Serbian Cup winner Crvena Zvezda finished the regular season of the Serbian Championships in 2nd place behind Novi Beograd and ahead of Radnicki and Sabac.
Novi Beograd had cemented 1st place before the last round, but questions regarding the standings between 2nd and 5th place had been open.
In the 14th round, Crvena Zvezda lost to Novi Beograd 7:10, but Sabac helped the “Red Whites.”
Sabac ended its series of losses to Radnicki and beat the Kragujevac-based team. It did it very convincingly – 10:5. With this victory, Sabac secured 4th place, while Radnicki missed the chance to return to 2nd place.
Partizan finished in 5th and Valis in 6th place.
2022/23 Serbian League, Day 14
Group 1st – 6th place (5th round of 2nd stage)
Valis – Partizan 8:15 (2:4, 1:3, 5:4, 0:4)
Valis: Kovacevic 4, Baucalo 3, Radanovic 1.
Partizan: Smiljevic 7, Trtovic 3, Giga 2, Musikic 1, K. Bodiroga 1, Paparic 1.
Sabac – Radnicki 10:5 (1:1, 3:2, 4:2, 2:0)
Sabac: Sulc 5, Korac 2, Stanic 1, Markovic 1, Toholj 1.
Radnicki: Cuk 3, Stanojevic 1, Ukropina 1.
Crvena Zvezda – Novi Beograd 7:10 (3:1, 4:4, 0:2, 0:3)
Crvena Zvezda: Radovic 2, Subotic 1, Vasic 1, Vukicevic 1, Seman 1, Tankosic 1.
Novi Beograd: Granados 4, S. Rasovic 1, Drasovic 1, Jaksic 1, Perkovic 1, Vlachopoulos 1, Shushiashvili 1.
The last round started with the match Valis – Partizan. The visitors proved they were the favorites and recorded a 15:8 win. However, that victory didn’t move them to 4th place because Sabac beat Radnicki.
The derby in Sabac was an even contest until 3:3. A second before the middle break, Sabac’s center-forward Nebojsa Toholj (who arrived from Radnicki last summer) found the net for 4:3. In the second half, Sabac ruled the field. Radnicki’s defense couldn’t stop Kristijan Sulc, who found the net five times and made the difference. Sabac recorded a 10;5 win. Radnicki, which hasn’t won a game since a 14:9 victory over Mornar in the Regional League in February, hasn’t overcome the crisis.
Sabac and Partizan won 12 points each, but Sabac has a better goal difference in the head-to-head encounters. Sabac and Partizan will face in the quarterfinals of the playoffs (best of two), and Sabac will have home-field advantage in the return leg.
Since Sabac beat Radnicki, Crvena Zvezda kept 2nd place, although it was defeated by Novi Beograd.
The “Red Whites” started very well. They led 3:1 at the first break and 7:5 at halftime. Their fans hoped that Crvena Zvezda would beat the reigning champion as it did in the Serbian Cup final. But, Novi Beograd water polo players consolidated themselves during the middle break. The visitors strengthened the defense in the second half. Head coach Zivko Gocic made a good move by switching the goalkeepers (Filipovic replaced Fernandez). Crvena Zvezda didn’t score a single goal in the second 16 minutes, while Novi Beograd’s players found the net five times and recorded a 10:7 win. Alvaro Granados was the best scorer with four goals.
1. Novi Beograd 10 – 27
2. Crvena Zvezda 10 – 19*
3. Radnicki 10 – 19*
4. Sabac 10 – 12*
5. Partizan 10 – 12*
6. Valis 10 – 0
*Head to head: Crvena Zvezda – Radnicki 9:9 and 14:10, Sabac – Partizan 8:9 and 12:4.
The teams carried the results recorded in the mutual encounters from the 1st phase to the 2nd stage of the league
Rankings in the group for 7th-10th place: 7.NBG Vukovi, 8. Vojvodina, 9. Proleter, 10. Nais.
PLAYOFFS, QUARTERFINALS (best-of-two):Vojvodina – Novi Beograd, NBG Vukovi – Crvena Zvezda, Valis – Radnicki, Partizan – Sabac. The quarterfinal matches are scheduled for April 12 and 19. Novi Beograd, Crvena Zvezda, Radnicki and Sabac will be the hosts in the return leg.
PLAYOFFS, QUARTERFINALS (best-of-two):Vojvodina – Novi Beograd, NBG Vukovi – Crvena Zvezda, Valis – Radnicki, Partizan – Sabac.
The quarterfinal matches are scheduled for April 12 and 19. Novi Beograd, Crvena Zvezda, Radnicki and Sabac will be the hosts in the return leg.
Relegation playoffs (best of two), 1st leg
Proleter – Stari Grad 14:3 (4:1, 5:1, 1:1, 4:0)
Proleter: Ilic, Covic 5, Covic 3, Cabrilo 2, Ljubenovic 1, Mitrovic 1, Matkovic 1, Mitrovic 1, Matkovic 1.
Stari grad: Pavlovic 1, Radjen 1, Radic 1.