OK BUDVA defeated Budućnost Volley in Podgorica 3-2 and after four matches contested for the final series, the team from the seaside town could celebrate yet another title – the fifth in a row – in the highest division of the Montenegrin national league.
OK BUDVA have further extended their winning streak in domestic competitions. With their second victory in Podgorica, and their third in a row in the finals against Budućnost Volley, they won the EPCG Super League playoffs and once again secured the double domestic crown. The new-old Montenegrin champions played phenomenally in the tiebreak of the fourth match, winning it 15-8 to celebrate at the end of the game contested at the Morača sports centre.
“It certainly means a lot to us. It is a nice feeling to achieve such a result and defend the title for the fourth time in a row. It was very interesting this season. Budućnost’s team was put together quite well this year. My colleague Bošković did a great job leading the team, and we could see a lot of good work, and it has certainly contributed to making this series even more interesting, which undoubtedly gives our title even greater appeal”, said Miloš Marković head coach of OK BUDVA.
The match started well for the team from Podgorica, and after a seesaw battle in the first set, they managed to make several series of two or three consecutive points and pulled ahead to 14-12. The versatile play brought Miljan Bošković’s team to a four-point advantage for the first time at a score of 17-13. After Strugar’s ace serve, Čirić’s attack finished out of bounds from Budva’s block, ending the first set 25-20 in favour of Budućnost.
The reigning champions started the second set with a 3-0 lead, which the hosts matched. Budućnost even turned the tables, leading 9-6, but BUDVA equalised with three consecutive points and took the lead, which the blue-and-white team constantly chased. At the end, Jelić scored for 25-23 and 1-1 in sets.
Arman Čirić broke the tied third set with two consecutive points. Budućnost had a lead of no more than two points and in the middle of the set, at the score of 12-12, they lost Stefan Radević, who got injured. Still, Nikola Radović did a good job, and the middle blocker Silajdžić played a great role, winning several crucial points in key moments. In the end, the second player from Bosnia and Herzegovina in the ranks of Budućnost, Čirić, made the difference in favour of the Podgorica team, 25-22.
OK BUDVA players showed their experience in the fourth set and managed to equalize to 2-2 despite the mounting pressure. The guests controlled the fourth part of the game, although Budućnost managed to take the lead at 10-9. However, several mistakes and an excellent Aleksandar Gmitrović forced Miljan Bošković to call a timeout, which did not benefit the blue team. The advantage varied between three and one point in favour of OK BUDVA, and at the end of the set, the concentration of the Podgorica team faltered. Gmitrović made the difference with an excellent serve, and BUDVA secured a tie-break with a score of 25-20.
In the tiebreak, Miloš Marković’s team won the first six points. Nikola Radović ended his team’s negative streak, but they only managed to mitigate the defeat until the end. OK BUDVA won the match with a final score of 3-2 and thus secured their fifth consecutive title in the national league.
“As I said at the beginning of the playoffs, the Budva team was preparing for the European Cups. We are an extremely young team, but we have shown that we are worth it, and I hope that Budućnost will become even more competitive next year. We have shown that Montenegrin men’s Volleyball deserves much more attention”, said Miljan Bošković Head coach of Budućnost Volley.
Aleksandar Gmitrović was again the most effective player of the fourth match in the series, leading OK BUDVA with 28 points. Middle blocker Matija Ćinćur scored 11 times. In the Buducnost Volley team, the most prominent player was opposite Bojan Strugar, who scored 23 points, followed by Arman Čirić with 18 and Adnan Silajdžić with 10 points.