Partizan mt:s would be a big surprise but even a surprise can not be excluded when only one game decides the winner.
Petar Popović, Crvena zvezda Diva: Maccabi is an absolute favourite, not only against Budućnost but also of the whole tournament. I do believe nobody can threat it on its way to the trophy. Not only that Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv possesses quality, it also plays in front of its fans, which might be the biggest ace up it’s sleeves. I also believe Partizan mt.s will reach the final, it is a better team than Cedevita, which is apparently in a crisis if we consider its latest results.
Andrija Žižić, Cibona: I will definitely not say anything new if I say that Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv if the favourite and the strongest team at this year’s tournament. Partizan is immediately behind, I would rank Cedevita as third and Budućnost at the fourth place. The semi-final between Cedevita and Partizan will be far more interesting than the one between Maccabi and Budućnost. Cedevita will miss Matjaž Smodiš under the baskets but if others will be healthy there are still many players, who can replace Smodiš. They have Vukušić, Owens, Bagarić and even Petrović. I am sure this will be an interesting game.
Mario Kasun, Zagreb: It is difficult to make any kind of prognosis, when we speak about the Final Four Tournament. Only one games decides about many things and everything is possible. But I still find Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv to be the favourite against Budućnost while the other duel will be much more equaled. Cedevita is stronger in the outside positions but will have many problems under the baskets without Smodiš, where is Partizan the strongest. But I still think Partizan has a slight advantage because Cedevita doesn’t play so good lately as it did before.