«nov 2017»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
303112345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930123
45678910
«dec 2017»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
27282930123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
1234567
«jan 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930311234
567891011
«feb 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
2930311234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627281234
567891011
«mar 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
2627281234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930311
2345678
«apr 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
2627282930311
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30123456
«may 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
30123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031123
45678910
«jun 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
28293031123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
2526272829301
2345678
«jul 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
2526272829301
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
303112345
«aug 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
303112345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
272829303112
3456789
«sep 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
272829303112
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
1234567
«oct 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930311234
567891011
AlbaniaAndorraArmeniaAustriaAzerbaijanBelgiumBosnia HerzegovinaBelarusBulgariaCroatiaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkSpainEstoniaFaroe IslandsFinlandFranceGreat BritainGeorgiaGermanyGreeceHungaryIrelandIcelandIsraelItalyKosovoLatviaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMoldovaFYR MacedoniaMaltaMontenegroMonacoNetherlandsNorwayPolandPortugalRomaniaRussiaSloveniaSerbiaSwitzerlandSlovakiaSwedenTurkeyUkraine
 
EnglandScotland
Other EHF Sites 

15.06.2015, 11:10
National champions of Europe - men part 3: Balkan
«Go back »Print Version


FEATURE: Review of the men's national leagues in Europe. The third part of the series focuses on Balkan countries - Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Montenegro, FYR Macedonia, Kosovo, Romania and Bulgaria.

»EHF CL Channel »2014-15 Men's News
»
 

National champions of Europe - men part 3: Balkan

The domestic leagues have come to an end and we now approach the draws of the 2015/16 European season, starting with the Men's EHF Champions League draw on 26 June. In six parts, the spotlight is shone on each of the national champions and their path to glory. The third part consists of Balkan teams from Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Montenegro, FYR Macedonia, Kosovo, Romania and Bulgaria.

Serbia – Vojvodina

The thriller in Sabac saw the six-goal performance from the prolific left back Uros Elezovic push Vojvodina to title defence with two games to go, following a hard-fought away win against Metaloplastika.

Upon overtaking the narrow lead mid-way through the first half, Vojvodina approached the final four minutes with a solid three-goal advantage (23:20).

However, the heated atmosphere in Sabac spurred a 3:0 run by the hosts in the dying minutes of the match to keep the deficit within one goal.

With the quintessential Serbian national team goalkeeper Miroslav Kocic on song, Vojvodina survived the late Metaloplastika comeback to lift the trophy for the third consecutive time, following a 24:23 triumph.

Throughout the undefeated title-defence run, the four-time champions saw little resistance from the other contenders. Vojvodina finished comfortable 10 points ahead of the second-placed Spartak Vojput, while defeating last season’s bitter rival Radnicki Kragujevac in both encounters.

Their perfect season was the first in the history of Serbian league play-off. The icing on the cake was repeating the double - lifting the Serbian Cup trophy in Novi Sad.

Croatia - HC PPD Zagreb

The late-season injury crisis could not prevent HC PPD Zagreb from taking their 24th Croatian league title following a win against GRK Varazdin, one week after defending the Croatian Cup trophy.

Coach Veselin Vujovic rejuvenated his seriously depleted squad introducing a young gun Petar Medic to the team, while the Leon Susnja and Lovro Mihic had a chance to shine in a nine-goal (35:26) win, netting two goals each to put the title defence beyond doubt.

It was no coincidence Vujovic had confidence in Zagreb youngsters stepping up for the injured stars, as Zagreb confirmed the nation-wide dominance being crowned champions in all youth categories this season.

The influence of Vujovic was apparent, as the Montenegrin brought to a close his debut season on the bench of the Croatian titan.

Last season's quarter-finalist of the VELUX EHF Champions League completed the seventh undefeated season in a row, routinely defeating RK Dubrava (30:22) to celebrate the title in front of the home fans in Zagreb, granting their prospects Ilija Brozovic and Ivan Stevanovic a perfect farewell and ending a season of good cheer in the legendary Zagreb hall popularly known as the “match box”.



Bosnia Herzegovina - Borac M:tel Banja Luka

Borac M:tel Banja Luka defended the double for the third time in a row, and they did it in style, defeating RK Izvidjac in straight matches (3:0 in series).

Borac started the first match of the series with a home win (33:26), but the encounter had all the elements of a classic. Despite the high-scoring match, Borac goalkeeper and the star of the season Stanko Abadzic, recorded the show-stopping 21 saves to the frustration of their opponents from Ljubuski.

The experienced winger Marko Mikic and the legendary veteran line player Ratko Nikolic finished on a high note as well - netting 11 and eight respectively to win the last match of the play-off series 34:30 in front of their own fans in Banja Luka and help the indomitable Borac to their 48th title.

However it was not the last the fans have seen of the forceful Bosnian champions, as the cup final played in their home town provided yet another reason for celebration.

The “Borik” hall saw the team coached by Igor Radjenovic outplay RK Celik in the final 29:24 and secure another Cup glory, to defend the double.

Montenegro – RK Lovcen

The first play-off match did not look very promising for the eventual Montenegrin champions RK Lovcen. RK Rudar went close to upsetting the defending champions in front of their own fans, as they led 15:11 at half-time.

It took the next 29 minutes of the second period for Lovcen to get back on track, as the last minute score hinted a draw (24:24).

However, the determined youngster Igor Krivokapic took the ball in the last seconds of the match, with responsibility to beat the Rudar goalkeeper and save Lovcen from an upset – what he eventually did, sending home fans to raptures, as Lovcen kick-started their title defence with two points.

Looking at the face of defeat was sufficient motivation for the club from Cetinje, as they went undefeated in the next three matches, to secure the title with a dominant away win (35:18) against Rudar - the same team that caused them so much trouble in the first round.

The 10-goal win in Berane was a mere stroll for Lovcen, as they were handed their milestone fifth Montenegrin championship trophy. Cup final in Budva saw the hosts RK Budvanska Rivijera, put the defending champion to the test with an early lead. A number of missed chances allowed Lovcen to regain control of the match mid-way through, and secure the double winning 25:21.

Macedonia – RK Vardar

Although at the beginning of the season many expected to enjoy the famous Skopje derby between Vardar and Metalurg, the financial problems which hit Metalurg early in the season left Vardar without competition on their way to the title.

Both Vardar and Metalurg joined the rest of the teams in the season's play-off and Vardar won all ten matches in this series. The last season match against Radovis was a formality and with the high scoring victory 35:23 Vardar ended up the season with a trophy.

This match was the last in the “red-black” uniforms for Dobrivoje Markovic, Aleksey Rastvortsev, Nemanja Pribak, Mikhail Chipurin, Vladimir Petric and Stefan Terzic.

Surprisingly Zomimak-M finished on the second position this year while the former champions Metalurg ended up on the third rank.

For the first time after eight years Vardar earned both titles of the domestic season having clinched also the national cup.

Kosovo – Besa Famiglia

For the second year in a row Besa Famiglia won the championship in Kosovo. The team put up consistent performances throughout the season as they ended without a single defeat and with only one draw in total of 28 rounds.
 
In the eighth round the second placed team – Prishtina faced Besa Famiglia and managed to take one point in the game that ended in a draw 33:33.

This was a sign for a much interesting ending of the championship, but Besa Famiglia soon demonstrated their superiority and none of the other teams was able to stop them on their way to the title. At the end they finished with 55 points leaving Prishtina with 12 points behind.

The last game of the season against the team from the bottom of the table - Drenica was a formality for the champion as they won 44:35.

Bulgaria – Fregata Burgas  

Fregata-Burgas became champions of Bulgaria for the second consecutive time. With eight teams competing in the regular part of the season Fregata ended with the same number of points with the second placed team Spartak.

In the final series the champions had an easy task in both matches against their biggest opponent - Spartak.

Fregata started in a impressive fashion in the first away game in Varna and already in the first five minutes they had the reins of the game in their hands. Having maintained a seven-goal advantage from the half-time until the end of the match they beat their rivals 29:22.

In the second game at home Nikola’s Dobrev team cruised past their opponents following a well-deserved 35:24 victory.

Romania – HC Minaur Baia Mare

If Bucharest had to wait 12 years to repeat a win in the women’s Liga Nationala, Minaur Baia Mare ended a dire 16-year old period without a title.

One of the most popular teams in Romania, Minaur was on the brink of bankruptcy three years ago, but the redemption story has been one of this season’s headlines.

However, Minaur’s ascension to the first place has hit several bumps on the road.

The most contested season in the last 20 years saw HC Odorhei win the regular season.

But the Men’s Challenge Cup winners failed to impress in the play-offs and were sent home packing.

Minaur, who finished second in the regular season, tied with Dinamo Bucuresti and HCM Constanta, reached their peak at the right team. Powered by excellent displays from goalkeeper Peter Tatai and centre back Nikola Eklemovic, Minaur sailed past Stiinta Dedeman Bacau (2:1) and Dinamo Bucuresti (2:1) on their way to the final.

It was another Baia Mare – CSM Bucuresti display, as in the women's final, but this time Minaur prevailed. The champions erased a four-goal deficit in the dying 10 minutes of the first game to win 25:23, while the game in Baia Mare ended 26:24, assuring Minaur of their third title in the team’s history.

Baia Mare are preparing, therefore, for the VELUX EHF Champions League handball and have already made important signings, like former Veszprem players Tamas Ivancsik or Uros Vilovski.

Photo: Courtesy of Baia Mare mayor's account


TEXT: Nemanja Savic, Amina Idrizi, Adrian Costeiu / br
 
Share
CONTACT FORM
x