Interview with Aco Petrović on ABA League, Partizan, and Zvezda


A famous Croatian coach spoke about the future development of regional basketball and the ABA league, emphasizing its significance for the entire former Yugoslavia region and beyond. He stated that there is no alternative to the ABA league and discussed a potential scenario in which the EuroLeague becomes closed off, with invitations only going to Partizan and Zvezda. In this case, there needs to be a Plan B, and the coach expressed optimism about the benefits that could arise from the ABA league for national teams. He believes that clubs will be less focused on chasing after EuroLeague and EuroCup, allowing them to shift their attention to young players. He also mentioned that this region deserves recognition as either the number one or number two region in terms of talent, praising Spain for their dominance in this aspect.

The coach also gave the example of the Serbian club Mega, highlighting the benefits it brings to Croatian basketball as well. He mentioned Jelavić, an 18-year-old player, and expressed the possibility that he could surpass Šarić in four years. From a Croatian basketball perspective, he only had positive things to say about the project. He pointed out the number of Serbian national team players who have come from this environment.

In a conversation with Žarko Paspalj, the captain of the first golden national team after the sanctions, Petrović found a common ground in the belief that regional competition is necessary. Paspalj stated that everything should be viewed in the context of the beginnings and the love for basketball in this region, which has led them to be sitting here and talking about it. He described basketball as a romantic and good sport with positive outcomes.

In conclusion, the coach and Paspalj both emphasize the importance of regional basketball and the ABA league for the development of players and the overall basketball scene in the former Yugoslavia region. They believe in its potential to provide opportunities for young talents and elevate the region’s status in basketball.

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