Another strong season has seen Cedevita Zagreb earn a place among Europe’s best in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague for the first time in club history. Even though Cedevita struggled early and missed the Eurocup Last 16, the team rebounded to win its first-ever title – the Croatian Cup. Cedevita downed KK Zagreb 74-72 in the final behind 27 points from Matjaz Smodis. Cedevita later reached the Adriatic League title game and the Croatian League finals to complete an outstanding season. Maccabi Electra and Cibona, respectively, stood in its way of more trophies, but Cedevita proved that it had the talent and confidence to challenge anyone, anywhere. Founded in 1991 as a local Zagreb club under the name KK Botinec, the team climbed to the second division in 1998 and reached the Croatian elite in 2002. Cedevita finished fifth overall in its Croatian League debut season and when the Atlantic Group decided to back the club and changed its name to KK Cedevita, everything seemed to click. With a strong sponsor ready to take it to the next level, Cedevita finished fifth in Croatia from 2007 to 2009 and then in 2009-10, finished seventh in its Adriatic League debut and reaching the Croatian League semifinals for the first time. Cedevita took the best-of-three semifinal series to a decisive showdown with Zadar, but came up narrowly short. Cedevita regrouped and continued to improve, however nobody expected what came next. Cedevita shocked everyone in the 2010-11 Eurocup. It downed Dynamo Moscow in the Qualifying Round and survived the regular season with a big home win against Azovmash. Cedevita went on to get past the Last 16 and knock off Asefa Estudiantes in the quarterfinals to get to the Eurocup Finals - an unthinkable result even for the club's biggest fans. Unics halted its great run in the semifinals, but Cedevita had written a brilliant page in competition history. Dontaye Draper earned Eurocup MVP honors, Aca Petrovic received the Best Coach award and players like Bracey Wright, Vedran Vukusic, Marino Bazdaric and Damjan Rudez also played valuable roles in the club's fantastic run. Cedevita also placed seventh in the Adriatic League and won the Croatian League regular season, but lost against Zagreb in the best-of-five finals. Last season a second straight trip to the Croatian League finals and a great run to the Adriatic League title game proved that Cedevita was no one-year wonder. Now the club steps into a new challenge as it looks to make waves in the 2012-13 Turkish Airlines Euroleague and there is every reason to expect to see a tough team continue the overall excellence of Croatian basketball in the Euroleague.
Croatian National Cup: 2012