Jug Dubrovnik beat Jadran in Split (11:10) in a thrilling first game of the Croatian League final. An experienced Maro Jokovic scored a winner just 35 seconds before the final buzzer
The semifinals of the Serbian League playoffs finished. Radnicki and Novi Beograd advanced to the gold-medal matches.
Jadran S – Jug 10:11 (3:2, 2:2, 2:3, 3:4)
Jadran Split: Marinic Kragic 3, Bukic 3, Buric 2, Delic 1, Setka 1.
Jug AO: Argyropoulos 2, Krzic 2, Kakaris 2, Benic 2, Fatovic 1, Jokovic 1, Zuvela 1.
Jadran Split, which hadn’t played in the Croatian League final for almost 30 years (between 1993 and 2022), didn’t manage to benefit from a home-field advantage in the first game.
Jadran beat Jug in the previous crucial matches this season (the Croatian League final and the Regional League semifinal), but Jug emerged as the winner after the first battle for the national title.
The visitors took an opening 2:0 lead, but Jadran scored three unanswered goals in the last two and a half minutes of the first quarter for a 3:2 advantage. The hosts doubled their lead during the second quarter (4:2, 5:3), but then came a new turn and Jug’s series of 3:0. Early in the third period, the visitors went in front again after Benic netted for 5:6.
Jadran took a 7:6 lead in the last minute of the third quarter. Still, just 10 seconds before the last break, Jug’s center-forward Konstantinos Kakaris converted a man-up to level at 7:7.
After the middle break, Jug took a one-goal lead three times, but Jadran leveled at 8:8, 9:9, and 10:10. Jadran lost the ball with 48 seconds to go, and Jug started a counter-attack, which was finished by Maro Jokovic, who gave Jug an 11:10 lead. The home side lost the ball in its last possession with 18 seconds left on the clock and that was the end of the contest. Jug kept the minimal advantage in the remaining time.
Jadran’s Luka Bukic and Jerko Marinic Kragic were the best scorers of the match, with three goals each. Seven players of Jug got on the scoreboard, but one of the heroes of the game was goalkeeper Toni Popadic, who blocked 14 shots.
Jug will host Jadran in the second match on May 17.
Mladost – Solaris 8:10 (2:2, 4:3, 1:4, 1:1)
HAVK Mladost: Lazic 2, Dasic 2, Rakovac 2, Biljaka 1, Bajic 1.
Solaris: Goreta 2, Pelicaric 2, Penava 2, Malenica 2,Bulat 1, Koprcina 1.
Solaris upset Mladost in the first match of the third-place playoffs. Until the middle of the third period, it was an even contest. But, then Solaris made a 4:0 series. The visitors turned around a 6:7 deficit to a 10:7 lead, which proved crucial for the outcome.
Primorje – Mornar 9:11 (2:3, 2:2, 2:3, 3:3) – score in the series 0:2
Primorje: Jurisic 3, Tkac 2, Burburan 2, Tomic 1, Blazic 1.
Mornar: R.Akrap 4, Vrdoljak 2, Buzdovancic 2, D.Akrap 1, Omrcen 1, Duzevic 1.
Mornar finished the Championship in 5th place and qualified for the LEN Euro Cup.
Radnicki – Partizan 16:10 (3:2, 6:2, 5:4, 2:2) – score in the series 2:0
Radnicki: Ukropina 3, Pljevancic 2, Cuk 2, Lukic 2, Vrlic 2, Radulovic 2, Stanojevic 1, Jankovic 1, Krug 1.
Partizan: Bowen 3, Milos 2, Barac 1, Vickovic 1, Vico 1, Gak 1, Vavic 1.
Sabac – Novi Beograd 9:11 (3:4, 2:3, 1:3, 3:1) – score in the series 0:2
Sabac: Stojanovic 4, Sulc 3, Stanic 1, Cetković 1.
Novi Beograd: S.Rasovic 3, D.Pijetlovic 3, Jaksic 2, Mandic 1, Vucinic 1, Martinovic 1.
Just like in 2021, Radnicki and Novi Beograd will play in the final of the Serbian Championships.
After a narrow 11:10 victory over Partizan in Belgrade, title-holder Radnicki recorded a quite convincing win in Kragujevac. Partizan had an advantage in the opening minutes, but Radnicki went to 9:3 at the finish of the first half. Early in the third quarter, Partizan halved the deficit (6:9), but the hosts regained a 6-goal lead by the end of this period (14:8) and secured the win.
Novi Beograd had an easier task. The Regional League winner ousted Sabac. The favorite recorded a 12:6 victory in Sabac. Two goals separated the rivals in the game in Sabac, but there was no excitement at the finish. Novi Beograd broke the hosts in the middle of the game, scoring four straight goals to earn a 10:5 advantage.
The games of the final (best of three) will be played on May 18, 21, and, if needed, 25. Novi Beograd will be the host in the first and the possible third match.
But, Novi Beograd and Radnicki will face once before the playoffs final. The Kragujevac-based side will host Novi Beograd on Wednesday in the 14th round of the Champions League Round 14.
Proleter – Crvena zvezda 9:17 (2:2, 2:6, 3:4, 2:5) – score in the series 0:2
Proleter: Mitrovic 4, Trajkovic 1, Ljubenovic 1, Ilic 1, Bosic 1, Metkovic 1.
Crvena Zvezda: Subotic 4, Trtovic 4, Markovic 2, Pjesivac 2, Radovic 2, Stojanović 1,Gardasevic 1, Smiljevic 1.
Valis – Vojvodina 13:10 (2:2, 5:4, 2:2, 4:2) – score in the series 1:1
Valis: Zivojinovic 3, Jegorov 3, Porobic 3, Sofranac 2, Popovic 1, Baucalo 1.
Vojvodina: Bogdanovic 5, Rogac 2, Tintor 1, Biocanin 1, Radanović 1.
Crvena Zvezda advanced to the 5th-place playoffs after another convincing win over Proleter. Valis and Vojvodina will play the 3rd game.