The home teams earned wins in the first matches of the semifinals of the Serbian Championships.
Novi Beograd beat Partizan by four goals (15:11). Partizan played very well, but Novi Beograd proved which team the favorite was.
Crvena Zvezda extended its series of wins over Radnicki, beating the Kragujevac-based side 12:10.
Both games offered twists and turns.
Partizan and Radnicki will be the hosts in the second games next Saturday.
2022/23 Serbian League, playoffs, semifinals (best-of-three)
Novi Beograd – Partizan 15:11 (3:4, 4:2, 5:3, 3:2)
Novi Beograd: Granados 6, Drasovic 2, N.Jaksic 2, Martinovic 2, S.Rasovic 1, Pijetlovic 1, Vlachopoulos 1.
Partizan: Gladovic 3, Smiljevic 3, Giga 2, P.Jaksic 1, Paparic, Milos 1.
Crvena zvezda – Radnicki 12:10 (1:2, 4:2, 5:3, 2:3)
Crvena Zvezda: Subotic 4, Seman 3, Markovic 1, Vasic 1, Basara 1, Milojevic 1, Radovic 1.
Radnicki: Draskovic 4, Cuk 3, Ukropina 2, Lukic 1, Stanojevic 1.
Novi Beograd needed a lot of time to overcome the tough resistance from Partizan. After Novi Beograd opened the scoring with a goal, Partizan responded with two and took the lead. The Black-Whites maintained their advantage until the first break (3:2), but Novi Beograd returned in the second quarter with three goals and took a 6:4 lead. Partizan fought back and leveled the score at 8:8 in the middle of the third quarter. The reigning champion, , led by Alvaro Granados, built a 3-goal lead (12:9) before the final eight minutes and didn’t let Partizan make a new comeback. Novi Beograd could be happy with the result, but Partizan shouldn’t be disappointed with its performance.
Radnicki started better than Crvena Zvezda in the duel in the “Milan Gale Muskatirovic 25 May” pool. The Kragujevac-based side scored two and conceded one goal in the first eight minutes. Two and a half minutes before the middle break, Radnicki was still in front – 3:2. But, then Crvena Zvezda netted three goals in less than two minutes, conceding one, taking a 5:4 lead.
At the beginning of the third period, the teams exchanged goals, and then Crvena Zvezda scored three in a row (Seman and Subotic 2) to jump from 6:5 to 9:5. That 3:0 series was the turning point. Radnicki halved the distance midway through the fourth quarter (8:10, 9:11). Still, Crvena Zvezda controlled the game. Milojevic made it 12:9 with a double man-up and decided everything. Radnicki scored the last goal in the game. Still, it couldn’t avoid the third consecutive loss to Crvena Zvezda (the Serbian Cup semifinals, a match in the regular season and the semifinals of the playoffs).