The highlight of the 17th round of the Regional league was the big clash between two most successful clubs in the history of water polo. Partizan hosted Mladost and achieved a 14-11 victory. With three points, which they took in this match the water polo players from Belgrade have qualified for the Final four. The champion of Serbia will stay in 4th place, no matter what happens in the last round next weekend, because 5th-placed Mornar lost their game against Jadran (Herceg Novi), today. Now, the team from Split has no chance to catch up Partizan.
In the derby of the round Partizan grabbed the lead early (5-2) in the first period, but the visitors came very close at the start of the second quarter (5-4). The home team netted four straight goals in a span of three minutes and jumped to a 9-4 lead, 2.17 by the end of the first half. However, the water polo players of Mladost didn’t give up, they trailed 11-10 in the middle of 3rd quarter. But they didn’t manage to equalize the score. The big battle continued until the end, but Partizan controlled the match. Three minutes before the final whistle the home team, led by Radomir Drasovic (5 goals) went 14-11 up . Both rivals had great chances in the last three minutes, but the score was not changed.
Jadran (Herceg Novi) helped Partizan to reach to the Final four. The champions of Montenegro beat Mornar, as guests, and eliminated the Croats from the race for the final tournament. The match between Mornar and Jadran was a hard battle until the start of the last quarter. The game was tied in the middle of the third period (4-4), but at the end of this quarter Jadran led 5-4. The Montenegrins netted two goals in the first minute of the final quarter and gained three-goal lead (7-4), for the first time. Five minutes later they added one more goal, fourth in a row, and secured the victory. Mornar scored once more but it was too late (8-5).
The leader Jug did a clean job in Novi Sad, beating Vojvodina 15-9. The guests played without several key-players. This match couldn’t change anything in the standings, so Vjekoslav Kobescak, the head coach of Jug, gave a rest to Perrone, Garcia, Loncar and Bijac and young players got a chance to show their potential. Vojvodina resisted in the first quarter, which ended 3-3. Jug soon showed who the favorite is. The visitors didn’t leave too much chance to the young side of Vojvodina and beat them convincingly
Jadran (Split) demolished Budva. The team from Split, led by Nikola Milradovic, defeated the Montenegrins 17-8. In first 10 minutes, Jadran rushed to a 7-0 lead. Budva reduced a deficit in the 3rd period (8-5), but after that Jadran has dominated.
The Final four will be played in Dubrovnik (March 31st – April 1st). In the semifinal, title-holder Jug will play against Partizan and Jadran will face Mladost.
The competition in Group A2 was finished. Primorac (Montenegro) won first place and advanced to A1 group. Second-placed POSK (Croatia) will meet Vojvodina in play-out.
A1 Regional league, 17th round
Partizan Raiffeisen (Serbia) – HAVK Mladost(Croatia) 14-11
Partizan: Drasovic 5, Stojanovic 3, Jaksic 2, Repanovic, Vucinic, Radojevic, Manojlovic.
Mladost: Bukic 3, Zovic 2, Vlahovic 2, Basic, Brlecic, Lazic, Valecic
Mornar (Croatia) – Jadran Carine, Herceg Novi (Montenegro) 5-8 (1-2, 2-2, 1-1, 1-3)
Mornar: Zivkovic 2, Cagalj, Krekovic, Krolo.
Jadran Carine: Kovacic 2, Petkovic 2, Ukropina, Popadic, Vidovic, Radovic.
Jadran Split (Croatia) – Budva (Montenegro) 17-8 (4-0, 4-2, 4-5, 5-1)
Jadran: Milardovic 5, Popovic 4, Marinic-Kragic 2, Gluhaic 2, Vasic, Buselic, Santini, Chikvinidze.
Budva: Djurdjic 3, Vujasevic 2, Popovic 2, Cetkovic.
Vojvodina (Serbia) – Jug CO (Croatia) 9-15 (3-3, 1-4, 3-3, 2-5)
Vojvodina: Maksimovic 3, Rogac 2, Maric, Cabrilo, Trkulja, Vasic.
Jug: Obradovic 4, Ivankovic 3, Fatovic 2, Markovic 2, Macan, Pejic, Benic, Vrlic.
1. Jug 15 games – 42 points
2. Jadran Herceg Novi 16 – 34
3. Mladost 15 – 28
4. Partizan 15 – 25
5. Mornar 15 – 20
6. Primorje 15 – 17
7. Jadran Split 15 – 13
8. Budva 15 – 13
9. Vojvodina 15- 6
A2 Regional league, 14th round
Zadar 1952 (Croatia) – Primorac (Montenegro) 10-16
OVK Posk (Croatia) – Sabac (Serbia) 9-3
Solaris (Croatia) – Medvescak (Croatia) 5-11
Crvena zvezda (Serbia) – Cattaro (Montenegro) 13-6.
1. Primorac 14 – 34
2. POSK 14 – 33
3. Sabac 14 – 33
4. Crvena zvezda 14 – 31
5. Cattaro 14 – 16
6. Medvescak 14 – 10
7. Zadar 1952 14 – 6
8. Solaris 14 – 3