After Crvena Zvezda Belgrade stamped its authority on the Adriatic League yesterday, it was time for the other teams to try and catch the Serbian giant in Round 4. Four contests were played out on Friday, with a further three to take place on Saturday evening.
None of the main clubs looking to down the champions from Belgrade can match the league leaders so far, with every team besides Crvena Zvezda now having a loss. Cedevita Zagreb’s unbeaten start came to a crushing end at the hands of Krka Novo Mesto, Buducnost Voli Podgorica moved into joint second with victory over Zadar.
In the other games, Mega Leks picked up a home win over MZT Skopje, while Union Olimpija downed Cibona on the road.
Crvena Zvezda Belgrade vs. Tajfun, 113-66
Reigning champions Crvena Zvezda blitzed Tajfun at home in Belgrade on Thursday to take sole possession of first place in the Adriatic League with an unbeaten record. The hosts were better all over the court as six players scored in double figures, including Maik Zirbes with a game high 19 points and Nikola Rebic helped himself to a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds. Crvena Zvezda shot 68.7% from the field and dictated the flow of the game throughout, scoring 59 points in the first half alone to demoralize an outclassed Tajfun team.
Cibona Zagreb vs. Union Olimpija Ljubljana, 75-79
An Adriatic League classic played out in Zagreb as hosts fell to Union Olimpija in a full throttle encounter. The visitors had led for the entire game, but in the final stretch Cibona came roaring back into contention to make it a nail biting finale. Indeed, Union Olimpija had a 18 point lead in the third, but Zagreb’s rally made it a single play game right to the final buzzer. The team work of the Ljubljana guests told in the end as 21 assists were handed out by the winners and four players topped ten points in victory, while Cibona only managed 11 scoring passes.
Buducnost VOLI Podgorica vs. Zadar, 78-47
Buducnost warmed into the Adriatic League with a complete performance to defeat Zadar at home. The hosts were consistent at both ends of the hardwood, deadly in attack and ironclad in defence, putting 31 points on their guests in an impressive display. During the third Zadar was within touch at 34-41, but Buducnost answered with a blazing 0-18 run that sealed the victory, as they completed their best performance of the season so far.
Mega Leks vs. MZT Skopje, 82-70
Mega Leks picked up its second victory of the season with a second quarter comeback to remember in front of its own fans, pushing aside MZT along the way. The visitors had gone hot through the first quarter and led 8-26 after a hugely impressive start. However, it was Mega Leks’ turn in the second frame as a 30-16 run made it closer at halftime, although Skopje led 38-42. The momentum was with the hosts now and they plundered 27 points to open a commanding 65-57 lead after thirty minutes. A 17-13 run was enough to seal the win.