There has been a dramatic shift in power in the Erste Liga with Mornar Bar upsetting overwhelming favorite Buducnost in the finals to capture the 2018 Montenegrin title. Their championship was locked up after a 75-63 win in Game 4 on Friday. This marks the end of an almost decade-long dominance of Buducnost over the Montenegrin League. Buducnost has won every Montenegrin title from 2009 to 2017. Mornar Bar has reached the finals three times (2011, 2016, 2017) but this is the organization’s first time to hoist that golden trophy above their heads.
Mornar Bar led from the get-go, rushing to a 24-15 lead at the end of the first quarter. Buducnost tried to turn the tide after the halftime break, but it was not enough to wrench control of the game from Mornar Bar’s grasp, allowing the title to change hands in the end.
Buducnost relied too heavily on their 3-point shooting in this game. They did make eight shots from beyond the arc, but Mornar Bar’s defense shot down any plans the defending champs had of scoring closer to the basket. Defense can be credited for Mornar Bar’s success in Game 4 with nine steals and five blocks.
Strahinja Micovic led Mornar Bar with a game-high 18 points, while teammate Uros Lukovic dropped a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double.
This was an amazing win, both for Mornar Bar and for Montenegrin hoops. It marks a new chapter in the Montenegrin League narrative. No longer are Buducnost the Kings and Lords of the land, asserting their dominance; ushering in a competitive rivalry between these two organizations. Mornar Bar cannot rest on their laurels though. Expect Buducnost to want their crown back. The battle for the 2018-19 championship should be an exciting one to watch indeed.