19 September, 2017
02 May, 2018
Levski Sofia lifted the Bulgarian championship trophy (Courtesy: National Basketball League)
to read

Balkan Botevgrad fall short in Bulgaria; Levski Sofia crowned champions

BOTEVGRAD (Bulgarian National Basketball League) - Levski Sofia are back at the top in Bulgaria for the first time since 2014 after defeating FIBA Europe Cup side Balkan Botevgrad in the National Basketball League title duel.

In a show of resilience, the Konstantin Papazov-coached club bounced back following a loss in the opening game of the series with three straight wins and clinched the trophy with a nail-biting 86-85 victory on the road in Game 4 on Tuesday.

Later named Play-Offs MVP after the conclusion of the series, Bozhidar Avramov led the champions from Sofia with 18 points and 7 assists, while Omari Gudul and Nemanja Milosevic chipped in with 14 and 13 points, respectively.

For Balkan, Igor Kesar had a game-high 22 points in the last game of the campaign, with Jordan Callahan adding 17 points and 6 assists.

"Everyone put their egos to the side on this team. I am convinced that this is the sweetest title for many Bulgarian players here," coach Papazov praised the unselfishness of his players after the celebrations at the Botevgrad Arena.

The only team to have interrupted the top flight dominance of their cross-town rivals Lukoil Academic in the past 16 seasons, Levski added their second title during this stretch and brought their overall national title tally to 19.

They also lifted the Balkan League crown earlier in the year after defeating Kosovar club Bashkimi Prizren in the Final.

The defending champions, Lukoil Academic, were eliminated by Balkan in the Quarter-Finals. Having reached the NBL Finals for the third time in the past four seasons, the Botevgrad club are yet to climb on the highest step of the podium.

Four teams from Bulgaria took part in the FIBA Europe Cup this season – Balkan and Lukoil Academic reached the Regular Season, while Rilski Sportist and BC Beroe did not make it past the Qualifying Rounds to begin with.