The Bulgarian NBL went right down to the decisive fifth game of the finals series, but in the end it was Levski Sofia who took the title with a 69-81 win over Lukoil Academic. It was a huge upset as 12 time consecutive defending NBL champions Lukoil Academic Sofia was at home, meaning Levski travelled and came home with the title.
It cannot be underestimated how much Lukoil Academic has dominated Bulgarian Basketball over the last 13 years, so as such Levski Sofia’s feat is truly remarkable. It also ends an era in the country and makes next season’s NBL an even more interesting prospect. Interestingly, Levski managed to travel to the Sports Complex and control large parts of the game, cutting Lukoil out on the court and romping to victory.
Levski Sofia set a rhythm in the first quarter that was hard for the hosts to snap and the winners raced into a confidence boosting 15-24 lead. With nine points the difference, Levski never looked back in the second frame as the visitors extended with another blockbuster 10 minutes. Levski sent 25 points through the net in Q2 and kept Lukoil Academic to just 15 to lead 30-49 at halftime. The damage had truly been done over two explosive quarters, but the defending champs made it interesting in the third quarter by winning the stanza 22-18 (52-67). The home team took the fourth quarter too by scoring 17 and holding Levski to 14 points, but it was not enough to stop Levski winning the title.
Lionel Chalmers logged 22 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists for Levski Sofia, while Brandon Heath was good for 18 points, 4 boards, and 6 assists.
Jure Lalic collected a double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds in a strong personal effort. Bozhidar Avramov scored 16 points and claimed 4 rebounds as Lukoil’s grip on the NBL loosened.