Red Star

Red Star Gets Historic 13th Win in Adriatic

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Crvena Zvezda (Red Star) Telekom Beograd (Serbia-KLS) made Adriatic League history by being the first ever team to start the season with 13-straight wins. They set this new record after defeating KK MZT Skopje Aerodrom (Macedonia-Prva Liga) on the road, 76-79. As the league leaders, the squad in red and white were favored to win. The game itself, however, took some different twists and turns on its way to its eventual resolution.

Red Star came out strong and rushed to an early lead, smothering their hosts with their unrelenting assault of the basket. In a flash, they mounted an eight-point lead by the end of the first quarter. The second period was a refrain of the first twelve minutes, with the guests continuing their impressive execution of their offense. The game was on its way to being an afterthought as the Serbian powerhouse amassed a 20-point lead at the end of the first half, 35-55.

Dejan Radonjic’s players were perhaps bitten by the complacency bug and rested on their laurels far too early in the game. In the third period, they allowed MZT Skopje to steadily chip away at their lead and were punished as their advantage vanished into thin air. And just like that, the fans at home who were supporting the Blue and White had something to cheer for. MZT Skopje’s spirited comeback paid off as they were able to seize the lead from the clutches of their visitors at some point in the final period, 64-63. It was a chilling wake-up call for Red Star. When push came to shove, they regrouped, retook the lead and no longer relented. It was just in the nick of time, because otherwise we would be logging a very different entry in the history books.

MZT Skopje put up a valiant effort, but are now 4-9 and are 12th of 14 in the league standings. A trio of starters were responsible for their inspired rally in the third quarter. Aleksandar Cvetkovic ended the night with a game-high 19 points. Predrag Samardziski was equally laudable with his double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds. Sead Sehovic added 14 points.

Crvena Zvezda had a more balanced attack, with five of their players managing to record double digits in scoring. Luka Mitrovic took care of business in the paint with his 12 points and 10 boards, while Maik Zirbes led the team in scoring with 13 points and eight rebounds.

Here are some highlights from the record-setting game:

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How long of a streak can Red Star set as they ink a new chapter in Adriatic League history? For the Serbian powerhouse, the ceiling of the success they are capable of is still far from sight and it will be exciting to witness as they continue on their journey.

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