The final of the Croatian League playoffs will be a replay of the Croatian Cup final. As expected, Jadran and Jug advanced to the games for the title.
Jug defeated Mladost narrowly (14:11), while Jadran trashed Solaris (14:7) in the second match of the semifinals.
Mladost – Jug 11:14 (2:2, 2:5, 5:3, 2:4) – score in the series 0:2
Mladost: Rakovac 5, Dasic 2, Bajic 2, Lazic 2.
Jug: Kakaris 4, Zuvela 4, Benic 3, Argyropoulos 2, Fatovic 1.
Solaris – Jadran S 7:14 (0:4, 1:3, 5:2, 1:5) – score in the series 0:2
Solaris: Penava 3, Pelicaric 1, Goreta 1, T.Sparada 1, Sirovec 1.
Jadran S: Marinic Kragic 5, Buric 2, Bukic 2, Kharkov 2, Delic 1, Setka 1, Stojanac 1.
The outgoing champion Mladost fought hard in the pool near the river Sava, but it couldn’t surprise the favorite and finished the season without a win over its arch-rival. The first quarter was balanced, but Jug took control after the first break.
The visitors opened the second quarter with four unanswered goals and jumped to a 6:2 lead. It seemed that Jug would achieve a convincing win. However, Mladost struck back strongly – with a 5:1 series. The hosts leveled at 7:7 in the 20th minute. Shortly after, Kakaris converted a man-up to give Jug an 8:7 lead. But, the hosts replied with two goals and earned a 9:8 advantage. Still, Jug entered the final period with a slim advantage (10:9). Two minutes and five seconds before the end, one goal separated the rivals – Jug had a 12:11 lead. The visitors had stronger nerves in the last two minutes and recorded a 14:11 victory.
This is the 31st season of the Croatian League. Jug will play in the final for the 25th time.
Jadran left no chance to Solaris and rushed to a 7:1 lead by halftime. The visitors reduced the speed after the middle break. Solaris cut the deficit (6:8) in the 24th minute. However, Jadran responded with a 6:1 run for a comfortable 14:7.
Jadran, which won 1st place in the regular season, will have home-field advantage in the 1st, 3rd, and (if is played) 5th match of the final.
POSK – Zadar 14:11 (4:2, 1:3, 0:3, 6:2, PSO 3:1) – first match 11:12