BC Beroe has captured the 2017 Balkan League title after a 73-77 road win over Kumanovo in the finals series. The victory handed the club its second win in the series, allowing a clean sweep of the best-of-three run.
This is Beroe’s first-ever Balkan League title and marks the first Bulgarian league winner since Levski Sofia in 2010. As hosts, the onus was on Kumanovo to take the early initiative but the team instead collapsed as Beroe secured a commanding 9-22 lead through the first quarter. The visitors extended through the second frame and led 26-42 through the long break.
Simply, the game looked over. However, Kumanavo produced a remarkable quarter of Basketball in the third act. The hosts drained 30 points and stopped the champions elect at 11 points. The home team actually had a 56-53 advantage through thirty minutes. The charge seemed to take all the energy out of the Kumanovo ranks, allowing Beroe to rally in the fourth quarter and seal the Balkan League crown.
Showing that stats are not everything, the losing effort outrebounded the champs by 25 to 35 and turned the ball over more often. Brandis Raley-Ross led the winning team with 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists, while Aaron Jones claimed 16 points.
Marjan Janevski topped the losing effort with 15 points, followed by Stefan Zivanovic and Dimitar Karadzovski with 14 points apiece.
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