Monday, 18 January 2021

Jadran, Mladost, and Jug Advance to Regional League Final Four

January 18, 2021 - Three Croatian water polo teams - Jadran, Mladost, and Jug - have advanced to the Regional League Final Four!

The qualifying tournaments of the Premier Regional League ended in Belgrade and Dubrovnik, bringing us the semifinal pairs of the final tournament that will take place in Zagreb on March 26 and 27. In the semifinals, Mladost - Radnički and Jug Adriatic Osiguranje - Jadran will meet based on their placement in the tournament.

Šetka and Zović lead Jadran to victory

Jadran, primarily on the wings of five-time scorers, captain Anđelo Šetka and the left-handed returnee from Berlin, Ivan Domagoj Zović, defeated Primorje EB and thus won second place in Group A. This also means a spot in the Final Four. Jadran was better for most of the game, and if we omit the initial lead of Rijeka (1:0 and 2:1), Split led most of the match. In fact, on several occasions and quite convincingly (6:3, 7:4, and 9:6), and yet the finale was dramatic. Less than three minutes before the end of the match, Rijeka managed to equalize (10:10), and that dangerously threatened the ambitions of Jadran to qualify for the final tournament in Zagreb. Jadran ultimately sought victory over Primorje EB, in four quarters and without penalties, because any other outcome would seriously compromise Jadran's chances.  

Zović then managed to score two goals in less than a minute to go. Then, with an extra man, and 40 seconds left, captain Šetka undoubtedly resolved all doubts with a goal for 13:10 and secured his team's victory. 

Mladost convincing against Crvena Zvezda

Mladost routinely defeated the team that won the Serbian Cup some 20 days ago. Crvena Zvezda did not manage to take the lead at any moment, and the maximum they managed was three draws at the beginning of the match and the last at the beginning of the second quarter (5:5). A little later, Mladost was up by a 2-3 goal difference, and the advantage only increased as the game progressed. Cosmin Radu stood out for the winning team with four goals. Goalkeeper Ivan Marcelić was also solid with 12 saves.

Jug without a problem against Solaris

In the Dubrovnik Group B, Jug Adriatic Osiguranje, similar to Mladost in Belgrade, had no issues. In the last game, they defeated Solaris by nine goals. It was the third victory with such an advantage, while Radnički from Kragujevac was left with -11, and Budva with as many as 17 goals behind. The best scorers against Šibenik were Loren Fatović and Alexandros Papanastasiou, with three goals each. 

Radnički reached the semifinals

In Group B's last game, Radnički defeated Kotor's Primorac, a team led by Sandro Sukno, and thus confirmed second place and a spot in the semifinals for the 2020/21 season. The winner was ultimately decided in the third quarter. Namely, at halftime, Primorac still had a minimal advantage (8:7), and in the third quarter, the Kragujevac side scored five goals and received only 1. Primorac could no longer threaten that advantage in the last quarter. After a long time, a team from Serbia will play in the final tournament of the Regional League.

Source: HVS

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Wednesday, 15 July 2020

2020 Regional League: Jug and Mladost to Fight for Title

July 15, 2020 - Zagreb water polo club Mladost and Dubrovnik's Jug AO have advanced to the final of the Adriatic Regional League, which is being held at the Gruz swimming pool in Dubrovnik.

HRT reports that Jug AO was better than Jadran Split with a convincing score of 19-11 (5-2, 4-2, 6-3, 4-4). Dubrovnik was led by Hrvoje Benic, who scored five goals, and Loren Fatovic and Marin Tomasovic, who scored three goals each, while Antonio Duzevic and Zvonimir Butic were the best for Jadran, scoring three goals each.

As hosts, the Dubrovnik club confirmed their status as favorites and had no problems reaching the victory. Jug furiously started the meeting and gave the Split club little hope from the beginning. 

Until the middle of the first quarter, Jadran stayed afloat, losing 3-2 with two attacks to equalize, but Toni Popadic stopped the attempts of Marin Delic and Andelo Setka.

With the goals of Lozina, Benic and Obradovic, Jug went to 6-2, and even then, it was clear that Jadran would struggle to return to the game.

The host continued to increase their advantage and had the highest in the last quarter when a goal by Marin Tomasovic made it 18-8. By the end, Jadran managed to reduce the gap to the final 19-11.

The title defenders Mladost Zagreb met in the first semi-final match, defeating Jadran Carine from Herceg Novi with a score of 14-12 (1-3, 3-3, 6-4, 4-2). The Zagreb team came to victory in the second half after the Montenegrins won the first half 6-4.

The absolute hero of the duel was Luka Bukic, who scored an impressive seven goals for Mladost, while Milos Cuk added two, and Cosmin Radu, Konstantin Harkov, Josip Vrlic and Lovre Milos added one each. Vladan Spajic was the best for the Herceg Novi club with four goals.

Jug will thus fight for their fifth title, while Mladost will try to defend the title they won in the 2018/2019 season. 

The final is scheduled for Wednesday at 8 pm in Dubrovnik.

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