The teams that finished in the first four places in the regular season of the Croatian Championships advanced to the semifinals of the playoffs.
There were no surprises in the return matches of the quarterfinals played this week. Jadran Split, Mladost and Primorje secured their semifinal berths and joined Jug, which qualified for the semifinals earlier.
2022/23 Croatian League, playoffs, quarterfinals (best of two), return matches
Mladost – Mornar 10:10 (4:1, 2:2, 3:6, 1:1) – 1st match 14:9
Mladost: Rakovac 3, Mijic 2, Gluhaic 1, Adeishvilli 1, Elez 1, Busic 1, Dadvani 1.
Mornar BS: Omrcen 4, Buselic 3, Akrap 1, Cumbelic 1, Hrvatic 1.
Jadran Split – POSK 15:4 (4:0, 5:1, 4:2, 2:1) – 1st match 13:5
Jadran S:Duzevic 4, Marinic Kragic 3, Tomasovic 2, Setka 2, Zovic 1, Zilic 1, Cagalj 1, Butic 1.
POSK: Vukic 3, Prizmic 1.
Primorje – Solaris 11:6 (3:0, 4:1, 2:3, 2:2) – 1st match 10:8
Primorje EB: Da.Brguljan 3, Cubranic 2, Babic 1, Te Riele 1, Kadivec 1, Brubnjak 1, Muslim 1, Crippa 1.
Solaris: Erak 2, Rak 2, Sirovec 1, Burburan 1.
Played earlier: Jug – Medevscak 23:9 and 18:11
Jadran Split, the only team that didn’t suffer a loss in the regular season, was merciless to POSK in both games. After a 8-goal victory in the first game, Jadran recorded a more convincing win in the return leg. In the middle of the second quarter, the score was 7:0. At halftime, it stood 9:1. Jadran slowed slightly in the second half, but didn’t let POSK reduce the gap.
Primorje advanced to the semifinals with a double win, as well as Jadran and Jug. Primorje opened the match against Solaris in Rijeka excellently and beat the rival easier than expected. The hosts rushed to a 7:0 lead before Solaris netted its first goal for the score at the halftime (1:7). The visitors started recovering during the second half, but it was too late for a comeback.
Mladost is the only team that didn’t record a double win in the quarterfinals. Still, the Zagreb-based side kept a big advantage (14:9) from the first leg. The hosts had a 6:3 goal lead at halftime. Mornar took control in the third period and leveled at 9:9 just a few seconds before the last break. Each side scored a goal apiece in the final eight minutes and Mladost recorded a comfortable 24:19 win in the aggregate score.
Pairs of the semifinals: (best of three): Jadran – Primorje, Jug – Mladost
5th-8th place semifinals: POSK – Solaris i Medvescak – Mornar.
KPK Korcula in 9th place
KPK Korcula finished the Croatian League in 9th place. The team from one of the biggest Croatian islands met Zadar 1952 in the 9th-place playoffs. Zadar recorded a 12:10 win in the first leg. But, KPK managed to overcome the deficit in the return leg in Korcula. It beat Zadar 14:9 and finished 9th.
1st leg: Zadar 1952 – KPK Korcula 12:10 (3:4, 4:4, 2:1, 3:1)
2nd leg: KPK Korcula – Zadar 1952 14:9 (2:2, 4:3, 5:2, 3:2)