With the triumph of the German champion SKV Rot Weis Zerbst 1999, the 2020 European Bowling Champions League ended. The finals in the men’s and women’s competitions, with the participation of four teams each, were held in the German town of Bamberg, about thirty kilometers away from Nimberg.
In the final, SKV Rot Weis Zerbst was better than the Hungarian champion, Zengo Alfold Szegedi TE 7:1 (3964:3835).
Croatia had three representatives, Mertojak and Zaprešić in the men’s competition and Mlaka from Rijeka in the women’s competition.
In the semifinals, Zerbst beat Mertojak 7:1 (3866: 3724). In the second semifinal, Zengo Alfold Szegedi TE beat Zaprešić 8:0. The match for third place was thus between the two best Croatian teams.
Mertojak, this year’s Croatian champion, once again confirmed its dominance, defeating Zaprešić 6:2, but this time by 100 (3832:3732). Coach and player Hrvoje Marinović achieved the best individual result in the entire competition, exceeding the magical 700 figure. His new personal record is 705, once again confirming his outstanding international class.
Mertojak once again achieved extraordinary international success, which strengthened their position among the best bowling clubs in Europe, certainly the best bowling team in the history of Split.
As the champion of Croatia, Mertojak will perform at the World Cup (World Club Championship) in Otočac at the beginning of November, with the participation of 14 national champions. It will be an opportunity, on neutral ground, to win the World Cup after the Champions League, and at the same time to qualify for the new season of the Champions League. In addition to epidemiological measures, the arrival of European clubs is expected at Poljud at the end of the year.
Denis Delić, Goran Žubrinić, Paško Dragičević, Ljubo Budić, Siniša Papak, Davor Zoković and President Mladen Vuković were also in the Mertojak delegation at the Final Four.
“This success means a lot to our club. The Champions League is the toughest club competition as it requires great form throughout the season. Getting to the semifinals meant a lot to us, and in the end, we won the bronze medal. We are very proud of our success and consider it one of the greatest in the history of Split bowling,” said Mertojak captain Goran Žubrinić.
“Croatian club bowling has long been on the European map, especially because of the success of Zagreb and Osijek clubs, but now Split bowling has joined because of Mertojak. Therefore, we hope that on the occasion of this success we will be able to get a better status in the city of Split and that we will profit on the financial side because we need it to become a financially stable club and to be able to repeat these successes in the future,” added Žubrinić.
“The plans for Mertojak are the same as every season. The goal is to fight for the title of Croatian champion and to reach the finals of European competitions, which this year are the World Cup in Otočac and the Champions League during the season.”
Croatia won the 2025 World Cup bid in Varaždin; the 2021 World Cup will be held in Otočac, while Slavonski Brod will host the 2023 NBC Cup. As a result, this year’s World Team Championship in Slovenia has been moved to the end of October. Hrvoje Marinović and Nikola Muše from Mertojak, Luka Bolanča, Branko Manev, and Matija Mance from Zaprešić, Alen Kujundžić from Medveščak 1958, and Bojan Vlakevski from SK FWT NeuNKirchen (AUT) will play for the Croatia national team.
Source: Dalmacija Danas
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