BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|David Vojvoda was the star for Szolnoki Olaj in the Hungarian Championship play-offs|
Szolnoki Olaj completed on Saturday a 3-0 sweep of Atomeromu in the Hungarian Division A Finals to collect their third domestic league title in four years, the fifth in the club's history.
The EuroChallenge semi-finalists prevailed 79-69 in the decisive Game 3 at home, after bending the resistance of an Atomeromu side that had travelled to Szolnok determined to pick up a first win and prolong the series.
Atomeromu grabbed the initiative right from tip-off and led until midway through the second frame, when Strahinja Milosevic sunk two consecutive jumpers and put the hosts ahead, 31-30.
With Hungarian internationals David Vojvoda and Peter Lorant stepping up offensively and combining for 12 points in a five-minute stretch that bridged the second and third quarters, Szolnok extended the gap to double digits, 44-32, right after the half-time break.
Szolnok led by as many as 15 points and, while Atomeromu momentarily reduced the deficit back to single digits heading into the final stanza, the hosts maintained a comfy cushion until the end of the encounter, sparing the home fans at the sold-out Tiszaligeti Sportcsarnok Arena of unnecessary drama.
Lorant finished with 16 points for the champions, while Milosevic and Justin Holiday added 11 points apiece.
The undisputed star of the title series however was Vojvoda, who scored a game-high 23 points on 8-for-13 from the floor on Saturday.
This glazing display by the winger came three days after he had dropped 22 points on 9-for-15 shooting to pave the way for Szolnok's 77-71 win on the road in Game 2.
"There were was some pressure on us, but it did not matter," Vojvoda said.
"Atomeromu sure did everything they could so that we would go back to their court again, but we no longer wanted to travel."
Szolnok were proclaimed Hungarian champions in 2011 and 2012 but last season they lost to Alba Fehérvár in the title series.
Their 2014 campaign has terminated with the domestic double, as they had also conquered the Hungarian Cup earlier in the season, a 12th-place finish in the ABA Adriatic League and a semi-final appearance in the EuroChallenge Final Four, for the second time in the history in the club.