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1971–72 Yugoslav First Basketball League

The 1971–72 Yugoslav First Basketball League season was the 28th season of the Yugoslav First Basketball League, the highest professional basketball league in SFR Yugoslavia.

1971–72 Yugoslav First Basketball League
LeagueYugoslav First Basketball League
Season championsSocialist Republic of Serbia Crvena Zvezda
Yugoslav First Basketball League seasons


Notable eventsEdit

Early pacesetters: Zvezda, Jugoplastika, and LokomotivaEdit

The season began in early November 1971 with Crvena zvezda, defending champion Jugoplastika, Lokomotiva, and Olimpija tipped as main title contenders by the observers.[1]

Olimpija fell out of the title contention almost immediately, recording several losses in their first few games of the season while Crvena zvezda and Lokomotiva jumped to the top of the standings early on. Jugoplastika also kept pace with the standings leaders while Borac Čačak, finding success behind Radmilo Mišović's scoring exploits, and Radnički Belgrade became the early season's surprise packages.[1]

In week 4 of the season, Crvena zvezda and Jugoplastika played a hard-fought game in Belgrade's Hala sportova with Zvezda coming out on top 98-86. In addition to highly competitive basketball and Zoran Slavnić's exceptional performance, the game is also remembered for the bench-clearing brawl that occurred with four minutes to go in the contest after Jugoplastika's point guard Rato Tvrdić punched Zvezda's shooting guard Duci Simonović.[1]

Zadar vs Zvezda on Catholic Christmas 1971Edit

On Saturday, 25 December 1971, as part of the season's week 8, KK Zadar and Crvena zvezda played on KK Zadar's home court at Jazine — a tense and incident-filled contest remembered for the extremely hostile atmosphere with nationalist and sectarian overtones directed towards the visiting team by the home fans.[1] Scheduled to be played on Catholic Christmas — a holiday not officially celebrated in communist SFR Yugoslavia — the game featured tensions even before tip off as the visiting Crvena zvezda players and personnel had to be escorted by police from the moment of their arrival in Zadar.[1]

As the teams entered the Jazine court before the game, the hosts decided to power off the arena lights while the only light in the hall was provided from the thousands of candles given out to the gathered spectators. Following the tip off, Zadar fans began throwing the said candles onto the court, continuing to do so throughout the game while the referees — brothers Janko and Petar Kavčić from Ljubljana — didn't stop the contest out of fear of enraging the crowd even more.[1] Among the verbal abuse hurled at Zvezda players were hate speech chants "Srbe na vrbe".[2] With five minutes to go in the close game, Zadar's best player and leading scorer Josip Gjergja twisted his ankle after stepping on one of the candles littering the court and had to leave the contest. Zvezda ended up winning 60-61.[1]

As soon as the game ended, Zvezda players were surrounded by police mid-court as the angry Zadar fans tried to physically accost the visiting team.[1] Shortly, even the army had to be called in as re-enforcement in order to escort the visiting team out of the arena.[1] In the chaos and confusion while the Zvezda players were surrounded by army recruits out on the court, a young Zadar fan got in-between two of the soldiers guarding Zvezda players and stabbed Zvezda's shooting guard Ivan Sarjanović in the upper thigh with a compass.[1]


Regular season ranking 1971-72 Pt G V P PF PS
1. Crvena Zvezda 34 22 17 5 1986 1832
2. Jugoplastika 34 22 17 5 1928 1736
3. Lokomotiva 28 22 14 8 1956 1874
4. Radnički Belgrade 28 22 14 8 2007 1955
5. Rabotnički 22 22 11 11 1769 1752
6. Partizan 22 22 11 11 1810 1802
7. Olimpija 20 22 10 12 1917 1863
8. OKK Beograd 20 22 10 12 1758 1763
9. Borac Čačak 18 22 9 13 1964 1951
10. Zadar 14 22 7 15 1793 1926
11. Željezničar Karlovac 14 22 7 15 1743 1913
12. Oriolik Slavonski Brod 10 22 5 17 1621 1885

One-game playoff for the championship: Crvena Zvezda vs Jugoplastika: 75-70 OTEdit

Due to Crvena zvezda and Jugoplastika being tied for top spot with identical 17-5 records after the end of the regular season, the champion was decided in a one-game playoff between the two teams since, as stipulated by the Yugoslav Basketball Federation (KSJ) regulations, points difference wasn't legitimate criteria to determine a league champion in case of a tie at the top. The regulations further stated that the deciding game's venue had to be neutral and mutually agreed between the two teams. Crvena zvezda requested Sarajevo as the venue while Jugoplastika wanted Ljubljana.[1] Due to the teams' inability to agree, the venue was decided by coin toss that was won by Jugoplastika.[1]

Accordingly, the game ended up being played in Ljubljana's Hala Tivoli on Thursday, 27 April 1972. In a close game (Jugoplastika was up by four 35-39 at halftime), Zvezda's playmaker Zoran Slavnić hit a shot within final thirty seconds for a 67-67 tie at the end of regulation.[1] Zvezda ended up winning 75-70 largely behind Zoran Lazarević's 12 points, all of which he scored towards the end of regulation and in overtime.[1]

Crvena Zvezda vs Jugoplastika: 75-70 OT (35-39, 67-67)

The winning roster of Crvena Zvezda:[3]

Coach:   Bratislav Đorđević

Scoring leadersEdit

  1. Radmilo Mišović (Borac Čačak) - 658 points (31.3 ppg)[1][4]

Qualification in 1972-73 season European competitionsEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Dapčević, Žarko (23 May 2016). "ISTORIJA: MAJSTORICA ZA ZVEZDINU TITULU 1972". Koš magazin blog. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  2. ^ "Simonović: Još 1971. godine u Zadru su nam skandirali "Srbe na vrbe"". Tanjug. 7 May 2014. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  3. ^ "Yugoslav basketball league standings 1945-91". Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  4. ^ Martinović, Dragan (22 January 2017). "DRAŽEN PETROVIĆ ILI RADIVOJ KORAĆ?". Koš magazin. Retrieved 12 February 2017.