Adriatic League: Crvena Zvezda Belgrade makes finals

Adriatic League

Reigning Adriatic League champion Crvena Zvezda Belgrade eased into the finals series with a dominating home win over Buducnost VOLI Podgorica in game three of the semi-final series. The 82-59 win is not much of a surprise. Indeed, the real surprise was in game two when Buducnost managed to tie the series.

With home advantage in game three, defending double Adriatic League champion Crvena Zvezda was red hot favourite. The Serbian EuroLeague giant lived up to the billing and will now join Cedevita Zagreb in the showpiece series. On Sunday, the Croatians saw off Crvena Zvezda’s great rival, Partizan Belgrade, in the other semi’s run.

Crvena Zvezda Belgrade vs. Buducnost VOLI Podgorica, 82-59

The hosts started well and managed to carve a 21-15 lead through the first quarter. The opening ten minutes also showed Crvena Zvezda Belgrade to be in dominating form off the boards, the team would grab 55 rebounds by the end of the game. Buducnost regrouped in the second frame and held the hosts to 14-14, making it 35-29 through the long break. The Serbians wrestled the momentum in the third act and used a blazing 32-22 run to extend to 67-51 lead through thirty minutes. With wind in the sails, the defending ABA League champs cruised through the fourth quarter to victory.

Charles Jenkins led the win with 24 points, while Ognjen Luzmic secured a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds. Also doubling up was Luka Mitrovic with 12 points and 12 boards. Marko Simonovi drained 14 points.

Boris Savovic and JR Reynolds plundered 16 points apiece in the losing effort.

Editor’s Note: If you want more information about the Adriatic League (ABA League), or other international leagues, you can check out Court Side’s Game Center.

Looking ahead to the finals series, Crvena Zvezda will once again be clear favourite. Victory in the best of five series would hand the club its third consecutive title. Cedevita is hunting its first ever Adriatic League title.

More than the gulf in titles, there is a growing gulf in class between Crvena Zvezda and the rest of the ABA League. The club dropped just a single Regular Season game this campaign and has been excellent in the EuroLeague. It seems the Serbian champs are on the brink of establishing themselves among Europe’s elite.

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