Hapoel Holon wins Balkan league

Israeli team Hapoel Holon caputered the Balkan league title after defeating Bulgarian team Plovdiv in the final 91-75.

Plovdiv started strong and held the lead for the first three quarters. But Hapoel Holon then started a lockdown defense and limited Plovdiv to just 9 points in the final quarter, while scoring timely baskets to take home their first title of the campaign.

MVP Isaiah Miles scored 18 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. Tyrus McGee led all scorers with 20 points as Guy Pnini and Nate Sestina each contributed 14 points in the win. Obrad Tomic scored 18 points, Jere Vucica added 16 points, and Jahii Carson checked in with a double-double, 10 points, and 11 rebounds in the loss.

Originally, the Balkan league consisted out of teams from the former Yugoslav republics. Occasionally, teams from other regions would join (Romania and Israel). However, the popularity of the Adriatic league (and now even the Adriatic league second division) seriously degraded the Balkan league. Once the Serbian teams pulled out, it went from bad to worse. Last year the Balkan league only had five participating teams.

To stay alive, twelve Israeli teams were admitted to this season. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions and geographical reasons, the league was split into several groups (or conferences), culminating in a playoff.

Hapoel Holon wins Balkan League

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