Novi Beograd and Crvena Zvezda will play in the final of the Serbian Championships.
Title-holder Novi Beograd convincingly defeated Partizan 18:10 in the third match of the semifinals, while Crvena Zvezda beat Radnicki 12:8. The Red Whites secured a solid win thanks to a 3:0 fourth quarter.
2022/23 Serbian League, playoffs, semifinals (best-of-three), Matches 3
Crvena Zvezda – Radnicki 12:8 (1:1, 3:4, 5:3, 3:0) – the score in the series 2:1
Crvena Zvezda: Basara 3, Radovic 3, Subotic 3, Vasic 2, Tankosic 1.
Radnicki: Cuk 4, Brankovic 1, Stanojevic 1, Gavrilovic 1, Draskovic 1.
Radnicki was without Josip Vrlic, who finished the season after having his jaw broken in the previous match against Crvena Zvezda. Luka Pljevancic, whose nose was broken at the finish of that game, helped Radnicki, playing with a protective mask. As for Crvena Zvezda, first-pick center-forward Milos Vukicevic hasn’t recovered from an injury yet.
Radnicki led for most of the first half. The hosts went ahead just once (3:2). At halftime, Radnicki had a slim 5:4 advantage, which was doubled by Milos Cuk early in the third period (6:4). However, after that goal, Crvena Zvezda imposed its rhythm and scored four straight goals for an 8:6 lead. The visitors twice reduced the gap to one goal (7:8 and 8:9) and were still in the game before the final eight minutes. However, Crvena Zvezda netted three unanswered goals in the fourth period (Subotic twice with a power play advantage and Vasic).
The final series (best of three) will be played on May 10, 17 and, if needed, 20. Novi Beograd, the reigning champion and the leader after the regular season, will be the host in the first and eventual third match.
Radnicki and Partizan will play in the 3rd-place playoffs (best of three)
Novi Beograd – Partizan 18:10 (5:5, 6:1, 2:1, 5:3) – the score in the series 2:1
Novi Beograd: Vucinic 4, N.Jaksic 4, S.Rasovic 3, Granados 2, Drasovic 2, Pijetlovic 1, V.Rasovic 1, Skoumpakis 1.
Partizan: Smiljevic 3, Giga 2, Trtovic 2, P.Jaksic 1, Paparic 1, Bozovic 1.
Partizan caused a big surprise in the previous game with Novi Beograd, beating the heavy favorite by two goals (12:10). The Black Whites kept the momentum and opened the game in Novi Beograd’s pool quite well. Partizan led 4:2. Novi Beograd made a 3:0 series for a 5:4 lead. Still, Partizan leveled at 5:5 and at 6:6. But Novi Beograd proved it wouldn’t let a new surprise. By the end of the first half, the hosts scored five goals in a row to enter the second half leading 11:6, and there was no way back for Partizan.