Cedevita Zagreb has become the first club to qualify for the Adriatic League Finals series after overcoming Serbian giant Partizan Belgrade. Arguably, the semi-finals stage is not going as many expected. It was widely predicted a Belgrade derby series between Crvena Zvezda and Partizan was in the pipeline.
However, Cedevita Zagreb has eliminated on Belgrade outfit, while Crvena Zvezda faces a do-or-die clash with Buducnost Voli Podgorica on Tuesday. Back to Sunday’s action and Cedevita made the most of home advantage to see off Partizan 87-78 in the deciding game three of the series.
Cedevita Zagreb vs. Partizan Belgrade, 87-78
After losing game two last week, the Croatian club was once again at home and favourite to win. The hosts looked confident in the first quarter and opened a 20-14 lead at the first split. The momentum stayed with Cedevita in the second half as the club drained 27 points and stopped Partizan at 22 points. Through the long break, Cedevita Zagreb led 47-36.
The visitors picked it up in the second half and reversed the second quarter score 22-27 to get back into the game. Through thirty minutes, the home team still held a 69-63 advantage. Any hopes of Partizan coming back were dashed in the fourth act as Cedevita won a nervy fourth quarter 18-15 to seal its Adriatic League Finals position.
Miro Bilan had 16 points and 7 rebounds in the win, while Dzanan Musa grabbed 16 of his own. Luka Babic helped the Cedevita attack with 14 points.
William Hatcher was a consistent offensive threat for the losing effort, he compiled 16 points and 7 assists. Uros Lukovis secured 13 points, while Vanja Marinkovic and Mihajlo Andric dropped 10 points apiece. Stefan Bircevic grabbed 11 rebounds for the Serbian club.