|27 May 2013|
BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|F.Y.R. of Macedonia international Gjorgij Chekovski was named MVP of the finals |
MZT Skopje Aerodrom swept Kozuv 4-0 in the play-off finals of F.Y.R. of Macedonia's Prva Liga championship to conclude their successful defence of both domestic titles, as they had already won the cup competition in March.
F.Y.R. of Macedonia international Gjorgji Chekovski, who was instrumental for Skopje in last season's first league success in the history of the club, was named MVP of the finals.
The team from the capital city defeated Kozuv 93-89 on the road in Game 4 to clinch the title, behind 21 points by another F.Y.R. of Macedonia international, shooting guard Damjan Stojanovski.
Boris Bakic finished with 18 points, Chekovski came off the bench to contribute 17 points and seven rebounds while veteran center and last year's MVP Todor Gechevski collected a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds.
MZT won the first and third games of the series with comfortable margins at home and had won Game 2 at Kozuv 89-81.
To reach the title, they eliminated last year's finalists Feni Indistrija with 3-0 wins in the semi-finals.
The two-time champions are coached by Ales Pipan, who was also handed the reins of the national team in the winter.
"It was a quite difficult, but successful season," the delighted Slovenian tactician said.
"Although the 4-0 score does not make it seem so, it was a quite difficult finale and I want to congratulate my guys for playing well, showing great character and heart in each game.
"They played as a team on both offence and defence and I am happy and satisfied with my players."
The arrival of the 33-year-old Chekovski at MZT Skopje last year coincided with the rise of the club to the summit and their participation in the ABA Adriatic League.
"Since we are playing in the ABA League we know that we must invest more to prove and justify the role of the favourite," the power forward commented.
"I got the MVP award, but I think we deserve it all together, as a team.
"I want to congratulate my team-mates, and the opponents, who played great basketball all year."
MIA CLINCH GEORGIAN SUPERLEAGUE
MIA Academy registered a big 86-80 victory against Olimpi on the road in the decisive fifth game of the finals on Sunday, to win the Georgian Superleague title.
The eventual champions had prevailed 79-71 away to take the home-court advantage in the series, but Regular Season winners Olimpi won Game 4 at MIA, 82-75, to regain the right to play the decider at home.
Kirk Archibeque paved the way for MIA's triumph in Game 5 with a double-double of 22 points and 12 rebounds.
BENFICA DEFEND LPB TITLE
Benfica Lisbon won their second consecutive, and 24th in their history Portuguese league title on Sunday following a 91-77 win over Academica de Coimbra on the road.
The Portuguese powerhouse had won the first two games in the best-of-five series at home, but Academica, which had finished in third place in the Regular Season, surprised them with their gutsy performance and a 79-74 win in overtime in a thrilling Game 3 to prolong the title race.
In Game 4, Darius Dunn propelled Benfica to victory with 28 points on 5-for-12 shooting from three-point range while Frederick Gentry chipped in with 19 points and five rebounds.
Portuguese international Carlos Andrade, who turned 35 in April, contributed 17 points and a game-high eight rebounds in the triumph.