Nikola Ivanovic leads Crvena Zvezda to the championship in Serbia

By Johnny Askounis/ [email protected]

Finishing the 2021-22 season, Crvena Zvezda mts beat FMP Meridian, 71-59, to win Serbia’s SuperLeague Playoffs Sunday night.

Montenegrin point guard Nikola Ivanovic was the top performer packing 21 points behind 7/10 field goals, six rebounds, five assists, and three steals in just over 20 minutes. Serbian forward Nikola Kalinic followed with 12 points in Belgrade’s Zeleznik Hall. Ognjen Kuzmic chipped in nine points and Stefan Markovic ended up with eight points to his name.

After dominating Game 1 Friday, winning Game 2 of the Finals concluded the best-of-three series and secured the league championship in Serbia for the seventh time in a row since 2015. The seven triumphs at the domestic level are now one shy of Partizan’s eight titles captured between 2007 and 2014.

The team guided by Dejan Radonjic previously eliminated Mega Mozzart in the Semifinals. FMP, slated to compete in the Basketball Champions League Qualifiers of the 2022-23 season, automatically advanced to the KSL Finals since Partizan NIS withdrew its participation. Captain Marko Radonjic piled up 14 points, six assists, five rebounds, and two steals in the last showing of a solid campaign.

Emerging as the clear frontrunners in the Serbian league’s Playoffs, the Red-Whites added to the titles captured in 2021-22. They came in as the champions in both AdmiralBet ABA League and Triglav osiguranje Radivoj Korac Cup. As for the campaign in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, the 12-16 finish fell a couple of wins shy of a berth in the Playoffs.

Photo Credit: EuroleagueBasketball.net

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