PHOTO: Croatian Water polo Federation

THE START OF THE STRUGGLE FOR THE POSITIONS IN THE WATER POLO REGIONAL LEAGUE

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This week, from Wednesday to Friday (March 27 to 29), the battle for the standings in the Premier League begins, but divided into three “strong” classes, based on the previous placement in the first part of the competition

From 1st to 5th place – Jadran and Jug AO
Apart from our two best teams, this round also includes the champion of Montenegro, Jadran from Herceg Novi, and two Belgrade clubs, Novi Beograd and Crvena zvezda.

On the first day of the competition, the southpaws will play against Crvena zvezda, the same club they will meet in the Eurocup quarterfinals.

Zvezda is a very, very experienced team. They have two excellent centers, a team that controls the rhythm and it is not easy to play against them

Vjekoslav Kobešćak, Jug AO Coach

Do we agree that Zvezda is stronger than BVSC, which they showed in the Eurocup, is Jug stronger than Zvezda?

We will see. There are so many games and challenges that we didn’t have the opportunity to prepare for this tournament. We can’t prepare the way they normally would, but I hope we’re at a satisfactory level as the Vasas game showed. If we could stay in that tone, that would be great. The return of goalkeeper Popadić was crucial for Vasas, it was even a little surprising how good he was after such a break.

We hope, we would add, and we are sure, that Toni remains at that level. On the second day of competition at the Belgrade tournament, the southpaws will be resting, but our Jadran will be in the water against “old friends” from the Champions League, Novi Beograd.

The way we played in the second part of the match against Novi Belgrade was great. A lukewarm start at the beginning cost us the defeat then, and they punish that. I think we learned a lot from that match

Jure Marelja, Jadran Coach

It will be interesting at the tournament because we will have one eye to clearly see what Jug is doing, since in dependence, if we are ahead of them at the end of the Premier League, we will then have the status of the 1st club in the playoffs of our championship.

From the 6th to the 8th place – Primorje EB and Solaris
In this society, the Kragujevac Radnički club is the third. The Serbian team will visit our coast this week, so first on Wednesday they will visit Šibenik and then Rijeka on Friday. Before the start of these battles, Primorje EB is in the best position, having 6 points, in contrast to the zero that is behind the names of Solaris and Radnički.

From 9th to 12th place – Mladost and Mornar
In the round there are a total of 4 teams, two of which are Croatian, Mladost from Zagreb and Mornar from Split. Šabac and Partizan complete the team. In the current order or points, all 4 clubs have 3 points each, so they are completely equal at the start.

On the first day of the competition, which will normally be played in two pools, in Obrenovac and Šabac, the loudest clash is surely the Obrenovac duel between Mladost and Partizan. Clubs that once ruled Europe are now in the position of fighting to remain in the elite class of regional club water polo. Mladost will probably play without the young, very talented Jan Bušić, who is, however, a high school graduate, and as such, his school obligations have now progressed. When it comes to Šabac and Partizan, these two clubs are “neighbors” in the Serbian Championship table. In the Champions League there (ranking from 1st to 6th place), after 7 rounds, Šabac is in 4th place with 8 points, and Partizan is in the bottom with 4 points less. This season, Šabac has two victories over Partizan in their head-to-head matches, one of which was by five points, and that in their pool.

We have not forgotten that another tournament is being played in the same time slot, from Wednesday to Friday, but since there are no Croatian teams in it, it is not being followed more closely. It is about the A1 league tournament, ranking from 11th to 13th place, and the Slovenian national team, Budva and Taš from Belgrade will be performing there.

SOURCE: Croatian Varpolo Federation

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