Mens team of Levski started 2013 with a flying start. They beat Balkan on their own court by the score 69-52 in the first game of the round number 11 from NBL in 2013. Titi Papazovs team controlled the match for most of the time as only for a few moments Balkan was close and even at one point tied the score. However, the players of Levski won after an excellent game in defense, especially in the last quarter when they allowed only 5 points for the home side. The victory was important for the confidence of the team Levski ahead of derby match versus Lukoil Academic next Saturday at "Universiada" hall in Sofia. After this success Levski now has 9 wins and 2 losses while Balkan has six wins and five defeats. In meantime Levski practically eliminated this potential rival fighting for second place. Success against Rilski Sportist at home later in the season will practically guarantee them a minimum second position at the end of the regular season before the playoffs.
The hosts equalized for 45 apiece minutes before the end of the third quarter, although Levski had the advantage before that point in every aspect of the game. Marko Marinovic scored a buzzer beater at the end of third to put his team by 4 points ahead of the other side - 51-47. Same player started the last quarter with a basket and more importantly - Levski didnt allow any field goal for their opponent for 6 consecutive minutes. That was crucial for the outcome as quickly the difference in their favor grew up to 18 points. Levski defence showed up big time as the hosts scored only two baskets in the last 10 minutes (three pointer and a lay up), which speaks quite enough for the excellent play under their own hoop for the boys of coach Titi Papazov.
The big advantage of this match for Levski was their offensive rebounds as well as they captured 19 rebounds and that gave them second chance opportunities.
Marko Marinovic had no luck from long distance, but as usual, the he ran the offense very well and made several spectacular and effective penetrations. He finished with 20 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Nikolay Varbanov (210-C-85, agency: Interperformances) added 11 points and was a rebound shy of double double.
Derby against Lukoil Academic is next Saturday - January 12th with tip off at 15.30 local time but before that Levski will travel to Croatia to play versus Djuro Djakovic on January 8th (Tuesday). That will be one of the two remaining games for them in the first stage of the Balkan League.
Player of the Year: Zeljko Sakic (204-F-88) of Lukoil Acad. Guard of the Year: Frank Turner (178-PG-88) of Rilski Forward of the Year: Aleks Simeonov (200-F-93) of Levski 2014 Center of the Year: Zeljko Sakic (204-F-88) of Lukoil Acad. Sixth Man: Martin Marinov (191-SG-85) of Balkan Bosman Player of the Year: Milijan Bocka (185-PG-82) of Yambol Import Player of the Year: Brandon Fortenberry (190-G-90) of Balkan Domestic Player of the Year: Pavlin Ivanov (195-SG-93) of Lukoil Acad. Defensi... [read more]
NBL Round 3 of Finals. Lukoil Academik defend the title - May 23, 2016
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FINAL Balkan - Lukoil Acad. 81-86 Lukoil Academik defended NBL title. They raced past Balkan to complete the sweep of the championship series. Balkan was tied after three quarters but could not keep up in the last quarter eventually losing the game. Lukoil Acad. made 24-of-28 free shots (85.7 percent) during the game. Lukoil Acad. outrebounded Balkan 40-26 including a 15-4 advantage in offensive rebounds. 24 personal fouls committed by Balkan helped opponents get some easy free throw op... [read more]
Lukoil Academik defended NBL title. They raced past Balkan to complete the sweep of the championship series. Balkan was tied after three quarters but could not keep up in the last quarter eventually losing the game. Lukoil Acad. made 24-of-28 free shots (85.7 percent) during the game. Lukoil Acad. outrebounded Balkan 40-26 including a 15-4 advantage in offensive rebounds. 24 personal fouls committed by Balkan helped opponents get some easy free throw opportunities. The best player for the winners was the former international Pavlin Ivanov (195-93, agency: Beo Basket) who scored 20 points and 5 rebounds. Montenegrin power forward Filip Barovic (207-90, agency: Octagon Europe) chipped in a double-double by scoring 11 points and 13 rebounds. Lukoil Acad.'s coach Toni Dechev used a ten-player rotation in such tough game. At the other side the best for losing team was point guard Tsvetoslav Ostrev (175-86) who recorded 19 points and 7 assists (on 7-of-9 shooting from the field) and Serbian power forward Dusan Cvetkovic (205-89, agency: Beo Basket) added 18 points respectively. Five Lukoil Acad. and four Balkan players scored in double figures. Top scorers: Balkan: T.Ostrev 19+4reb+7ast, D.Cvetkovic 18+4reb+1ast, M.Marinov 16+5reb+1ast, M.Durchev 10+2reb+2ast, B.Fortenberry 6+3reb+3ast, N.Varbanov 6+5reb+1ast Lukoil Acad.: P.Ivanov 20+5reb+1ast, K.Minkov 19+4reb+1ast, Z.Sakic 14+10reb+2ast, F.Barovic 11+13reb+2ast, B.Ratkovica 10+4ast, D.Dimitrov 4+1reb+1ast
Rilski overcame Spartak Pleven to clinch the Bronze medals. The game without a history. Rilski led from the first minutes and controlled entire game increasing their lead in each quarter. They dominated down low during the game scoring 60 of its points in the paint compared to Spartak Pleven's 36. They outrebounded Spartak Pleven 43-28 including 30 on the defensive glass. It was a good game for American power forward Tony Gugino (207-86, college:Hillsdale) who led his team to a victory with a double-double by scoring 18 points and 16 rebounds. The former international guard Yordan Bozov (191-79, agency: Global Sports Plaza) contributed with 17 points and 4 assists for the winners. Rilski's coach Rosen Barchovski used entire bench which allowed the starters a little rest for the next games. Serbian guard Uros Velickovic (190-83) answered with 17 points and 5 assists and power forward Dimitar Marincheshki (200-90) added 13 points and 7 rebounds in the effort for Spartak Pleven. Top scorers: Spartak Pleven: U.Velickovic 17+2reb+5ast, D.Marincheshki 13+7reb+3ast, A.Sekulov 11+8reb+1ast, S.Francis 9+4reb+1ast, M.Savic 6+4reb+3ast, G.Nikolov 6+3reb+1ast Rilski: T.Gugino 18+16reb, Y.Bozov 17+4reb+4ast, F.Turner 16+6reb+3ast, D.Ivanov 9+2reb+2ast, T.Carey 8+1reb+3ast, L.Kirov 3
NBL Round 2 of Finals. Lukoil Academik register second straight victory - May 20, 2016
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Lukoil Acad. - Balkan 79-59 Lukoil consolidated their lead in NBL Finals. They rallied past Balkan to open 2-0 lead in the series. The game was mostly controlled by Lukoil Acad.. Balkan managed to win fourth quarter 15-10. But it was not enough to take a lead and get a victory that evening. Lukoil Acad. looked well-organized offensively handing out 24 assists. The best player for the winners was Croatian forward Zeljko Sakic (204-88, agency: Beo Basket) who scored 21 points and 7 reboun... [read more]
Lukoil consolidated their lead in NBL Finals. They rallied past Balkan to open 2-0 lead in the series. The game was mostly controlled by Lukoil Acad.. Balkan managed to win fourth quarter 15-10. But it was not enough to take a lead and get a victory that evening. Lukoil Acad. looked well-organized offensively handing out 24 assists. The best player for the winners was Croatian forward Zeljko Sakic (204-88, agency: Beo Basket) who scored 21 points and 7 rebounds. The former international swingman Hristo Zahariev (197-90) chipped in 13 points and 4 assists. Four Lukoil Acad. players scored in double figures. Swingman Vasil Aleksandrov (199-90) produced 10 points and 6 rebounds and the former international center Nikolay Varbanov (209-85, agency: Interperformances) added 10 points and 6 rebounds respectively for the guests. Both coaches used bench players which allowed the starters a little rest for the next games. Top scorers: Lukoil Acad.: Z.Sakic 21+7reb+2ast, F.Barovic 15+5reb+1ast, H.Zahariev 13+4reb+4ast, F.Videnov 12+3reb+3ast, B.Ratkovica 6+2reb+3ast, P.Ivanov 4+2reb+2ast Balkan: D.Cvetkovic 10+3reb, N.Varbanov 10+6reb+1ast, V.Aleksandrov 10+6reb+2ast, M.Marinov 7+1reb+2ast, R.Kochev 7+4reb+1ast, B.Fortenberry 6+1reb+2ast
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