Novi Beograd, the reigning Serbian champion, climbed atop the table of the national championships.
Novi Beograd defeated Radnicki convincingly in the big derby in Kragujevac 16:9 and took revenge for a 14:15 loss in Belgrade in the first part of the season.
After this victory, Novi Beograd is two points ahead of Radnicki. Third-placed Crvena Zvezda has three points less than the Kragujevac-based team.
Radnicki – Novi Beograd 9:16 (2:3, 1:4, 3:4, 3:5)
Radnicki: Jankovic 2, Cuk 2, Lukic 2, Brankovic 1, Stanojevic 1, Vrlic 1.
Novi Beograd: Granados 5, Mandic 4, Vlachopoulos 2, S. Rasovic 1, Pijetlovic 1, Drasovic 1, Cetkovic 1, Perkovic 1.
Sabac – Partizan 12:4 (3:0, 2:0, 4:1, 3:3)
Sabac: Koptsev 3, Krug 3, Stojanovic 3, Krug 1, Markovic 1, Tubic 1.
Partizan: Milos 1, Gladovic 1, Trtovic 1, Bodiroga 1.
Valis – Crvena Zvezda 7:14 (1:3, 1:3, 1:3, 4:5)
Valis: Bursac 3, Radanovic 2, Baucalo 1, Kovacevic 1.
Crvena Zvezda: Subotic 3, Seman 2, Milojevic 2, Radovic 2, Tankosic 1, Markovic 1, Vasic 1, Basara 1, Vukicevic 1.
Radnicki, which had three juniors on the roster, followed Novi Beograd’s pace in the first quarter. But, the visitors built a 3-goal lead in the second quarter (5:2). Radnicki reduced the gap (3:5). The Belgrade-based team responded with a 5:0 run to earn a 10:3 advantage. Another problem for Radnicki was that it left without left-handed Aleksa Ukropina, who was excluded with substitution (at that moment. Novi Beograd led 8:3).
Radnicki attempted to come back and narrowed the distance to four goals in the fourth period (7:11). Novi Beograd went to 12:7 shortly after. Five minutes before the end, Radnicki’s best scorer Nikola Lukic was excluded for brutality. After that, it was clear that the hosts, who had to play with five field players in the following four minutes, couldn’t come back and avoid a convincing defeat. Novi Beograd’s attack was led by Alvaro Granados (5 goals) and captain Dusan Mandic (4).
The derby was a fierce battle with a total of 32 personal fouls (Radnicki 15, Novi Beograd 17).
Many expected an exciting encounter between Sabac and Partizan. Recently, these two teams shared the points in the Regional League (12:12). This weekend, Sabac’s attack had the same output as in the Regional League, but Partizan was far from its best. Sabac completely outplayed Partizan. The hosts built a 7:0 lead before Partizan scored its first goal, which happened in the 21st minute. Sabac stretched the margin to eight by the end of the third quarter and maintained the distance in the final quarter (12:4). Sabac kept chances of reaching fourth place.
As expected, Crvena Zvezda defeated bottom-placed Valis. Still, the favorite needed some time to break the hosts’ resistance. Valis trailed by a goal in the 10th minute (2:3). After that, Crvena Zvezda scored five goals in a row for a comfortable 8:2 advantage
1.Novi Beograd 7 games – 18 points
2. Radnicki 7 – 16
3.Crvena Zvezda 7 – 13
4. Partizan 7 – 9
5. Sabac 7 – 6
6. Valis 7 – 0
*The teams carried the results from the mutual encounters from the 1st phase to the 2nd stage of the league