The Adriatic League is now in its tenth round of the 2014/2015 season and the standings are starting to take shape. There were three contests opening this week’s action as Zadar, Olimpija Union, and Buducnost all picked up victories, making it a clean sweep of home wins on the night.
Buducnost VOLI Podgorica vs. Szolnoki Olaj, 75-68
Buducnost continued to be one of the pace setters as they downed Hungarian visitors Szolnoki in Montenegro. The victory ensured the club keeps possession of second place in the Adriatic League this week, with an impressive 9-1 record. Despite the loss, it has been a solid first ten games for Olaj, but they slip this week to a 5-4 record.
The visitors edged a competitive first quarter by netting 21 points through the period and holding the Podgorica contingent to 17. Buducnost struggled to stop Szolnoki in the second quarter as the Hungarians added another 21 points to their cause while the home team offered 19. At the long break the score sat on 36-42. The hosts finally found a rhythm and were much more aggressive in defence during the third period, holding Szolnoki to just 9 points. A 16 point haul at the attacking end made it 52-51 through thirty minutes. In the final act the Montenegrin team had too much and extended their lead to win the game.
Union Olimpija Ljubljana vs. MZT Skopje Aerodrom, 69-56
Union Olimpija bounced back from last week’s defeat to Buducnost by cruising past MZT at home. The Slovenian powerhouse improved its record to 6-4 and is in the hunt for the top spots in the Adriatic League this season. MZT Skopje is finding the going tough and sits in 11th with a 3-7 record.
The game started slowly with both sets of players feeling each other out, but soon the hardwood opened and Union Olimpija took a 18-14 lead into the first split. In the second stanza MZT hit back with a 13-16 run that made it a one point game heading into the locker room, the board reading 31-30. The hosts emerged in sharper mood in the second half and put together a solid 19-11 streak in the third to extend considerably through the period. At the last interval the Slovenian outfit was in control with a 50-41 lead. The fourth quarter proved to be a formality for the Ljubljana club as the players eased down the straight with a 19-15 winning frame.
Zadar vs. Krka Novo Mesto, 79-69
Croatian club Zadar potentially put a new spark into its season by putting 10 points on Krka at home. The victory was only Zadar’s third of the Adriatic League this season, with the club looking to improve on its 3-7 record. As for the Novo Mesto team, they are currently in the middle of the standings with an equal 5-5 record.
A big first quarter gave the hosts plenty to build off as Zafar went hot in the period to put together a confidence boosting 25-11 lead after 10 minutes. Krka improved at the basket in the second quarter, but Zadar held firm to edge the stanza 22-21 to have a big 47-32 lead at halftime. It seemed like a case of damage limitation for the visitors in the second quarter, while Zadar looked to hold their huge 15 point advantage. In the third quarter Krka edged it 17-18, but despite a 15-19 winning Q4 the away team could not quite get close enough to make it interesting.