Adriatic League: Crvena Zvezda takes finals lead

Adriatic LeagueReigning Adriatic League champion Crvena Zvezda Belgrade got its title defence off to the perfect start with a 95-88 home win over Mega Leks in the finals series.

The all-Serbian final series came after a high octane last four which saw Crvena Zvezda ease past Cedevita Zagreb and Mega Leks see off Regular Season champions Buducnost Voli Podgorica. At the start of the finals, Crvena Zvezda looked solid at home and takes a commanding lead into game 2 in front of its own fans.

However, despite a 95-88 success for the Belgrade giant, Mega Leks showed enough to suggest this Adriatic League season is not quite over yet. With a best of five series to come, there is still an awful lot for both clubs to play for.

Crvena Zvezda Belgrade vs. Mega Leks, 95-88

After its maiden success in the Adriatic League last season, Crvena Zvezda is looking to make it consecutive titles in the competition. Mega Leks on the other hand is competing its first finals series.

The game started at a rapid pace as both teams visited the bucket with success regularly. After streaming in 27 points Crvena Zvezda had the lead, but Mega Leks was keeping a close pace with 25 points through ten minutes. The scoring eased a bit in the second quarter, but it was still an exciting games for the Red Star faithful. The hosts maintained the lead with a 21-20 run that made it 48-45 through the long break.

Emerging from the locker room refreshed, Mega Leks found its touch at both ends of the hardwood and took control of the game through the third act. The visitors won the period 20-25 to take a 68-70 advantage through thirty minutes. The consistency of both teams had been admirable, but in the fourth it was only Crvena Zvezda that maintained the pace. The home team poured in 27 points and stopped Mega Leks at 18 points to cruise to victory.

Quincy Miller-Scott and Maik Zirbes took 17 points apiece to lead the win, while Zirbes stood out with a double-double by adding 12 rebounds. Marko Simonovic followed with 15 points and Branko Lazic added 12 points.

Nikola Ivanovic topped the scoring with 25 points in the losing effort, while Djorde Simeunovic managed 20 points and Danilo Nikolic 18 points. Those three stood out, but Mega Leks coach Dejan Milolevic opted to started with 8 players, and the roster failed to produce enough points overall.

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