Water polo team from Budva had a nice start in the match against Mladost at home. After almost five minutes without goals, Blazo Mitrovic finally netted one to give his squad the first lead and then increased it to +2 only 30 seconds later. The top scorer of the game, Andrija Basic, brought the deficit down to one just a minute before the end of first quarter. At the beginning of the second period, the hosting water polo players stepped up their game and managed to keep the one-goal advantage until four minutes before the break, when Zovic scored the first equalizer for Mladost (4:4). The team from Croatia even took the lead one minute before the break, but Budva brought the result back to tie (5:5). Djurdjic’s equalizer at the end of the first half was just an introduction to Budva water polo squad brilliant play in the crucial third quarter during which they scored four unanswered goals and so made the matter of the winner clear.
Champions of Serbia lost to Jadran in Montenegro, 16:8, and failed to achieve their fourth consecutive victory. Thanks to their 10th win, Jadran secured the 2nd or 3rd spot and will avoid meeting title holders Jug in semifinals. Partizan water polo players were outplayed during each quarter except the second one, during which they managed to find the net four times, as many as the top scorer of the game, Aleksa Ukropina, scored in total. The closest Partizan got was two goals behind their rival, but Montenegrin water polo players proved too strong and did not permit any reverse of the result. Nikola Jaksic, a member of Serbia’s national water polo team, was the only one to score more than one goal (3) for the Belgrade-based squad.
In a game between the lowest ranked teams, Croatian Jadran defeated Vojvodina in Split, 11:6. The hosting water polo players recorded their third victory this season, while the squad from Serbia remained last in the standings with only one win. The match was balanced until the half of the second period with Vojvodina overcoming +1 twice. However, with their defense at the high level, the hosting water polo team kept increasing their advantage, achieving even +6 on two occasions. Vojvodina had no chances of a comeback.
Primorje and Mornar will play the fourth match of Round 16 on March 9.
Title holders Jug dominate the standings with only one loss suffered (to Partizan in Round 14). Mladost water polo players are eyeing the 2nd position, as they have only 3 points less than Jadran HN. Partizan still holds the fourth position, with only two points more than Mornar.
Regional League – Round 16
Wednesday, March 8
Budva (MNE) – HAVK Mladost (CRO) 8:12 (2:1, 3:4, 0:4, 3:3)
Budva: Cetkovic S. (1), Mitrovic (2), Dragovic (1), Djurdjic (2), Popovic (1), Cetkovic P. (1)
Mladost: Bukic (2), Milakovic (1), Zovic (1), Brlecic (1), Vlahovic (2), Lazic (1), Paskvalin (1), Basic (3)
Jadran HN (MNE) – Partizan Raiffeisen (SRB) 16:8 (6:1, 1:4, 5:2, 4:1)
Jadran Carine: Ukropina (4), Kovacic (1), Vidovic (1), Markulov (2), Banicevic (1), Radovic (3), Petkovic (3), Spajic (1)
Partizan: Japundzic (1), Jankovic (1), Repanovic (1), Jaksic (3), Radojevic (1), Stojanovic (1)
Jadran Split (CRO) – Vojvodina (SRB) 11:6 (1:1, 3:1, 3:1, 4:3)
Jadran Split: Kragic (2), Vasic (3), Antonijevic (2), Popovic (1), Buselic (1), Viskovic (1), Milardovic (1)
Vojvodina: Maksimovic (1), Cabrilo (2), Trkulja (1), Marceta (1), Rogac (1)
Thursday, March 9
Primorje EB (CRO) – Mornar BS (CRO)
1. Jug 14 – 39
2. Jadran HN 15 – 31
3. Mladost 14 – 28
4. Partizan 14 – 22
5. Mornar 13 – 20
6. Primorje 14 – 14
7. Budva 14 – 13
8. Jadran (Split) 14 – 10
9. Vojvodina 14 – 6