Round 6 of regular season action in the Adriatic League ended with a surprise. Crvena Zvezda “Red Star” Telekom Beograd (Serbia-KLS) own one of the strongest homecourt advantages in the league. Their die-hard fans are always ready to elevate the energy in the arena to support their team. Unfortunately, Red Star fans had to swallow their disappointment as their team fell to Union Olimpija Ljubljana (Slovenia-Telemach League) 73-77. This is the second loss for the defending champions, quite uncharacteristic for the men in red and white, but it’s definitely an eye-opening welcome to the 2015-16 season. Both clubs are now tied with identical 4-2 records.
Union Olimpija shot well from beyond the three-point arc, making 10-of-20 shots from deep. Red Star struggled with their long-range shooting and were limited to just 2-of-18 from downtown. Miha Lapornik paced three other Union Olimpija teammates in double figures with 22 points. He had the hot hand for his team and accounted for five of his team’s three-pointers. He did not miss a single attempt from that distance.
The game was not a cake walk for the guests, by any means. Red Star came out swinging in the first quarter and the hosts surged ahead with a 19-10 advantage. Not to be outdone, Union Olimpija fought back in the second frame, slicing Red Star’s lead down to two points heading into the hafltime.
The second half added even more excitement as the back-and-forth swings in offense from both clubs thrilled the fans in attendance. At the end of the third period, Union Olimpija trailed their hosts by four points. In the end, it boiled down to a rally in the fourth quarter, and they stunned the red and white shirts with their own brand of explosiveness.
Aside from Lapornik’s 22 points, Zack Wright and Sasa Zagorac added 11 points each for Union Olimpija. Gal Mekel led Crvena Zvezda with 19 points. Luka Mitrovic chipped in 14 points of his own.
The season is still early and Crvena Zvezda can still get some momentum going. That said, they have to make some adjustments to stay competitive in this league.
In the other game that closed out Round 6, KK MZT Skopje Aerodrom (FYR Macedonia-Prva Liga) won on the road against KK Sutjeska Niksic (Montenegro-Erste Liga), 68-77.
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