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

Daniela Rogulj

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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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