KK Cibona

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Cibona logo
NicknameVukovi (Wolves)
LeaguesABA League
Croatian League
Founded24 April 1946; 73 years ago (1946-04-24)
ArenaDražen Petrović Basketball Hall
LocationZagreb, Croatia
Team colorsBlue and White
PresidentMladen Bušić
Team managerIgor Kolarić
Head coachIvan Velić
Team captainMarin Rozić
Championships2 EuroLeague
2 Saporta Cup
1 FIBA Korać Cup
1 ABA League
19 Croatian Leagues
7 Croatian Cups
3 Yugoslav Leagues
8 Yugoslav Cups
Retired numbers3 (4, 10, 11)

KK Cibona (English: BC Cibona), commonly known as Cibona or Cibona Zagreb, is a Croatian professional basketball club based in Zagreb, Croatia. The club competes in the ABA League and the Croatian League.

The club is a founding member and shareholder of the Adriatic Basketball Association.[1]


Formation and early years[edit]

Cibona's history dates to late autumn of 1945 when Sloboda (Freedom) was founded as sports society of bank workers, craftsmen, traders and clerks. On April 24, 1946 thanks to basketball enthusiast Branimir Volfer and his friends Ljubo Prosen and Joso Miloš, basketball section of Sloboda, predecessor of today's Cibona, is formed. Its first game was against local rival Slavija on May 7, 1946. Sloboda did not last too long under that name as in November 1946 it merged with Tekstilac, Amater and Grafičar into Sportsko društvo Zagreb (Sports Society Zagreb). Name changing continued through next four years. In late 1948 it was known as Vihor (Vortex) and already in 1949 as Polet (Elan). Finally, in June 1950, the club changed name to Lokomotiva (Locomotive) and that name is going to stick for next 25 years. Lokomotiva competed in Yugoslav top division since 1951, with only two years (1952 and 1960) spent in second division.

Name through history
  • SD Sloboda (April 1946 – November 1946)
  • SD Zagreb (November 1946 – December 1948)
  • KK Vihor (December 1948 – February 1949)
  • KK Polet (February 1949 – June 1950)
  • KK Lokomotiva (1950–1975)
  • KK Cibona (1975–present)

First trophies[edit]

Lokomotiva's first major trophy came in 1969, when they won the Yugoslav Cup, led by legendary Hall of Famer Mirko Novosel. Final game against AŠK Olimpija was played in Lokomotiva's new basketball hall "Kutija šibica" (literally meaning Matchbox). Led by phenomenal trio Većeslav Kavedžija, Nikola Plećaš and Milivoj Omašić, Lokomotiva won the game 78:77.

Their first European trophy came in 1972 when Lokomotiva won the premier edition of FIBA Korać Cup. Their opponent in finals was OKK Beograd and first game was played in Belgrade. OKK Beograd won the first game 83:71 but in a return match Lokomotiva, led by great Nikola Plećaš (nicknamed Sveti Nikola) who scored 40 points, trashed the Belgrade side by 94–73.

Cibona's glory years[edit]

Nakić, D. Petrović & Knego's jerseys hanging in the rafters of the Dražen Petrović Basketball Hall

In November 1975, the basketball club split away from the Lokomotiva sports society and came under direct control of the municipal authorities of the city of Zagreb. Politicians such as Slavko Šajber became very influential in the club during this period and set about getting the club some financial support. In that regard, the club's main sponsors became four SR Croatia-based food industry giants (all of them state-owned at the time): Kraš, Franck, Badel and Voće. The club took the name Cibona, taken from the Latin cibus bonus, which translates to good food.

For the first trophy under the new name Cibona, they had to wait until 1980, when they won the Yugoslav Cup. The Final match was played in Borovo, and Cibona's opponent was mighty Bosna, led by Bogdan Tanjević on the bench, and Mirza Delibašić on the court. But Cibona, led by impressive Andro Knego, managed to beat them 68:62. This trophy marked the beginning of Cibona's golden era, influenced by two great basketball players and Hall of FamersKrešimir Ćosić and Dražen Petrović. Between 1980 and 1988, Cibona won 14 major trophies: 3 Yugoslav League championships (1982, 1984, 1985), 7 Yugoslav Cups (1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1988), 2 FIBA European Champions Cups (1985, 1986), and 2 Cup Winners' Cups (1982, 1987).

At the beginning of the war in the Former Yugoslavia in 1991, the team was forced to emigrate in order to play their games, and in an area with the minimum guarantees required by FIBA. For this reason, the club played in Spain for two years (seasons 1991–92 and 1992–93), specifically in Puerto Real (Cádiz).

Croatian powerhouse[edit]

In independent Croatia Cibona became dominant force strongly backed both politically and economically. The crisis of traditionally powerful Dalmatian clubs Split, Zadar and Šibenik also came in hand and Cibona won 11 national titles in a row (from 1992 to 2002). They were also regular Euroleague participant, reaching quarterfinals in 1996/97 and 1999/00.

Cibona's dominance in national championship was broken in 2003 when Split CO led by coach Petar Skansi, legendary Dino Rađa and revived talent Josip Sesar won the championship. Cibona regained the title next season, but was beaten in finals by Zadar season after. In 2005/06 and 2006/07 Cibona won championships beating Zadar in final series twice but then shockingly missed the final series in 2007/08 after Split eliminated them in semifinal series.

In 2001 regional basketball league called Adriatic League was formed and Cibona took part in it. After disappointing first and second season, Cibona hosted Final Four and reached final game in 2003/04 but was defeated on home court by FMP Reflex.

Recent seasons[edit]

Recent seasons have been a mixture of success and failure for Cibona.

In national championship Cibona won four out of five recent league titles but this dominance is seriously put on test by rise of large company backed Cedevita.

In European competitions Cibona lost its Euroleague license for the 2011/12 season after competing in Euroleague since its formation. During 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons Cibona competed in Eurocup but failed to win any game.

In regional ABA League Cibona had a great 2009/10 season. Cibona entered Final four held in Arena Zagreb as a top seeded team. After beating Union Olimpija in semifinals, Cibona faced Partizan in final game. Partizan won the title thanks to an off-the-glass three-pointer by Dušan Kecman from half-court at the buzzer, bringing the celebration of Cibona players and staff (who already invaded the floor as Bojan Bogdanović scored a corner three-pointer for Cibona with just 0.6 seconds left on the clock) to an abrupt end. The final score was 75–74 and Cibona once again didn't manage to win a title at the home court. The next three seasons in regional league were disappointing for Cibona, finishing 12th, 7th and 11th.

In the 2013–14 season, under head coach Slaven Rimac, Cibona won the ABA League championship, despite huge financial problems the club was facing.[2] As a champion of the league, Cibona had direct spot in the Euroleague, but withdrew from it in order to stabilize financially.[3] Eventually, Crvena Zvezda, as third in the standings, took its spot in the Euroleague.[4]


Total titles: 43

Domestic competitions[edit]

Winners (19): 1991–92, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1995–96, 1996–97, 1997–98, 1998–99, 1999–00, 2000–01, 2001–02, 2003–04, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2018–19
Runners-up (7): 2002–03, 2004–05, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17, 2017–18
Winners (7): 1994–95, 1995–96, 1998–99, 2000–01, 2001–02, 2008–09, 2012–13
Runners-up (10): 1991–92, 1993–94, 1996–97, 1999–00, 2002–03, 2004–05, 2007–08, 2009–10, 2017–18, 2018–19
Winners (3): 1981–82, 1983–84, 1984–85
Runners-up (4): 1960–1961, 1970–71, 1980–81, 1985–86
Winners (8): 1968–69, 1979–80, 1980–81, 1981–82, 1982–83, 1984–85, 1985–86, 1987–88
Runners-up (2): 1971–72, 1990–91

European competitions[edit]

Winners (2): 1984–85, 1985–86
Winners (2): 1981–82, 1986–87
Semifinalist (3): 1980–81, 1983–84, 1988–89
Winners (1): 1971–1972
Runners-up (2): 1979–80, 1987–88
Winners (1): 1987
Runners-up (1): 1986
  • Euroleague Opening Tournament (1): 2001

Regional competitions[edit]

Winners (1): 2013–14
Runners-up (3): 2003–04, 2008–09, 2009–10

Worldwide competitions[edit]

3rd place (3): 1985, 1986, 1987

Other competitions[edit]

3rd place (1): 1992

Individual club awards[edit]

Winners (1): 1984–85
Winners (1): 1981–82

Season by season record[edit]

The following table shows the records from the season 1990–91 in all competitions:

Home arenas[edit]


Current roster[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.

KK Cibona roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Nat. Name Ht. Age
G 1 Croatia Bilinovac, Josip 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in) 28 – (1990-12-30)30 December 1990
PG 2 Slovenia Rebec, Matic 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in) 24 – (1995-01-24)24 January 1995
PF 8 Croatia Bundović, Filip 2.03 m (6 ft 8 in) 25 – (1994-02-16)16 February 1994
PF 9 Croatia Vucić, Mate 2.03 m (6 ft 8 in) 22 – (1997-11-11)11 November 1997
SG 14 Switzerland Kovac, Roberto 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in) 29 – (1990-05-02)2 May 1990
F 15 Croatia Novačić, Ivan 2.01 m (6 ft 7 in) 34 – (1985-09-03)3 September 1985
C 17 Croatia Prkačin, Roko 2.06 m (6 ft 9 in) 17 – (2002-11-26)26 November 2002
F 20 Croatia Rozić, Marin (C) 2.01 m (6 ft 7 in) 36 – (1983-02-14)14 February 1983
C 21 Croatia Ljubičić, Krešimir 2.10 m (6 ft 11 in) 21 – (1998-07-11)11 July 1998
PG 25 United States Gibson, Shane 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in) 29 – (1990-01-05)5 January 1990
F 46 Croatia Ramljak, Marko 2.01 m (6 ft 7 in) 26 – (1993-03-14)14 March 1993
G Croatia Rašić, Sandro 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in) 18 – (2001-04-02)2 April 2001
C Croatia Branković, Danko 2.15 m (7 ft 1 in) 19 – (2000-11-05)5 November 2000
PG Croatia Katić, Toni 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in) 27 – (1992-07-09)9 July 1992
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)
Strength & conditioning coach(es)
  • Croatia Ivan Antunović
  • Croatia Krševan Sorić
  • Croatia Nikica Šižgorić

  • (C) Team captain
  • Injured Injured

Updated: September 28, 2019

Retired numbers[edit]

Notable players[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.


Head coaches[edit]


Current officeholders are:[5]

  • President: Mladen Bušić
  • Members of the Assembly: Mladen Bušić, Zdenko Antunović, Slavko Kojić, Vjekoslav Šafranić, Marin Rozić
  • General manager: Domagoj Čavlović

Top performances in European and worldwide competitions[edit]

Season Achievement Notes
1982–83 Semi-final group stage 6th place in a group with Ford Cantù, Billy Milano, Real Madrid, CSKA Moscow and Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv
1984–85 Champions defeated Real Madrid 87-78 in the final of European Champions Cup in Athens
1985–86 Champions defeated Žalgiris 94-82 in the final of European Champions Cup in Budapest
1991–92 Quarter-finals eliminated by Montigalà Joventut, 68-73 (L) in Zagreb and 67-92 (L) in Badalona
1994–95 Quarter-finals eliminated by Real Madrid Teka, 78-82 (L) in Zagreb and 70-82 (L) in Madrid
1999–00 Quarter-finals eliminated by Panathinaikos, 62-73 (L) in Athens and 63-69 (L) in Zagreb
FIBA Saporta Cup
1969–70 Quarter-finals eliminated by Fides Napoli, 80-89 (L) in Zagreb and 84-102 (L) in Napoli
1980–81 Semi-finals eliminated by FC Barcelona, 85-92 (L) in Barcelona and 79-75 (W) in Zagreb
1981–82 Champions defeated Real Madrid 96-95 in the final of European Cup Winners' Cup in Brussels
1983–84 Semi-finals eliminated by Real Madrid, 89-91 (L) in Zagreb and 80-94 (L) in Madrid
1986–87 Champions defeated Scavolini Pesaro 89-74 in the final of European Cup Winners' Cup in Novi Sad
1988–89 Semi-finals eliminated by Real Madrid, 91-92 (L) in Zagreb and 97-119 (L) in Madrid
FIBA Korać Cup
1972 Champions defeated OKK Beograd, 71-83 (L) in Belgrade and 94-73 (W) in Zagreb in the double finals of Korać Cup
1979–80 Final lost to Arrigoni Rieti, 71-76 in the final (Liège)
1987–88 Final lost to Real Madrid, 89-102 (L) in Madrid and 94-93 (W) in Zagreb in the double final
1990–91 Quarter-finals eliminated by Shampoo Clear Cantù, 70-80 (L) in Cucciago and 77-80 (L) in Zagreb
FIBA Europe Cup
2015–16 Quarter-finals eliminated 2–1 by Enisey, 92-94 (L) in Krasnoyarsk, 77-69 (W) in Zagreb and 78-82 (L) in Krasnoyarsk
2016–17 Quarter-finals eliminated by Élan Chalon, 87-85 (W) in Zagreb and 78-83 (L) in Chalon-sur-Saône
Intercontinental Cup
1985 3rd place 3rd place in Barcelona, lost to FC Barcelona 68–74 in the semi-final (Girona), defeated San Andrés 109-82 in the 3rd place game
1986 3rd place 3rd place in Buenos Aires, lost to Žalgiris 77–104 in the semi-final, defeated Corinthians 119-96 in the 3rd place game
1987 3rd place 3rd place in Milan, lost to Tracer Milano 83–94 in the semi-final, defeated Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv 106-96 in the 3rd place game

The road to the European Cup victories[edit]


  1. ^ "Company registration info: ABA LIGA j.t.d." aba-liga.com. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  2. ^ "CEDEVITA – CIBONA 59-72 Briljantni Šarić srušio Cedevitu i odveo Cibonu do prvog trofeja u regionalnoj ABA ligi!". jutarnji.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  3. ^ "Zvezda direktno u Evroligi?". b92.net (in Serbian). Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  4. ^ "Cibona odustala, Zvezda u Evroligi!". b92.net (in Serbian). Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  5. ^ "Board of KK Cibona". cibona.com. Retrieved 30 July 2019.

External links[edit]