First Federal Basketball League

(Redirected from Yugoslav Basketball League)

The First Federal Basketball League (Serbo-Croatian: Prva savezna košarkaška liga) was the highest tier level men's professional club basketball competition in SFR Yugoslavia. Founded in 1945 and folded in 1992 (1991-92 Winer Broker YUBA League), it was run by the Basketball Federation of Yugoslavia. With a total of 16 European-wide trophy winners and 11 finalists, the Yugoslav First Basketball League was one of the strongest European national domestic basketball leagues of all time.

First Federal Basketball League
CountriesSocialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Yugoslavia
ContinentFIBA Europe (Europe)
Partizan (5th title)
Most titlesCrvena zvezda (12 titles)
Level on pyramid1st Tier
Relegation toFirst B Federal League
Yugoslav Basketball Cup

Although each of the former Yugoslav countries have their own national domestic leagues, the six nations also now take part in the ABA League (commonly known as the Adriatic League), which was founded in 2001; and which is, the closest basketball league in existence today, that is similar to the former Yugoslav Basketball League.


After the end of Second World War in Yugoslavia in 1945, there arose a need for athletic development in the fledgling nation. Post-WW2 Yugoslavia was (with the exception of major cities such as Belgrade, Ljubljana, Zagreb, and Sarajevo) for the most part lacking in competitive opportunities in sports. In response to this, 1945 and 1946 saw an explosion of new clubs and leagues for every sport, the basketball league being part of this phenomenon.

The very first competition under the newly formed Yugoslav Basketball League in 1945, drawing parallel to the Yugoslav First League (of football), was more or less a nationwide affirmation of unity. Instead of individual clubs competing in the usual fashion, there were only eight teams. Six representing each state within Yugoslavia, one representing the province of Vojvodina, and the last representing the Yugoslav People's Army.

Only in the 1970s did the basketball culture of Yugoslavia truly come to enjoy recognition as the top nation in basketball. Breaking away from the dominance of the Soviet Union, the Yugoslav league gave rise to stars that would go on to win multiple Basketball World Championships and European Basketball Championships. After a decade of dominance, the 1980s saw a disappointing slump of talent in the Yugoslav Basketball League.

Once again the world witnessed a sleeping giant come awake in the early 90s as Yugoslavia won two straight European Basketball Championships and a World Basketball Championship. This momentum was swiftly halted by the ethnic strife which broke out in 1991. Clubs from SR Slovenia and SR Croatia withdrew from the league so that the 1991–92 season, the competition's last, was contested without them. The country got divided into five successor republics, each founding their own basketball federations with the exception of Serbia and Montenegro, which retained the name Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the YUBA League.

Despite all these changes, the joint league of clubs from the former Yugoslavia proved to be a winning league format formula, so on July 3, 2001, the Adriatic League was founded. It features teams from all the former Yugoslav states, and it exists alongside scaled-down versions of the individual national domestic leagues of each of the former Yugoslav states.

Title holdersEdit

Performance by clubEdit

Titles Club Years
12 Crvena zvezda 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1968–69, 1971–72
6 Olimpija 1957, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1966, 1969–70
Zadar 1965, 1967, 1967–68, 1973–74, 1974–75, 1985–86
Split 1970–71, 1976–77, 1987–88, 1988–89, 1989–90, 1990–91
5 Partizan 1975–76, 1978–79, 1980–81, 1986–87, 1991–92
4 OKK Beograd 1958, 1960, 1963, 1964
3 Bosna 1977–78, 1979–80, 1982–83
Cibona 1981–82, 1983–84, 1984–85
1 Yugoslav Army 1945
Proleter Zrenjanin 1956
Radnički Belgrade 1972–73

Performance by constitutional republicsEdit

Titles Republic
23   SR Serbia
15   SR Croatia
6   SR Slovenia
3   SR Bosnia and Herzegovina

Playoff finalsEdit

Playoffs, as a way of determining the Yugoslav First Basketball League champion following the regular season, got instituted in 1981 ahead of the 1981–82 season.

Season Home court advantage Coach Result Home court disadvantage Coach 1st of Regular Season Record
Partizan Borislav Ćorković
Cibona Mirko Novosel Partizan
Šibenka Vlade Đurović
Bosna Svetislav Pešić Šibenka
Cibona Mirko Novosel
Crvena zvezda Ranko Žeravica Cibona
Cibona Željko Pavličević
Crvena zvezda Ranko Žeravica Cibona
Cibona Željko Pavličević
Zadar Vlade Đurović Cibona
Partizan Duško Vujošević
Crvena zvezda Vlade Đurović Cibona
Jugoplastika Božidar Maljković
Partizan Duško Vujošević Jugoplastika
Partizan Duško Vujošević
Jugoplastika Božidar Maljković Partizan
Jugoplastika Božidar Maljković
Crvena zvezda Zoran Slavnić Jugoplastika
POP 84 Željko Pavličević
Partizan Duško Vujošević Pop 84
Partizan Željko Obradović
Crvena zvezda Duško Vujošević Partizan

Source: official website archive[3]

Clubs in European and worldwide competitionsEdit

Notable playersEdit

Award winners

Statistical leadersEdit

Successor leaguesEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ On Saturday, 9 April 1983 at Baldekin Hall in Šibenik, Šibenka and Bosna played the deciding game 3 of their best-of-three playoff final series. The contest was decided in the very last second: Bosna's Sabit Hadžić got called for a foul on Šibenka's Dražen Petrović who proceeded to score two free throws that won the game. The next morning, after watching video replays of the game's last moments, the presidency of the Basketball Federation of Yugoslavia (KSJ) established that the foul happened after time had already elapsed. The game was thus voided and a rematch was ordered at a neutral venue in Novi Sad. Unhappy with the decision Šibenka decided to boycott it, refusing to show up for the rematch. The championship got awarded to Bosna.[1]


  1. ^ "Režimski poraz iz ´83. bio je pobjeda: "I hrvatski klubovi grozili su se na pomisao da Dražen sa Šibenkom osvoji naslov"" (in Croatian). 8 April 2013. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
  2. ^ "Tri decenije od historijske utakmice Bosne i Šibenke (VIDEO)". Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  3. ^ "Tabele državnih prvenstava od sezone 1991/92 (archive copy at the Wayback Machine)". Basketball League of Serbia. 5 June 2008. Archived from the original on 5 June 2008. Retrieved 2 December 2010.