Adriatic League: All-Serbian Final Four

Regular season play in the Adriatic League wrapped up on Saturday allowing the Final Four to be determined and amazingly the clubs that will be participating are all Serbian. No. 1 club KK Igokea is technically in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but from Republika Srpska which is the Serbian part. The other three, No. 2 KK Crvena zvezda (Red Star) and No. 4 KK Partizan mt:s are in Belgrade, and No. 3 KK Radnički is in Kragujevac.

The semifinals will be KK Igokea vs. KK Partizan mt:s and KK Crvena zvezda (Red Star) vs. KK Radnički. According to the Adriatic league website, the Final Four games will be held at the Laktaši Sports Hall, the home court of KK Igokea. The dates of the Final Four will be April 25-27.

Adriatic League Week 26 (Final) Results
Radnički – Crvena zvezda Telekom, 80:75
In what turns out to be a preview of one of the two semifinal contests, Radnicki outlasted Red Star in their final week of regular season play, 80:75. The win assured Radnicki of a spot in the Final Four, the loss didn’t change Red Star’s position in the regular season standings.

The hosts opened the contest scoring first and getting out to a 13:4 advantage six minutes into the game. Red Star finally got their offense on track and ran off seven unanswered to pull to within two, 13:11. Radnicki countered with a 9:1 run of their own shortly after that pushed their lead back to nine, 24:15. The guests dropped in a final deuce to close the first 10 with the hosts up 24:17.

Red Star got to within two in the early part of the second frame, but Radnicki extended the lead to 10 at the end of the half, sending the clubs to their break with the hosts up 43:33.

The second half opened with the visitors getting the first four points to cut the gap to six, 43:37. They exchanged baskets for the few trips up and down the court, but with three minutes to play of the third 10, Radnicki had built their lead back to 10, 53:43. From that point to the end of the quarter it was all Red Star as they outscored their hosts 2:10, to nearly erase the deficit and set up the final 10 with the score 55:53.

The first two went to Red Star to knot the contest at 55, then they tied things up at 57 and at 59. Marko Simonovic knocked down a triple for the guests to give them a three point lead for the first time. They got their lead to as much as four before Radnicki pull them back and tied it up at 67 and again at 72 with just over a minute to play. Steven Markovic connected on a three-ball for the home club to give them a three-point lead. Matthew Amaning sank two singles to push to a five-point lead and under a minute to play. Simonovic hit the bottom of the net on another triple to close the gap to two, 77:75. Stefan Sinovec split a pair of free throws to make it 78:75. Amaning picked off a bad pass from Simonovic and Stefan Bircevic hit what would be the final jumper of the game to give Radnicki a five-point win, 80:75.

Terrico White led the way for the hosts with 14 points. Stefan Birčević contributed 13 points, 10 rebounds and an evaluation of 21. Sinovec hit 10.

Simonovic was game-high for Red Star with 20 points. Boris Savovic added 19 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and an evaluation of 23.

Budućnost VOLI – Union Olimpija, 79:75
Buducnost VOLI needed a win Saturday to have a shot at the No. 4 slot in the Final Four, but they also needed Partizan to lose. Buducnost did their part by beating Union Olimpija, 79:75, but Partizan got their win over Szolnoki Olaj, 83:69, and due to Partizan winning the tie break with Buducnost (Partizan won both games with Buducnost during the regular season), Partizan ends up No. 4, while Buducnost ends up No. 5. In their contest with Olimpija, they fought to the end knowing their final four participation depended on it.

The first quarter ended with a three-pointer at the buzzer to push Buducnost up four, 25:21. The hosts got the first five points of the second quarter, to cap an 8:0 run that bridged the first and second quarters, giving Buducnost a 30:21 advantage early in the frame. Olimpija hit the next five straight to slice the margin back to four, but shortly after another 8:0 run by the home club extended the lead to 12 mid-way through the second quarter. Though the rest of the second 10 the lead got as high as 14 for Buducnost and the guests had cut it to as low as five, but when the horn sounded to send the clubs to their dressing rooms for the intermission, the score showed the hosts up 10, 50:40.

The third frame belonged to Olimpija as they were able to come out swinging and hold their hosts to nine points in the quarter, while accumulating 21 of their own and end the third frame up two, 59:61. The major damage was caused by a 0:9 run in the middle of the quarter that had Olimpija down by nine and when Buducnost finally put points on the board the score had been knotted at 54.

The guests put up the first points in the fourth, a triple by Klemen Prepelic extended their lead to five, 59:64. Shortly after Alen Omic hit a jumper for Olimpija and was followed up by Teemu Rannikko’s triple to build an eight point lead with five minutes to play. Buducnost’s Marko Popovic took matters into his own hands and sliced the cords with a triple on one trip down the floor, then hit another one the next time down, to cut the lead to two, 67:69. After the teams traded jumpers, Popovic drained another three-ball to give the hosts the lead back at 72:71. Prepelic connected on a pair of singles giving the lead back to the visitors, but Popovic hit his fourth three of the quarter to put the home club up two, 75:73. Dino Muric knotted the score at 75 for the guests, then Buducnost got the final four points off jumpers by Aleksa Popovic and Demarquis Bost, closing out scoring for the regular season for the two clubs with Buducnost on top, 79:75.

M. Popovic led the hosts with a five of six shooting performance behind the arc, which helped him get to 17 points on the night. Gerald Lee and Cedomir Vitkovac each added 12 points, and Bost and Strahinja Milošević contributed 11 each.

Prepelic was game-high with 20 points and 6 assists for Olimpija. Alen Omic had a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Rannikko and Jaka Blazic dropped in 10 points a piece.

Partizan mt:s – Szolnoki Olaj, 83:69
Partizan needed a victory over Szolnoki on Saturday to advance to the Final Four as a win got them in due to winning the tie-break with Buducnost. Not only did they win on Saturday, they did so convincingly with an 83:69 contest.

Szolnoki led the game for the better part of the first quarter, but never built any kind of lead. The last time they would hold an advantage was at 12:13, but then Partizan ran off seven unanswered points and the lead was 19:13. They ended the first 10 with the hosts holding a four-point margin, 21:17.

Partizan slowly extended their lead, until they were up 11 mid-way through the second quarter. The guests then ran off eight straight to cut the lead to three, 33:30. The hosts answered with six of their own to push the lead to nine at the end of the half, 39:30.

The margin continued to grow, and the scoring run that ended the half continued into the third with six more, giving Partizan a 15-point lead, 45:30. That lead grew to as high as 17, 50:33 with five minutes to play in the third. Szolnoki began to chip away at the lead and at the final buzzer of the third quarter Sead Sehovic sank the triple to cut the lead to seven, 61:54.

Zoltan Trepak dropped in another triple for Szolnoki to reduce the gap to four, and shortly after they would cut the lead to two, 63:61. With the score 67:65, Partizan got a jumper from Drew Gordon and then a three-pointer from Davis Bertans, to open their lead up to seven, 72:65. Marton Bader hit a jumper for Szolnoki to cut the lead to five, but then the hosts went on an 11:2 scoring run to finish the game with a 14-point win and a spot in the Final Four.

Vladimir Lucic led the way for Partizan with 16 points. Bertans added 14, Bojan Bogdanović and Djoredje Gagic each contributed 11 points, and Drew Gordon and Nemanja Gordic added 10 apiece.

Sehovic and James Florence topped the field for Szolnoki with 16 points.

Cibona – Igokea, 78:87

Široki WWin – Cedevita, 75:77

Krka – MZT Skopje Aerodrom, 68:80

Game remaining – Sunday, March 25
KK Zadar – KK Split, 17:00

Adriatic League Final Results

Final (Week 26) Adriatic League Matches[matches league_id=1 match_day=26 template=summary dateformat=”M. j, Y”]

Adriatic League Final Standings[standings league_id=1 show_website=false template=nolink]

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