Red Star ups Adriatic win streak to 18
Serbian powerhouse Crvena Zvezda “Red Star” Telekom Beograd easily breezed through Croatian club KK Zadar, 93-66, in Adriatic League action. The victory is their 18th-straight and another rung on their ladder to historic greatness. Zadar falls to below .500 at 8-9 and is in seventh place in the league standings. Red Star is three games ahead of its closest challenger, Montenegrin team KK Buducnost Voli Podgorica, with thei 15-3 slate. So far this season, Crvena Zvezda has fully demonstrated its dominance in this regional league and has showed no signs of faltering. They’ve played a couple of closely contested games, but had the composure and confidence to seal the wins. This is their year and we’re here just to see how far they can go.
Red Star hosted Zadar in Belgrade and they kept control of the game from the tip-off. True to form, the red shirts smothered their guests with the combination of their unrelenting offense and their stifling defense. At the end of the first quarter Red Star established a 25-7 lead, a daunting early lead that foreshadowed a rough game that Zadar would have to endure. Riding on some solid shooting from Boris Barac, Zadar slowly but surely clawed their way back to clip the lead down to single digits (44-35) as the teams headed to the locker rooms for the halftime break.
In the third frame, Red Star came out ready to reassert their full control of the game and busted the lead wide open anew. Zadar was outclassed on both ends of the court. The hosts were on point as they moved the ball unselfishly until it found an open man. For the game, Red Star racked up 25 assists compared to Zadar’s 15. They had less players to score in double figures, but every player that took to the floor was able to put up points on the scoreboard. With every red shirt being a scoring threat and Zadar being unable to find answer defensively, Red Star managed to pile on the points at will. They sealed the game by increasing their lead to 23 points with just one quarter remaining in regulation. The final 12 minutes was not enough for the white shirts to pull off a comeback and the Belgrade fans were able to leave the stadium beaming with pride once again.
Charles Jenkins was very productive for Red Star, notching 16 points in 16 minutes of action. Boban Marjanovic was one rebound shy of a double-double with his 15 points and nine rebounds. Boris Barac was Zadar’s leading scorer with 13 points, while teammates James Florence and Ive Ivanov chipped in 12 points apiece.
Red Star goes on the road is set to face second-placer Buducnost next week. Will Buducnost be able to end this epic streak or will they end being just another notch on Red Star’s belt?
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