Yesterday at the Dom Sportova arena in Zagreb, KK Cedevita claimed their third -- and third consecutive -- Croatian League title with an 84-77 win over 18-time Croatian champs and crosstown rivals KK Cibona. The win gave Cedevita a 3-0 series sweep following an 87-76 win at home last Sunday and a 97-83 road win at the Dražen Petrović Basketball Hall on Monday.
(Petrović led Cibona to two Euroleague titles prior to being signed by the Portland Trailblazers, and the arena was named in his honor following his sudden death in 1993.)
In the final, Miro Bilan and Luka Babic each posted double-doubles, Bilan scoring 20 with 12 boards and Babic also hauling in 12 rebounds while scoring 16 points. Marko Arapovic had 14 while Nemanja Gordic scored 12.
With Cedevita holding a 2-0 series lead, Jacob Pullen got a bit of a breather before a callup to the Georgian National Team. Pullen, who'd scored 15 in the game two victory, only played 23 minutes in the clincher, going 2-5 from threeland and adding a free throw to finish with seven points. Henry (Bill) Walker added a pair of points in five minutes of action, and former Cincinnati Bearcat James White also scored two points in 17 minutes.
The win concludes the 2015-16 season for Cedevita, which also won the Krešimir Ćosić Cup, Croatia's annual cup competition; it was Cedevita's third straight cup win as well, and fourth in five years. The team finished the 2015-16 Euroleague season tied for last in Group E after advancing to the final sixteen, but did not qualify for the 2016-17 edition after falling in the Adriatic League semifinals.
It's the second domestic league championship for Pullen, who was also a member of (and won a player of the week award for) the 2013-14 FC Barcelona squad which won the Liga Endesa title. Over all three competitions in the 2015-16 season -- Croatian League, Adriatic League, and Euroleague -- Pullen was second to Bilan in points per game, scoring 13.2 a contest over 70 total games to Bilan's 13.3.
As for Walker, this was his first season playing in Europe after several years of bouncing back and forth between the NBA and the D-League. Walker averaged 6.4 per game, appearing in only 40 contests.
Pullen and Walker's plans for 2016-17 aren't yet known, but Pullen listed in the roster for the Purple and White in this year's edition of The Basketball Tournament... so his next action could be repping K-State again. Fan voting concluded at the end of May, and Purple and Black held on to claim the top spot in the vote totals, besting The Bluegrass Boys (Kentucky Alumni) 4,064 votes to 3,222.