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1985–86 Yugoslav First Basketball League

Notable eventsEdit

Dražen Petrović's 112-point gameEdit

The first week of fixtures on 5 October 1985 included a game in Zagreb at Dom Sportova's small hall between Cibona and visiting Smelt Olimpija — a contest that would go down in history for Dražen Petrović's Yugoslav Basketball League single-game scoring record as well as the strange circumstance that allowed it to happen.

The visiting team failed to fulfill their player registration administrative obligations in time — Olimpija general manager Radovan Lorbek was reportedly late with submitting a registration letter to the Yugoslav Basketball Federation (KSJ) headquarters in Belgrade[1] — rendering their entire first team roster ineligible for the regular season opening game and forcing them to field players from their youth system. Sending out juniors (age 18 and under) would've normally been the first option; however, since Olimpija had no junior team within their youth system that year, they had to go to an even younger age group — making do with cadets (16 and under).[1] In the end, the team they took to Zagreb consisted of players born in 1968 and younger, including Igor Đurović, Matjaž Strmole, Jože Maček, Dag Kralj, Tine Erjavec, Jure Zorčič, Gregor Stražiščar, Andrej Novina, and Tine Merzelj.[1][2]

Cibona for their part decided to send out a mixed roster consisting of players from their youth system plus their twenty-one-year-old superstar Dražen Petrović who used the opportunity of playing against inferior opposition to shatter Radivoj Korać's single-game Yugoslav League scoring record from 1962 when Korać scored 74 points for OKK Beograd versus Mladost Zagreb. In a 158–77 blowout in front of 2,000 people against the hapless Ljubljana team, Petrović scored 112 points on 40 for 60 field goal shooting that included 10 for 20 three-point shooting.[3] He did so despite reportedly announcing his intention of leaving the floor once he reached Korać's 74 points.[1] Petrović was one of only five Cibona players to get on the score sheet that day, the other four were eighteen-year-old Dražen Anzulović with 16 points, eighteen-year-old Vladimir Rizman with 14, nineteen-year-old Ivo Nakić with 12, and Ivan Šoštarec with 4.[1]

Cibona's 20-game winning streakEdit

Cibona dominated the regular season with only a single loss in the entire campaign, thus equaling the feat that had previously been managed only twice in Yugoslav League history — Zadar in 1974–75 and Crvena Zvezda in 1949. Behind young Dražen Petrović's scoring exploits (his regular-season scoring average was 43.3 points per game), the Zagreb club opened the league campaign with twenty straight wins before finally losing, 102–100, away to Šibenka (Petrović's old team) in the second last game of the regular season — a contest in which Petrović recorded 52 points, but Šibenka still eked out a win led by Predrag Šarić who scored 36 points.[3]

Budućnost's surprise successEdit

Budućnost was the season's biggest surprise package.[citation needed] Playing only its 6th season in the country's top-flight basketball league, the unfancied side from Titograd that had never had a positive season record (more wins than losses) in its previous five seasons was now nearly unbeatable at home, losing only one game in front of its home fans — against powerful Cibona. Led by veterans Duško Ivanović (28.5 ppg season average), Dragan Ivanović, Nikola Antić, Milatović, and Jadran Vujačić, the team also received a great contribution[clarification needed] from its rising star Žarko Paspalj who turned 20 years of age over the course of the season.[3]

Regular seasonEdit


Regular-season ranking 1985–86 Pt G V P PF PS
1. Cibona 43 22 21 1 2474 2074
2. Zadar 37 22 15 7 2050 1921
3. Budućnost 35 22 13 9 1990 2002
4. Šibenka 34 22 12 10 2069 2066
5. Partizan 34 22 12 10 2165 2119
6. Jugoplastika 34 22 12 10 2013 1979
7. Bosna 32 22 10 12 1979 2046
8. Crvena Zvezda 32 22 10 12 2098 2114
9. Borac Čačak 30 22 8 14 1901 1964
10. Rabotnički 29 22 7 15 1884 2058
11. Smelt Olimpija 29 22 8 14 2058 2142
12. Sloga 26 22 4 18 2028 2193


Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
1 Cibona 2
8 Crvena Zvezda 1
1 Cibona 2
4 Partizan 1
4 Šibenka 0
5 Partizan 2
1 Cibona 1
2 Zadar 2
2 Zadar 2
7 Bosna 0
2 Zadar 2
3 Jugoplastika 0
3 Budućnost 0
6 Jugoplastika 2


Game 1: Cibona vs Zadar 84-70Edit

Cibona dominated the opening game of the final series on its home court with strong outside shooting — behind Dražen Petrović's 28 points, Danko Cvjetićanin's 22, and Sven Ušić's 16.[3]

Still, the visitors from Zadar could find some comfort in their defensive play due to managing to limit Cibona to 84 points — well below 116.8 points per game Cibona had been scoring in their prior six games of the 1986 Yugoslav League playoffs.[3]

Game 2: Zadar vs Cibona 84-73Edit

Zadar won game two on its home court at Jazine, having led comfortably throughout the entire contest (halftime score was 42-30). Receiving balanced scoring from its roster — Petar Popović and Veljko Petranović with 15 points each, Ante Matulović with 14, Draženko Blažević 12, Darko Pahlić 11, and Ivica Obad 10 — Zadar's win was never in question.[3]

Cibona's best player Dražen Petrović didn't appear in game two somewhat controversially with the official reason provided by the club that he got injured during warm-up right before the game. There has been rife speculation after the game as well as in the years and decades since in the Yugoslav press and public, that, having been so convinced of their superiority over Zadar, Cibona essentially threw game two because they wanted to celebrate the Yugoslav league title in front of their fans at home in game three.[4][5]

Game 3: Cibona vs Zadar 110-111 2OTEdit

With the best-of-three series tied at one apiece, the deciding game 3 was played on Cibona's home court, Dom Sportova, on Saturday, 26 April 1986.[4]

Supported by over 10,000 fans, despite plenty of nervy play from the home team (Dražen Petrović getting a technical for accosting the referee and Franjo Arapović getting thrown out of the game for striking Darko Pahlić),[3] Cibona had the early lead behind Cvjetićanin's scoring (got 22 of Cibona's 42 first half points) while Dražen Petrović, who returned to the squad after controversially sitting out game two, also scored actively.[4] Still, Zadar kept chasing with most of its first half points coming from their twenty-six-year-old captain Veljko Petranović and twenty-two-year-old center Stojko Vranković. The team's leading scorer, shooting guard Petar Popović, on the other hand, was completely out of the shooting rhythm — missing his first three shots, getting benched seven minutes into the game by head coach Vlade Đurović, and ending up scoreless at halftime. Cibona was up 42-37 at halftime.[4]

Popović finally managed to get on the scoresheet five minutes into the second half, which led to him starting to score in bunches. Still, Cibona led continuously and midway through the second half, with ten minutes to go, they were up by eleven points — 71-60 — its highest lead of the game.[4] Zadar made one last push and managed to catch up with three-point shooting to tie up the score 85-85 at the end of regulation.[4] The visiting team even had the last possession, but failed to score.[3]

Midway through the overtime, Cibona's leader Dražen Petrović fouled out with his fifth personal foul.[3] At the end of overtime, the score was tied again, 96-96. In the second overtime, the game was decided by Popović's two three-pointers as Zadar pulled out a famous 110-111 victory on the road.

It was Cibona's first home loss in a competitive game in over three years in all competitions — with their previous home loss occurring on 16 March 1983 in the Yugoslav League versus Red Star Belgrade.[4] And it was a costly loss for Cibona because it meant that despite winning the FIBA European Champions Cup that season, the club didn't get to compete in the next season's edition of the competition.

The winning roster of Zadar:[6]

Coach:   Vlade Đurović

Scoring leadersEdit

  1. Dražen Petrović (Cibona) – 906 points (43.1 ppg)[7]the highest ever per game scoring average over the course of a single season in the history of the Yugoslav First Basketball League.[8]
  2.  ???
  3. Duško Ivanović (Budućnost) – ___ points (28.5ppg)[3]

Qualification in 1986-87 season European competitionsEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e Đurović, Igor (27 December 2016). "KAKO NAM JE DRAŽEN DAO 112 POENA". Koš magazin. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
  2. ^ "Privilegij je bilo na parketu doživeti Dražena, čeprav ti je nasul 112 točk". RTV Slovenija. 9 October 2015. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Bjelobaba, Darko (26 October 2014). "Sezona 1985-86: Vlade Đurović, heroj Jazina". Koš magazin. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Klobučarić, Goran (26 April 2018). "Vremeplov: Čudesna subota u Domu sportova". Koš magazin. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  5. ^ Č., S. (26 April 2016). "Noć kad je Zadar napisao najljepšu košarkašku bajku i rasplakao Dražena i Zagreb". Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  6. ^ "Yugoslav basketball league standings 1945-91". Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  7. ^ Martinović, Dragan (3 January 2017). "PRIČA O STRELCIMA: PRVE I DRUGE VIOLINE". Koš magazin. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  8. ^ Martinović, Dragan (22 January 2017). "DRAŽEN PETROVIĆ ILI RADIVOJ KORAĆ?". Koš magazin. Retrieved 12 February 2017.