Adriatic League goes to Buducnost at the expense of Serbian participation in 2019 EuroLeague

Adriatic League

Buducnost VOLI Podgorica smashed the record books on Saturday by winning the Adriatic League title after taking the finals series 3-1 over Crvena Zvezda Belgrade. In doing so, the club made history in several aspects.

Firstly, it was a first Adriatic League crown for Buducnost and it snapped Crvena Zvezda’s three year monopoly on the title. It was also a first international crown for the club and indeed the first for any club from Montenegro. This title win also mean Buducnost will take its place in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague for the first time during 2018/2019.

As a consequence, there will be no Serbian team in Europe’s elite competition for the first time since 2011. We have become used to seeing a Serbian representative in the EuroLeague, typically one of the Belgrade giants of Partizan or more recently Crvena Zvezda.

Buducnost is well worth its place in the competition and its Adriatic League success. The team has simply been the best in the competition this season, leading the regular season for a long time and easing to victory in the finals. Heading into this game 2-1 ahead, the club knew it could win the title in this contest.

However, it would have to be done on the road in Belgrade. As it was, Buducnost faced the pressure and used a 73-77 win to ensure the league crown went back to Montenegro with them.

Crvena Zvezda has been the dominant force in the league over recent seasons, while also dominating Serbian basketball and running well in the EuroLeague. However, following this loss, head coach Dusan Alimpijevic suggested a key loss in the opening of the finals pointed to the series loss:

“We couldn’t play any game the best we could, we lost the title in the first game when we lost in Belgrade. Look, of course that people will say that Buducnost beat Crvena Zvezda five times this season”, the coach stated before explaining what he meant.

“But you see, Taylor Rochesite shot five times from the free throw line in the whole series. That is, to be exact, seven times. He shot two times instead of James Feldeine when he was forced to leave the game. So, Taylor Rochestie shot for the whole series five free throws. Compare the free throws of Buducnost and Zvezda in the two games here.”

He concluded that after the first loss the team “could never win this title”.

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