Lukoil Academic sweeps Balkan for 13th NBL title

Lukoil Academic Lukoil Academic Sofia has swept their Bulgarian NBL Finals series against Balkan 3-0, and have gone on to claim their 13th Bulgarian championship. The franchise has been dominating the domestic league since the early 2000s. They have won every NBL crown since 2003, with the exception of 2014 when Levski Sofia took home the gold.

Game 3 saw Balkan display a valiant effort in their must-win game. They managed to hold a slight lead for the first three quarters, but it was the defending champions that were able to rally for the eventual win. Despite having the advantage in three-pointers made in the game, Balkan could not contain the aggressive basketball played by Lukoil Academic. Balkan sank 14-of-34 shots from downtown compared to 8-of-28 for Lukoil Academic. The big difference maker in this game was the disparity in rebounding of both clubs. Lukoil dominated on the glass with 40 boards (15 offensive), while Balkan only grabbed 26 rebounds in total.

Pavlin Ivanov led the champs with 20 points. He paced three other teammates to score in double figures. Kris Minkov added 19 points of his own. Tsvetoslav Ostrev was the top scorer for Balkan with 19 points.

With the 2015-16 season now in the books for the Bulgarian NBL we look to 2016-17 and wonder if a new team will step up and challenge Lukoil Academic for supremacy.

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