LSC ::: Lerujka Sports Channel

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LSC ::: Lerujka Sports Channel

Postby Lerujka » Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:12 am

The sports organisations listed below are broadcasted on the Lerujka Sports Channel - your number one source for all sports events in Lerujka.

  • Athletics --- Kupa Qytetit --- A series of six events in some of the central cities of Lerujka. During each of these track-and-field evenings, various competitions take place.

  • Athletics --- Trofe Distancë Gjatë --- Series of four long-distance running races. City-to-city competitions have a long tradition in the nation and often go over difficult terrain.

  • Basketball --- Ligë Basketbolli --- National top division of basketball. Twelve teams compete in a round-robin tournament for the national title.

  • Boxing --- Natën Doreza Arta --- After a long split between several splintered federations, two main ones decided to work together and pit their title fights on the same events.

  • Cycling --- Trofeu Ciklizmit --- A series of five one-day races which test all sort of qualities among the involved riders.

  • Football --- Kategorija Pro e Parë --- National top division of professional association football. Ten clubs compete in a round-robin tournament for the national title.

  • Football --- Kategorija Pro e Dytë --- Second division of professional association football. Ten clubs compete in a round-robin tournament for promotion.

  • Football --- Kupa Kombëtare --- The twenty professional clubs and the top two of each of the six regional amateur divisions fight for the coveted cup through various rounds.

  • Handball --- Seria Hendbollit --- National top division of handball. Eight semi-professional clubs compete in a round-robin tournament for the national title.

  • Motorsports --- Cmim Madh Broxha Seria --- During the previous decade, a decent racing site has been created near the city of Broxha, allowing a short series with domestic cars.

  • Tennis --- Tenisi Trofe Hapur --- Organisation which gathers the five main tennis tournaments in the country. The key two ones are the Lurore Open and the Kupa Marini.

  • Weightlifting --- Kampionatet Kombëtare --- Sport which traces back a long history in Lerujka, with these national championships being a well-published event.

  • Wrestling --- Mundja Slam --- Wrestling tournaments have happened for ages but recently, the sport got more organised as some key events joined hands.
Last edited by Lerujka on Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:42 pm, edited 12 times in total.

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Postby Lerujka » Mon Jul 13, 2020 3:00 am

Kupa Qytetit

Founded in 854 as a single event in the city of Perlokaster to promote the track and fields sport, this phenomenon has grown into a fairly prestigious series of six events. The overarching concept is rather straightforward as there is no real point or score held across competitions, nor yearly champions. Each evening simply is a stand-alone event during which various competitions are being held. The organisers always attempted to keep the events close to the bigger hubs of the country to assure a decent audience in the stadiums.

With the addition of an event in Vosjan in 873, the series has swollen to six events. Each individual event choses from a base list of possible competitions which ones they want to organise, albeit they align to ensure that each of the involved track-and-field events get contested at least three times. Organisers are allowed to add non-base list events, often adding sprint numbers or competitions between junior athletes. The base list contains four Olympic running events (100m; 400m; 1500m; 10000m), two hurdles events (110m; 400m), the steeplechase, the 4x400m club relay, pole vault, high jump, long jump, shot put and javelin throw.

Although each event should be considered as stand-alone, it is a point of merit to win a Qyteti or city - athletes who win the same event three times in a row in a city get monikered as the ‘city major’, a badge of honour held in high esteem. It is often speculated whether an athlete will ever become the major of all current involved cities. But even a single win in the Kupa Qytetit is a prestigious feat and celebrated by the victors. Javelin throwers, by example, add a stripe to their javelin with each won Qyteti, the colour related to the place of their victory.

List of Tournaments

Perlokaster Since 854
Tusjak Since 859
Skrovoda Since 862, hiatus from 866 to 871
Mekur From 864 to 870
Zehtë Since 866
Terponat From 869 to 871
Lurore Since 870
Vosjan Since 873

854 - 858 1 Kupa
859 - 861 2 Kupa
862 - 863 3 Kupa
864 - 868 4 Kupa
869 - 872 5 Kupa
873 - ... 6 Kupa

Total of 63 Kupa Qytetit at the start of 874

List of Honour

100 meter Most victories 12 Dritjon Rroshi
Record 10.42 Dritjon Rroshi (Zehtë, 871)

400 meter Most victories 9 Ilion Gocaj
Record 45.88 Erdit Salliu (Perlokaster, 873)

1500 meter Most victories 13 Skënder Begaj
Record 3:42.18 Skënder Begaj (Mekur, 865)

10000 meter Most victories 14 Florind Karafili
Record 28:16.02 Hekuran Bushati (Tusjak, 860)

110m hurdles Most victories 11 Gezim Shehi
Record 13.62 Gezim Shehi (Zehtë, 871)

400m hurdles Most victories 10 Gezim Shehi
Record 50.37 Ansi Bejleri (Terponat, 870)

Steeplechase Most victories 8 Bato Zeka
Record 8:32.19 Bato Zeka (Skrovoda, 864)

4x400m relay Most victories 19 Tusjak AC
Record 3:13.28 Tusjak AC (Tusjak, 872)

Pole vault Most victories 22 Arbian Pjetri
Record 5.50 Arbian Pjetri (Lurore, 872)

High jump Most victories 7 Drit Jorgji
Record 2.22 Ulpëtin Lamce (Perlokaster, 872)

Long jump Most victories 12 Ylli Vrapi
Record 8.06 Ylli Vrapi (Skrovoda, 873)

Shot put Most victories 14 Admir Shkurtaj
Record 19.06 Admir Shkurtaj (Mekur, 868)

Javelin throw Most victories 16 Erjon Nako
Record 74.19 Roan Mici (Perlokaster, 859)

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Postby Lerujka » Mon Jul 13, 2020 3:39 am

Trofe Distancë Gjatë

The Trofe is an intriguing tournament in the simple sense that it is not as much a tournament as a common moniker of four separate and unique events. The oldest, and arguably the most prestigious of these four, is the Riviera Maraton. Dating back from before the independence, this test is grueling for - obviously - its length but also for the blistering heat which more often than not torments the athletes as they run along the coast line towards the city of Terponat, the historic fishing town which slowly develops into a minor touristic hub.

A month or two earlier on the agenda, one encounters the Kondrat Tshallans. Despite its relative short length, just a little over seven kilometres, it speaks to the imagination as the competitors make their way from the bottom of the hill to the town square of Perlokaster, the infamous gated town and historical capital of Lerujka. Also quite short, yet on a completely different terrain is the Tusjak Djhëte, a city run over a little under ten kilometres. The race is such a popular challenge for amateur runners that any New Years’ intention gets called ‘having a Djhëte’ across the country. The Grand Slam of Lerujkan running is rounded up by the Marqan - Tomoçan race, a thirty-plus kilometres slog in the northern region which earned its spot amongst the greats for its rolling terrain and often dramatic turns: it’s not rare for a leader to lose victory with his eyes on the finish flag at the top of the long, rising Albaster Avenju from Tomoçan.

These four races each developed at their own pace originally. Long-distance running, in its simplicity yet heroism, was for long the most obvious athletic option for the impoverished part of the inlands and it is no wonder that one of theirs, the illustrious Valon Falgaj, managed to be the first to put all four on his palmares. The legend of Falgaj only became greater after his young death. Since, capturing all four crowns became an obsession to the top runners with Lundrim Daci eventually managing this unlikely feat with his victory in the Tusjak Djhëte - considered the easiest to run but the hardest to win - in 871. Yet no one yet won all four in the same season, a big, nearly impossible challenge, which makes it only more attractive.

It is important to note that whilst the four separate races get pushed together under a singular name, there is no overarching classification. However, any athlete who wins two of the four races in the same season has been dubbed as the ‘victor’ of that year since the forties, when these four competitions rose from the much richer calendar of city races. This has as a consequence that the season can be shared, as happened once in 861.

List of Tournaments

Kondrat Tshallans Founded in 837
Record winner: Prijar Malhani (8)

Riviera Maraton Founded in 798
Record winner: Saimir Kolaj (9)

Tusjak Djhëte Founded in 841
Record winner: Esat Pelumbi (4)

Marqan - Tomoçan Founded in 818
Record winner: Alesjo Gugo (6)

List of Honour

844 Alesjo Gugo
846 Orestis Memtaj
849 Valon Falgaj
850 Valon Falgaj Won three races out of four
852 Valon Falgaj
856 Danjel Teqja
857 Prijar Malhani
858 Prijar Malhani Won three races out of four
860 Dorian Vajushi
861 Esat Pelumbi
Dorian Vajushi
864 Tefik Kacurri
866 Aurel Thanasi
869 Lundrum Daci
870 Lundrum Daci
872 Rrezag Sokoli
873 Lundrum Daci Won three races out of four

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Postby Lerujka » Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:22 am

Ligë Basketbolli

Whilst there is not a single team sport which manages to challenge the dominance of football, basketball makes a decent case for being the number two on such a list. In the early twenties, the sport made its entrance via the port of Vosjan where foreign sailors killed the time between shipments by playing ball. Bit by bit, this got picked up by the youths from the city so it is fair to say that Vosjan and the surrounding cities form the heartland of Lerujkan basketball. In these areas, it is more likely to stumble on a forgotten court with a metallic ring bolted to a blind wall rather than two equally stubborn football goals.

No wonder that when basketball competitions took place, they centered around this part of the country. The Ligë Bregdet, which comprised teams from the larger Vosjan area, was long the lynchpin of the domestic sport with semi-professional teams playing often close and heated encounters. As it was followed with passion by the local fans, it gradually developed into both an asset and a burden: whilst the local scene blossomed, other regions stayed behind due to a lack of competition.

This seeming deadlock was broken towards the end of the fifties when nine of the bigger clubs in the Ligë Bregdet took matters in their own hands and invited three teams in other regions, ensuring a national span for their competition. As the Vosjan Turtles went bust, another team outside the core region got invited. By now, we can say that the Ligë has a national following, even if the clubs are more often than not coastal based. The twelve teams manage to combine a decent balance between the teams through salary caps and gaps to a proper level as they hover up the talent from regional amateur competitions.

In the first years, the battle was mainly between the Vosjan Bears and the Terponat Titans, with the former being the first to grab five crowns, but the latter managing a unique triple. Recently, the competition became fiercer and it has become more difficult to predict the victors. In the last few years, there were talks about introducing play-offs but as the lions’ share of the players are semi-professional, no steps have been taken yet to exceed the classic double round-robin format.

List of Honour

Year Winner Second Third MVP

858 Vosjan Bears Terponat Titans Pjer Rockets Driti Xhika (Bears)
859 Terponat Titans Vosjan Bears Vosjan Turtles Bledi Mile (Titans)
860 Vosjan Bears Tusjak Capitals Terponat Titans Driti Xhika (Bears)
861 Pjer Rockets Vosjan Bears Vosjan Eagles Driti Xhika (Bears)
862 Terponat Titans Pjer Rockets Vosjan Bears Blerim Lila (Titans)
863 Terponat Titans Vosjan Bears Fishkopi Bluejays Blerim Lila (Titans)
864 Terponat Titans Fishkopi Bluejays Vosjan Bears Kristjan Nako (Bluejays)
865 Vosjan Bears Terponat Titans Pjer Rockets Bledion Fangaj (Titans)
866 Vosjan Bears Skrovoda Lightning Terponat Titans Endri Dermaku (Bears)
867 Skrovoda Lightning Vosjan Bears Lurore Lions Artnat Dushku (Lightning)
868 Vosjan Bears Terponat Titans Skrovoda Lightning Endri Dermaku (Bears)
869 Terponat Titans Vosjan Eagles Vosjan Bears Argent Salliu (Titans)
870 Vosjan Eagles Erkani Bulldogs Terponat Titans Alsid Januzi (Eagles)
871 Tusjak Capitals Vosjan Bears Erkani Bulldogs Kastriot Beqaj (Capitals)
872 Vosjan Bears Selber Senators Skrovoda Lightning Endri Dermaku (Bears)
873 Skrovoda Lightning Tusjak Capitals Vosjan Bears Alsid Januzi (Lightning)
Last edited by Lerujka on Fri Jul 17, 2020 6:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Lerujka » Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:12 pm

Natën Doreza Arta

Trying to entangle the history of boxing in Lerujka is like attempting to order your plate of spaghetti by length of the strings. We’re not saying it’s impossible, but it will be a difficult job and potentially quite tedious. Numerous organisations have sprung up and waned across the years, each attempting to make a buck in organising fights under the cover of national sports - or in some cases just admitting they were in it for the money. The root cause for this chaos is the lack of overarching authority in a combat sport which always got its popularity out of the limelight, contrary to the more respected wrestling.

Amidst the pile formed by the organising acronyms, two eventually managed to escape obscurity. The LBB or ’The Union’, founded in 824, was amongst the more prestigious of titles since its inception. Due to their financial capacity to tie some of the stars to their brand, they kept afloat even during the general wane at the end of the forties. Far more recent is the LLA, commonly known as ’The League’ which started off at one of the absolute lows of the sport, in the middle of the fifties. The LLA was aware of the potential for spectacle and television rights, getting them to start organising bouts away from the pubs and back rooms.

In 862, financial power and modern knowhow got gathered in the Natën Doreza Arta as format. The concept is clear, each title fight for either the LLA or the LBB takes place in a bimonthly, well advertised event. In an ideal scenario, the holders of the two titles fight for the absolute hegemony. Around the key fight, various smaller bouts take place between younger boxers or aspiring athletes - or even a spot for a belt. Originally, there were six fights each year, but recently this expanded to nine events as the sport is on the rise amongst the fans. Those fighting for the title can earn sums which exceed a regular wage by ten to twenty times, making many a young man dream of the ring.

List of Holders after NDA86

Heavyweight LLA Rron Pali 2 Defenses Since NDA79 vs Rudin Buba
LBB Gjon Shahu 1 Defense Since NDA83 vs Mirjan Xhaka

Cruiserweight LLA Edon Kukaj 3 Defenses Since NDA72 vs Yusuf Qosja
LBB Edon Kukaj 2 Defenses Since NDA79 vs Yusuf Qosja

Middleweight LLA Ulkan Kaloshi New Since NDA84 vs Regi Aliko
LBB Marash Bushi 5 Defenses Since NDA70 vs Masimiljan Roshi

Welterweight LLA Kristian Metani 1 Defense Since NDA81 vs Afrim Puka
LBB Afrim Puka New Since NDA83 vs Berat Qendro
Kostadi Batha New Since NDA87 vs Afrim Puka

Lightweight LLA Juljan Koldashi 5 Defenses Since NDA62 vs Jozif Ivani
LBB Juljan Koldashi 4 Defenses Since NDA67 vs Genc Biba

Flyweight LLA Valdan Barjamaj New Since NDA82 vs Njomzak Pergjini
Luigj Kaziu New Since NDA85 vs Valdan Barjamaj
LBB Ireneo Janku 2 Defenses Since NDA73 vs Arbian Koldashi
Besim Strati New Since NDA86 vs Ireneo Janku
Last edited by Lerujka on Fri Oct 02, 2020 4:54 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Postby Lerujka » Thu Jul 16, 2020 6:42 am

Trofeu Ciklizmit

Cycling is not particularly popular in Lerujka, yet there is a small but dedicated core of riders which compete against one another at a decent level, despite being full amateurs. The bike in itself is a well-spread means of transportation, even if the use is waning a little bit now more people can afford a car, so it was only a matter of time before people would challenge one another to be the fastest. Yet, the mediocre road infrastructure of the country forms a limiting element for those aspiring a thrilling domestic scene - but it doesn’t stop the aficionados from trying.

Although there is a richer calendar up the books, in time the longest running races gathered under a single banner to raise their profile to the general audience. It did not work out as well as aspired, but it did land them a deal with the LSC channel, so it definitely impacted the scene. Winning the classification, which requires three finishes to be ranked, became the focal point for nearly every rider. Even in as far as that some other races, such as the once important Trofe Tregtaresh, which didn’t join this series, have seen themselves disappear from the front row or in the worst case even drop out indefinitely.

Nonetheless, the calendar ensures a good blend of all types of terrain available for cyclists in the nation with three races predominantly on roads and two on grezatti, the mix of dirt and gravel typical for the inlands. Especially the Neper Vëndi does not shy away from that sort of surface. Originating in a challenge to traverse the country north to south as quickly as possible, it is the youngest of the five races but quickly became a household name over its rolling terrain. A bit older and even slightly more prestigious is the Piljet Klasik which runs through the forests around Lurore and has enough vertical metres to squeeze the best out of everyone.

The season opener is, according to the adague, the easiest to ride but the hardest to win. Terponat - Skrovoda - Terponat (or TST) stays close to the flat coast but the wind which blows almost every time makes this a devious race. The Trofe Zejtare, a lap circuit which runs through the centre of Selber, requires more short efforts as the city is sprinkled with nasty, shorty climbs. Last but definitely not least is potentially the heaviest of all Lerujkan cycling races, the feared Sfide Mekur. With not a flat meter in sight, this long race in the western wastelands allows only the best of riders to make it to the line.

List of Races

Terponat - Skrovoda - Terponat Founded in 826
Record winner: Eugert Zino & Ded Sukaj (4)

Piljet Klasik Founded in 840
Record winner: Agon Veliu (6)

Trofe Zejtare Founded in 829
Record winner: Altin Qosja (5)

Neper Vëndi Founded in 851
Record winner: Agon Veliu (4)

Sfide Mekur Founded in 833
Record winner: Altin Qosja & Fabjo Sukaj (4)

List of Honour

856 Altin Qosja
857 Agon Veliu
858 Sebino Kaja
859 Agon Veliu (2)
860 Agon Veliu (3)
861 Halim Strakosha
862 Halim Strakosha (2)
863 Qendrim Tare
864 Ded Sukaj
865 Halim Strakosha (3)
866 Ded Sukaj (2)
867 Ded Sukaj (3)
868 Fabjo Sukaj
869 Ded Sukaj (4)
870 Ndrea Muja
871 Ded Sukaj (5)
872 Drilon Reci
873 Ndrea Muja (2)

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Postby Lerujka » Fri Jul 17, 2020 6:59 am

Kategorija Pro

Is there a sport as widespread in and pivotal to the Lerujkan society as football? The fact that there are two divisions of professional athletes for it in a small country answers the question well enough. Ever since it found its footing in the country, through foreign exchange students importing the beautiful game, it spread like wildfire and nearly every small city suburb or isolated hamlet has a side which flies the flag for its colours. No wonder that you will often find kids and youngsters kicking away their free time in every corner.

And for these young prodigies, the Kategorija Pro now exists to dream off. Initially, domestic football hinged on one-off matches, local challenges and small regional competitions. Only a national cup competition managed to unite but some amazing players who got themselves stuck in a small club would barely be seen thirty miles away from their home stadium, not in the least due to the shellacking infrastructure. Even if some got paid decent fees to fly the flag for their colours, there were ceilings to how often you want to see a regional powerhouse destruct poorer local opponents.

In 838, this way of working got pushed out the door when twelve teams from across the country joined forces for the announcement of a national competition. An initiative which was not always met with enthusiasm, as a few local derbies saw themselves removed from the narrative, but as new rivalries blossomed and both the quality and tension of these confrontations grew, the whole nation started to warm up to the idea of a national competition.

No wonder that across the years, other teams and cities tried to make the jump up to the highest league. When Bellsh took the step up as a sixteenth team in 853, the league split between two divisions of eight with a promotion system. By now, twenty clubs are part of the competition and a few more are vying to join. The fact that the competition currently completes at 18 games is under quite some pressure and the call for expansion is strong, but so far it sticks to the existing formula.

List of Honour

Year Kategorija e Parë Second Third Kategorija e Dytë MVP

838 Tigrat Lurore Klubi Vosjan Shoqeri Ebasan Enver Bardulla (Tigrat)
839 Tigrat Lurore Olimpik Perlokaster Shoqeri Ebasan Enver Bardulla (Tigrat)
840 Naftëtari Marqan Tigrat Lurore Klubi Vosjan Enver Bardulla (Tigrat)
841 Klubi Vosjan Naftëtari Marqan KF Tusjak Kleto Muka (Marqan)
842 Olimpik Perlokaster Tigrat Lurore Partizani Selber Ujkan Binaku (Olimpik)
843 Partizani Selber Olimpik Perlokaster Naftëtari Marqan Vangjel Korreshi (Selber)
844 KF Tusjak Olimpik Perlokaster Naftëtari Marqan Ujkan Binaku (Olimpik)
845 Partizani Selber KF Tusjak Olimpik Perlokaster Vangjel Korreshi (Selber)
846 Olimpik Perlokaster Partizani Selber Klubi Vosjan Ujkan Binaku (Olimpik)
847 Olimpik Perlokaster Naftëtari Marqan Tigrat Lurore Erando Cara (Olimpik)
848 KF Tusjak Olimpik Perlokaster Dinamo Skrovoda Valentino Sota (KF)
849 KF Tusjak Olimpik Perlokaster Tigrat Lurore Dash Hasa (KF)
850 Olimpik Perlokaster KF Tusjak Naftëtari Marqan Ujkan Binaku (Olimpik)
851 KF Tusjak Olimpik Perlokaster Aleance Tusjak Dash Hasa (KF)
852 Olimpik Perlokaster Kuqezinjte Vosjan Kombinati Tomoçan Ujkan Binaku (Olimpik)
853 Kombinati Tomoçan Olimpik Perlokaster Naftëtari Marqan Fishkopi Sportive Arsid Neziri (Kombinati)
854 Kombinati Tomoçan Aleance Tusjak Kuqezinjte Vosjan Shoqeri Ebasan Arsid Neziri (Kombinati)
855 Tigrat Lurore Naftëtari Marqan Spartaku Terponat Lokomotiva Vosjan Taulant Allushi (Tigrat)
856 Aleance Tusjak Naftëtari Marqan Kombinati Tomoçan Dinamo Skrovoda Fatjon Bega (Aleance)
857 Tigrat Lurore KF Tusjak Aleance Tusjak Partizani Selber Taulant Allushi (Tigrat)
858 Spartaku Terponat Aleance Tusjak Tigrat Lurore Dinamo Skrovoda Fatjon Bega (Aleance)
859 Aleance Tusjak Spartaku Terponat Naftëtari Marqan Kuqezinjte Vosjan Arsid Neziri (Aleance)
860 Spartaku Terponat Aleance Tusjak KF Tusjak Shoqeri Ebasan Arianit Kasa (Spartaku)
861 Aleance Tusjak Olimpik Perlokaster Kombinati Tomoçan Fishkopi Sportive Stiv Nuriu (Aleance)
862 Aleance Tusjak Naftëtari Marqan Olimpik Perlokaster Dinamo Skrovoda Egert Rapo (Aleance)
863 Olimpik Perlokaster Kuqezinjte Vosjan Aleance Tusjak Shoqeri Ebasan Erlis Kaloshi (Olimpik)
864 Kuqezinjte Vosjan Aleance Tusjak Olimpik Perlokaster Bardhyli Bellsh Geraldo Djimsiti (Kuqe)
865 Kuqezinjte Vosjan Tigrat Lurore Aleance Tusjak Fishkopi Sportive Sherif Bega (Tigrat)
866 Kuqezinjte Vosjan Olimpik Perlokaster Naftëtari Marqan KF Tusjak Geraldo Djimsiti (Kuqe)
867 Olimpik Perlokaster Aleance Tusjak Kuqezinjte Vosjan Internacional Mekur Orgest Celhaka (Aleance)
868 Aleance Tusjak Tigrat Lurore Naftëtari Marqan Obosan KF Orgest Celhaka (Aleance)
869 Aleance Tusjak Olimpik Perlokaster Dinamo Skrovoda Kombinati Tomoçan Orgest Celhaka (Aleance)
870 Tigrat Lurore Aleance Tusjak Naftëtari Marqan KF Tusjak Orgest Celhaka (Aleance)
871 Aleance Tusjak Tigrat Lurore Olimpik Perlokaster Kuqezinjte Vosjan Orgest Celhaka (Aleance)
872 Olimpik Perlokaster Naftëtari Marqan Aleance Tusjak Kombinati Tomoçan Ulpëtin Dizdari (Olimpik)
873 Aleance Tusjak Naftëtari Marqan Olimpik Perlokaster Fitorja Zehtë Husni Ismajlgeci (Marqan)

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Postby Lerujka » Fri Jul 17, 2020 3:06 pm

Kupa Kombëtare

Although the Kategorija Pro understandably soaks up a major part of the attention these days, there once was a day when the Kupa Kombëtare was the pivotal domestic tournament and even to this day, the Kupa final forms one of the anchors of the Lerujkan sports calendar. Playing on that glorious day, let alone lifting the trophy at the end of it, is a marquee moment in the career of every local footballer. For the last few years, it has been a stalwart in the top three of best watched television events in the nation and even the buildup towards the actual game starts to become more and more important.

The story of the Kupa is remarkably old with the first unofficial edition being contested in 805 between three Tusjaki teams and a gathered XI from Lurore. Whilst these inaugural editions are not considered full - being invited only and focussed on the central regions - they are witness to the long tradition of football in Lerujka. Six years later, the first actual Kupa Kombëtare got contested between FK Lurore and Lavra Vosjan and it would remain here to stay. For a long time, the organisers held fast at some key principles: every team could enlist to become national champion, no matter their strength, and all sides had to play every single round.

A principle that got under pressure with the foundation of the Kategorija Pro and for three years, the professional teams would not enlist. The Kupa organisation was stubborn but realised in time that the loss of these teams and players devalued the competition and a compromise was found: the professional side automatically qualified for the last thirty-two where amateur teams could challenge their adversary. Ever since, every Kupa was won by a pro team but many Cinderella stories were written with a few amateur clubs even celebrating their grand day in the final.

These days, the power balance has tilted in the advantage of the professional clubs as the proper Kupa starts with thirty-two teams who play a double round-robin before competing in single quarterfinals, semi-finals and a final. The twenty pro teams meet up with the six winners of the top regional amateur competitions and the six victors of the Kupa Rajonal - local qualifiers which allow every group of eleven players their chance for eternal glory.

List of Honour

Year Winner Result Versus

811 FK Lurore 2-1 (AET) Lavra Vosjan
812 Pjer Ranje 4-2 Lavra Vosjan
813 Qeval KF 6-3 FK Lurore
814 FK Lurore (2) 3-0 KF Tusjak
815 Esta Tomoçan 5-1 Arshim Bellsh
816 FK Lurore (3) 1-1 (2-1) Esta Tomoçan
817 FK Lurore (4) 2-1 Lokomotiva Vosjan
818 Partizani Selber 2-2 (7-6) Tigrat Lurore
819 Partizani Selber (2) 4-2 KF Tusjak
820 KF Tusjak 2-0 Pjer Ranje
821 Tigrat Lurore 5-4 KF Tusjak
822 Olimpik Perlokaster 3-1 Lokomotiva Vosjan
823 Lokomotiva Vosjan 3-0 Naftëtari Marqan
824 Tigrat Lurore (2) 5-1 FK Lurore
825 Tigrat Lurore (3) 2-0 Partizani Selber
826 Qefazet Klubi 1-0 Olimpik Perlokaster
827 Naftëtari Marqan 2-1 Bardhyli Bellsh
828 Naftëtari Marqan (2) 0-0 (4-3) Tigrat Lurore
829 Lokomotiva Vosjan (2) 4-0 (AET) Erat Tusjak
830 Olimpik Perlokaster (2) 3-1 Tigrat Lurore
831 Partizani Selber (3) 5-3 KF Tusjak
832 Tigrat Lurore (4) 1-0 Kuqezinjte Vosjan
833 Naftëtari Marqan (3) 2-0 Tigrat Lurore
834 Olimpik Perlokaster (3) 4-3 KF Tusjak
835 KF Tusjak (2) 2-0 Olimpik Perlokaster
836 Partizani Selber (4) 4-3 (AET) Olimpik Perlokaster
837 Naftëtari Marqan (4) 2-1 Tigrat Lurore
838 Pjer Ranje (2) 3-0 Tusjak Rojal
839 Bardhyli Bellsh 1-1 (3-2) Obosan KF
840 Lokomotiva Rrevalj 1-0 FK Lurore
841 KF Tusjak (3) 3-1 Shoqeri Ebasan
842 Olimpik Perlokaster (4) 4-0 Pjer Ranje
843 Partizani Selber (5) 2-1 Naftëtari Marqan
844 Tigrat Lurore (5) 3-1 Vollash EF
845 KF Tusjak (4) 4-4 (4-2) Olimpik Perlokaster
846 Olimpik Perlokaster (5) 3-1 Partizani Selber
847 Dinamo Skrovoda 2-0 Tigrat Lurore
848 Tallazh Perlokaster 3-2 KF Tusjak
849 Aleance Tusjak 1-0 Tigrat Lurore
850 KF Tusjak (5) 2-1 Olimpik Perlokaster
851 Naftëtari Marqan (5) 4-1 Shoqeri Ebasan
852 Tigrat Lurore (6) 2-0 (AET) Kombinati Tomoçan
853 Kombinati Tomoçan 4-3 Aleance Tusjak
854 Internacional Mekur 2-1 (AET) Naftëtari Marqan
855 Spartaku Terponat 2-0 Olimpik Perlokaster
856 Kombinati Tomoçan (2) 3-0 Kuqezinjte Vosjan
857 Aleance Tusjak (2) 1-0 (AET) Naftëtari Marqan
858 Naftëtari Marqan (6) 3-2 Dinamo Skrovoda
859 Spartaku Terponat (2) 4-1 Tigrat Lurore
860 Olimpik Perlokaster (6) 2-0 Bashkim Ebset
861 Aleance Tusjak (3) 4-2 Olimpik Perlokaster
862 Olimpik Perlokaster (7) 1-1 (5-3) Tigrat Lurore
863 Kuqezinjte Vosjan 3-2 Aleance Tusjak
864 Tigrat Lurore (7) 2-0 Naftëtari Marqan
865 Olimpik Perlokaster (8) 5-2 Kombinati Tomoçan
866 Aleance Tusjak (4) 0-0 (5-4) Kuqezinjte Vosjan
867 Partizani Selber (6) 2-1 Olimpik Perlokaster
868 Aleance Tusjak (5) 3-1 Naftëtari Marqan
869 Aleance Tusjak (6) 3-0 Tigrat Lurore
870 Olimpik Perlokaster (9) 6-1 KF Tusjak
871 KF Tusjak (6) 3-2 Aleance Tusjak
872 Olimpik Perlokaster (10) 3-0 Fishkopi Sportive
873 Kuqezinjte Vosjan (2) 2-1 (AET) Aleance Tusjak

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Postby Lerujka » Thu Jul 23, 2020 12:42 am

Seria Hendbollit

Sometimes, the course of sporting history gets determined by just a single man. Enver Erdjak was a school administrator in the early twenties who looked for a way to bring values such as sportsmanship, teamwork and a healthy lifestyle to the youngsters but he despised the ‘rough tomfoolery’ of football. As a local of the western regions, he did not consider basketball as an alternative. Folk legend says that he tried to order a cart of volleyballs abroad but received handballs instead, sparking a whole new sport as he distributed them around the country.

Fact is that every single young Lerujkan grew up playing handball ever since, making it one of the most widely distributed sports in the country. It struggled for a while with its reputation as ‘bland and boring’ but got a new boost as many institutes for higher education made it an integral part of their reputation. As such, the framework was laid out for a semi-professional highest division of which many clubs have their roots in the educational network. For some, such as Polyteknika and Universitet Lusjak, that is quite obvious from the naming but also Ujk Bellsh finds its roots in the local college.

Having jojo-ed between more and fewer clubs, there are currently eight teams which compete in a double round robin system. Although there tend to be a few lopsided results every once and a while, there is usually a firm competition between the big three of domestic handball: Polyteknika is an institute, in all meanings of the word, and represents a very skilled flavour of the sport. Yll Blu Terponat became their main challenger with more grounded handball and a reputation of disciplined defending. Recently, these two got competed by Mbart Marqan, a company-sponsored side bankrolled by a soft drink tycoon.

List of Honour

Year Winner Second Third MVP

846 Polyteknika Universitet Lusjak Spartaku Obosan Arbar Lamaj (Polyteknika)
847 Universitet Lusjak Polyteknika Spartaku Obosan Husni Laze (Lusjak)
848 Spartaku Obosan Polyteknika Universitet Lusjak Ansi Beqo (Obosan)
849 Universitet Lusjak Spartaku Obosan Polyteknika Husni Laze (Lusjak)
850 Universitet Lusjak Polyteknika TaReLo Maldin Turdiu (Polyteknika)
851 Polyteknika Universitet Lusjak Yll Blu Terponat Maldin Turdiu (Polyteknika)
852 Polyteknika Yll Blu Terponat Universitet Lusjak Maldin Turdiu (Polyteknika)
853 TaReLo Polyteknika Yll Blu Terponat Alen Teqja (TaReLo)
854 TaReLo Yll Blu Terponat Ujk Bellsh Grent Teqja (TaReLo)
855 Yll Blu Terponat TaReLo Polyteknika Grent Teqja (TaReLo)
856 Polyteknika Yll Blu Terponat TaReLo Kristi Rama (Polyteknika)
857 Polyteknika Yll Blu Terponat Unive sitet Lusjak Maldin Turdiu (Polyteknika)
858 Polyteknika Universitet Lusjak Yll Blu Terponat Leka Gjuzi (Yll Blu)
859 Polyteknika Yll Blu Terponat Universitet Lusjak Maldin Turdiu (Polyteknika)
860 Yll Blu Terponat Polyteknika Ujk Bellsh Leka Gjusi (Yll Blu)
861 Ujk Bellsh Yll Blu Terponat Polyteknika Afrim Hyshmeri (Ujk)
862 Polyteknika Ujk Bellsh Yll Blu Terponat Afrim Hyshmeri (Ujk)
863 Ujk Bellsh Polyteknika Yll Blu Terponat Afrim Hyshmeri (Ujk)
864 Ujk Bellsh Polyteknika Mbart Marqan Drityl Dhrami (Polyteknika)
865 Polyteknika Ujk Bellsh Mbart Marqan Maldin Turdiu (Polyteknika)
866 Polyteknika Mbart Marqan Yll Blu Terponat Drityl Dhrami (Polyteknika)
867 Polyteknika Yll Blu Terponat Klubi Selber Drityl Dhrami (Polyteknika)
868 Yll Blu Terponat Polyteknika Mbart Marqan Berat Hida (Yll Blu)
869 Yll Blu Terponat Mbart Marqan Polyteknika Sali Cipi (Mbart)
870 Mbart Marqan Yll Blu Terponat Universitet Lusjak Sali Cipi (Mbart)
871 Mbart Marqan Polyteknika Yll Blu Terponat Sali Cipi (Mbart)
872 Yll Blu Terponat Polyteknika Turbina Vosjan Kejvi Pano (Yll Blu)
873 Polyteknika Yll Blu Terponat Mbart Marqan Benard Kolici (Polyteknika)

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Postby Lerujka » Thu Jul 23, 2020 1:13 am

Cmim Madh Broxha Seria

The history of car racing in Lerujka can broadly be split in two eras, the foreign and the domestic era. Surprisingly for most, the foreign era came first as in the early ten’s the first cars got imported to the nation. Not too surprisingly, people started to compete on who possessed the most powerful vehicle, more often than not on the few bits of public road which provided proper surfacing. Some elements of that, such as the drag racing at the Vosjan waterfront, became a part of the local folklore. Rich kids competed in poorly organised, highly entertaining and excruciatingly dangerous bets against one another and all too often, it ended in mayhem.

The most notorious of these crashes was one in 837 in which three cars clipped during a semi-legal street race in Lusjak, pushing one off the road and into a public park in which people had gathered. With nearly forty deaths, calls for a ban on racing earned force. During that same period, some local companies started to produce their own cars. As it was a line of work with potential during a period of recession, the government raised the taxes on car imports and tried to protect its own production. Even if the quality was inferior, the Lerujkan car industry tried to market itself as safer and cheaper - at least one of these statements was true.

A new codex on road behaviour in 846 officially called it a day on car racing and apart from some illegal rides, the sport seemed a memory from the past. Yet, in these decades, the quality of the local producers started to pick up and evidently, power became an asset and a selling point again. Had they initially backed the ban, they now attempted to find a new compromise. Eventually, a consortium of four major producers created and built the race track at Broxha, with political support. These four use the track as their test circuit and dominate the small competition - four rounds which together form a series - which serves as domestic championship for non-production cars.

Each of the four (mass producer Skifter, stately veteran Heqje, middle-of-the-road BQU and specialised newcomer Djablo) can enlist three riders at the start. There is an open qualification round where other brands and private riders can attempt to earn one of the six remaining slots, but they rarely manage to break into the ranks of the big ones, with 35 of the 36 Grand Prixs raced so far one by one of the four.

List of Honour

Year Winner Second Third Brand Champion

865 Jonid Ghata (Skifter) Admir Musai (BQU) Enkel Shkalla (Skifter) Skifter
866 Admir Musai (BQU) Enkel Shkalla (Skifter) Ulpëtin Tare (BQU) BQU
867 Admir Musai (BQU) Ulpëtin Tare (BQU) Shefqet Duro (Djablo) BQU
868 Admir Musai (BQU) Enkel Shkalla (Skifter) Mejdin Muja (Heqje) Skifter
869 Bledar Dimo (Skifter) Enkel Shkalla (Skifter) Shefqet Duro (Djablo) Skifter
870 Bledar Dimo (Skifter) Shefqet Duro (Djablo) Dritesim Doda (Heqje) Skifter
871 Shefqet Duro (Djablo) Shkurt Muro (Djablo) Bledar Dimo (Skifter) Djablo
872 Bledar Dimo (Skifter) Dritesim Doda (Heqje) Enkel Shkalla (Skifter) Skifter
873 Bledar Dimo (Skifter) Enkel Shkalla (Skifter) Ergi Azazi (BQU) Skifter

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Postby Lerujka » Thu Jul 23, 2020 6:52 am

Tenisi Trofe Hapur

It is fair to say that tennis must be one of the least widespread sports that managed to find its spot in the broadcasting schedule of the LSC, yet it can declare its position based upon a long history and a small yet interesting domestic scene. The first tennis court, a grassy affair, was established in 808 for the children of General Dubo who saw this form of entertainment abroad and tried to bring the novelty to Lerujka - if only for the sake of bringing in a novelty. Whilst it didn’t find root immediately, the court is still used up to today.

In the early twenties, however, a second wave of interested players and a small but persistent boom emerged amongst the ranks of the well-off. Although most considered it more a game than a genuine sport, the Lurore Open got established a few years later and would become the behemoth of the sport. It is no surprise that the well-to-do parts of Lurore laid the groundworks for an organisation that is one of the longest running in the country. Even if there is a sepia-tinged atmosphere of yesteryear attached to the tournament, it is still the most prestigious trophy to take home.

If the sport still has a stigma as being for the rich and famous - the presence of hefty club fees and notorious afterparties not forming a helping hand there - then it will be the second main tournament, the Kupa Marini, that keeps that reputation in check. Contrary to the grass surface of Lurore, the tournament near the yacht port of Vosjan gets played on clay and has a particular penchant for made up traditions, considering the first edition only took place in 847.

Around these two anchor points, a small calendar of three other tournaments has been created, building up towards the Open in spring and to the Kupa in the summer. There are rumours that a hardcourt tournament would be entered anytime soon, but so far this is a dream rather than destiny.

List of Honour

Year Tusjak Open Nazjonal Mezhad Lurore Open Tornoj Terponat Kupa Marini

829 Lesh Zotaj
830 Lesh Zotaj
831 Urtan Taku
832 Shefget Laska
833 Shefget Laska
834 Dorian Xhelili
835 Shefget Laska
836 Shefget Laska
837 Shefget Laska
838 Hermes Lenjani
839 Shefget Laska
840 Shefget Laska Hermes Lenjani
841 Shefget Laska Shefget Laska
842 Hermes Lenjani Egert Perlleshi
843 Hermes Lenjani Hermes Lenjani Eraldo Buna
844 Fabjo Blaceri Egert Perlleshi Eraldo Buna
845 Hermes Lenjani Ireneo Mako Fabjo Blaceri
846 Fabjo Blaceri Hermes Lenjani Eraldo Buna
847 Fabjo Blaceri Fabjo Blaceri Alsid Konomi Ireneo Mako
848 Hermes Lenjani Fabjo Blaceri Fabjo Blaceri Erand Zajmi
849 Erand Zajmi Erand Zajmi Alsid Konomi Erand Zajmi
850 Erand Zajmi Erand Zajmi Hyjdhor Rexha Erand Zajmi
851 Jozif Gjinaj Erand Zajmi Erand Zajmi Sali Veseli
852 Erand Zajmi Hyjdhor Rexha Hyjdhor Rexha Erand Zajmi
853 Jozif Gjinaj Erand Zajmi Erand Zajmi Erand Zajmi
854 Hyjdhor Rexha Erand Zajmi Andi Turdiu Erand Zajmi
855 Erand Zajmi Hyjdhor Rexha Mirjan Celmeta Erand Zajmi
856 Mirjan Celmeta Andi Turdiu Hyjdhor Rexha Mirjan Celmeta
857 Giuliano Merseni Hyjdhor Rexha Giuliano Merseni Mirjan Celmeta Mirjan Celmeta
858 Giuliano Merseni Giuliano Merseni Andi Turdiu Fatjon Capja Mirjan Clemeta
859 Andi Turdiu Giuliano Merseni Andi Turdiu Mirjan Celmeta Qupi Sadiku
860 Giuliano Merseni Giuliano Merseni Giuliano Merseni Giuliano Merseni Fatjon Capja
861 Giuliano Merseni Andi Turdiu Giuliano Merseni Qupi Sadiku Fatjon Capja
862 Fatjon Capja Giuliano Merseni Andi Turdiu Enkelejd Braho Qupi Sadiku
863 Andi Turdiu Giuliano Merseni Enkelejd Braho Fatjon Capja Enkelejd Braho
864 Enkelejd Braho Andi Turdiu Enkelejd Braho Enkelejd Braho Qupi Sadiku
865 Samet Arapi Samet Arapi Enkelejd Braho Mirjan Celmeta Qendrim Jakupi
866 Enkelejd Braho Samet Arapi Andi Turdiu Rinosh Bashkia Qendrim Jakupi
867 Enkelejd Braho Fatjon Capja Qendrim Jakupi Qendrim Jakupi Qendrim Jakupi
868 Samet Arapi Samet Arapi Qendrim Jakupi Lindit Fejzullai Qendrim Jakupi
869 Ujkan Idrizi Qendrim Jakupi Samet Arapi Lindit Fejzullai Qendrim Jakupi
870 Samet Arapi Samet Arapi Qendrim Jakupi Qendrim Jakupi Lindit Fejzullai
871 Tonibler Mujeci Samet Arapi Qendrim Jakupi Lindit Fejzullai Roan Zhupa
872 Tonibler Mujeci Tonibler Mujeci Rudin Dova Agim Gocaj Lindit Fejzullai
873 Samet Arapi Lindit Fejzullai Tonibler Mujeci Lindit Fejzullai Agim Gocaj

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Postby Lerujka » Thu Jul 23, 2020 2:21 pm

Kampionatet Kombëtare

Within Lerujka, there’s a quite vivid scene of county fairs. Most of them are not that spectacular - if you’re not from that respective village - and it is more or less an excuse for having a communal party for a few days with inappropriate amounts of food and drinks. These fairs tend to have a few things in common: a market with some more exotic objects, some circus acts, a running course and more often than not, a weightlifting competition. In most cases, it concerned a poorly organised strongman competition with each town trying to add some couleur locale to the equation: from lifting stones, pulling carts, carrying barrels up to the amazing festival in Edunje where the competitors need to get as many rolls of cheese in the air as possible.

Needless to say that there was a certain group of men who went from fair to festival, to demonstrate their strength and earn the natura prices attached to the victories. These athletes earned quite some respect and notoriety: great names such as Ndoc Lluka and Pal Elezi predate the current era but still ring a bell for every sports enthusiast in the nation. Especially in the south, this circuit from local tournaments still stands strong.

In the year 860, a clever businessman named Marjus Buna saw an interesting opportunity and organised the first national championship. Initially set up as a gathering of some of these local specialties, by now the focus switched towards the main event, a weightlifting competition which runs according to the Olympic rulebook. Once a year, it puts these athletes across four weight categories in the spotlight and new household names get created. The athletes themselves are well aware that a good performance in this televised event assures them a spot in many county competitions, raising the stakes once more.

List of Honour

Year 10 Stone 12 Stone 14 Stone Open

860 Alfred Hila Maringlen Dervishi Egert Lami Blerim Xhaferi
861 Shkurt Murataj Maringlen Dervishi Dritan Hyseni Blerim Xhaferi
862 Shkurt Murataj Maringlen Dervishi Arven Abibi Blerim Xhaferi
863 Elsamed Bushi Rezart Japi Dritan Hyseni Blerim Xhaferi
864 Elsamed Bushi Shkurt Murataj Dritan Hyseni Blerim Xhaferi
865 Prek Gurishta Shkurt Murataj Arven Abibi Blerim Xhaferi
866 Prek Gurishta Shkurt Murataj Landër Mersini Blerim Xhaferi
867 Prek Gurishta Shkurt Murataj Arven Abibi Edvan Katan
868 Rraman Griphshi Shkurt Murataj Arven Abibi Edvan Katan
869 Rraman Griphshi Gjokë Beqja Landër Mersini Klemend Neziraj
870 Rraman Griphshi Gjöke Beqja Landër Mersini Artnand Cela
871 Stiv Qendro Gjöke Beqja Leonit Kurti Klemend Neziraj
872 Drilon Hoxha Gjöke Beqja Leonit Kurti Nexhat Balliu
873 Drilon Hoxha Dritbardh Asani Leonit Kurti Klemend Neziraj

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Postby Lerujka » Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:42 pm

Mundja Slam

We could have called it ‘Lerujkan wrestling’ as the domestically widespread variant to the ancient sport forms an intriguing middleground between Greco-Roman wrestling and gures, in that the focus is on the upper body and only limited action with the legs is allowed. The intention is to pin down the opponent and as such defeat the opposition. Previously, matches tended to continue until one of the two opponents was grounded or accepted defeat - making it last up to a full day. Nonetheless, its popularity in the countryside of Lerujka made it an important pastime and every village would have a local champion.

The fame of the game dwindled in the thirties and forties yet it survived in the northwest where smaller tournaments still stood the test of time. However, the tables turned when in the city of Mekur, they came up with a format that both satisfied the interest in a wide field of participants, yet ensured that the games remained a fine combination of strength and endurance. Throughout the day, there are six rounds which start every hour and a half. The opening round takes half an hour. If no final point has been scored through a ‘full touch’, referees decide if there is a clear victor or whether a short overtime needs to be contested. Each successive round can take ten minutes longer. All this makes it more important to quickly pin your opponent, forcing wrestlers to take risks if they want to stand out amongst the field of 64.

The organisers in Mekur quickly realised they had a promising concept in their hands and expanded this to the Mundja Slam. During three rounds, contested in wrestle-enthused cities Mekur, Bellsh and Tomoçan, the wrestlers compete for a title. Since 867, the best eight of each tournament clinched a spot in the Final. The field gets filled up with wildcards up to 32 to compete for an ultimate annual champion.

List of Honour

Year Mekur Bellsh Tomoçan Final

852 Erbardh Qirko
853 Enkel Mucozi
854 Enkel Mucozi
855 Haki Myrtaj
856 Eduin Zarka
857 Ukshin Myrtaj Eduin Zarka
858 Prijitar Sefghinaj Haki Myrtaj
859 Eduin Zarka Mirel Trashi Eduin Zarka
860 Bardh Xhaka Eduin Zarka Erand Agolli
861 Eduin Zarka Mirel Trashi Shpëtim Mucaj
862 Eduin Zarka Shpëtim Mucaj Shpëtim Mucaj
863 Eski Dushi Shpëtim Mucaj Shpëtim Mucaj
864 Shpëtim Mucaj Eduin Zarka Dorian Xhika
865 Enri Pali Shpëtim Mucaj Enri Pali
866 Shpëtim Mucaj Pano Bushi Migjen Duraku
867 Migjen Duraku Shpëtim Mucaj Amir Vangjeli Shpëtim Mucaj
868 Migjen Duraku Migjen Duraku Enri Pali Migjen Duraku
869 Migjen Duraku Dod Tare Migjen Duraku Migjen Duraku
870 Amir Vangjeli Migjen Duraku Eski Dushi Migjen Duraku
871 Drit Xhixha Dod Tare Migjen Duraku Dod Tare
872 Isnik Gruda Migjen Duraku Dod Tare Dritbardh Shefiti
873 Dod Tare Dod Tare Arif Curri Dod Tare
874 Dod Tare
Last edited by Lerujka on Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Lerujka » Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:12 pm

January 2, 874

Ligë Basketbolli

Matchday 1

Vosjan Eagles      68–94    Selber Senators

Fishkopi Bluejays  67–99    Tusjak Capitals

Vosjan Bears       58–73 Skrovoda Lightning

Lurore Lions       75–83       Pjer Rockets

Erkani Bulldogs   107–81       Obosan Hoops

Zagjan Blasters    67–65    Terponat Titans

The assisting pass from Xjefa looked like a piss-poor airball yet someone with a keen eye for the sport would notice how it was perfect for the trajectory of Alsid Januzi. Never the man to waste an opportunity for spectacle, Januzi dunked the ball in before hanging just long enough to look some spectators in the eye. It amuses Alsid how grown men could be torn between cursing a guy for scoring against their team - in marvellous fashion, no less - and booing their own players who suddenly seemed too small for their iconic green-and-black shirts.

Indeed, this collective looked more like some cubs than the notorious Bears. Leading number of titles, greatest team in the nation, la-die-da - tonight they are getting thrashed in their own stadium. And not just by anyone, but by Alsid Januzi. The man who represented everything they despised. Of course the other Lightning players tipped in their bit, they looked like the oiled machine who won the title last year. But that Januzi called the shots cut as deep as the gap on the scoreboard. The man who had first made their nemesis, the Eagles, champion before opting for the  cash - oh, horror! - from Skrovoda and lifting them to a next level as well.

As they swore louder at him, Januzi added a bit more flair to his step. The backbone from Vosjan was broken, even greats such as Dermaku and Mula were counting down the seconds for the bittersweet release. In an impulse, Alsid added a no-look pass and the crowd roared in anger. That one alone would disallow him to walk through town next week, he remained a local, but he soaked it up and enjoyed it. They called him a golddigger for joining Skrovoda but no one had this boyish enthusiasm on the court.

"I know where you park your car, Januzi!" one Bears fan tried to get him out of his focus, even if the victory was already decided.

Yes, maybe he should have ignored him. Of course the fans were more annoyed on the second day of the year, the traditional season opener. The buzz of the New Year celebrations had worn off but the headache remained. The fans, prickly that the Bears stuck to their starting five after what was perceived as a mediocre year, had been on the brink already - Januzi pushed them over the ledge with a smile and a skip.

Alsid should've taken the high road, lifted his head and contented himself with the knowledge that after a single game in the league, a key opponent suffered a heavy blow. He should've, could've,... but this game isn't about chivalry, right? It's one-upping, taunting and trying to outsmart.

Well, maybe it was not smart when he shouted back "At least I can afford a new one". It had been good fun for Alsid, and the technical staff from the Bears having to stop their own fans from invading the pitch and dealing their team with a hefty fine was worth it.

At least until he found the remnants of his ride.
Last edited by Lerujka on Sun Aug 02, 2020 3:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Lerujka » Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:48 pm

January 5, 874

Ligë Basketbolli

Matchday 2

Selber Senators    73–73    Terponat Titans (82–79 OT)

Obosan Hoops       52–74    Zagjan Blasters

Pjer Rockets       92–68    Erkani Bulldogs

Skrovoda Lightning 84–46       Lurore Lions

Tusjak Capitals    81–84       Vosjan Bears

Vosjan Eagles      66–71  Fishkopi Bluejays

"It will be the perfect role for you."

When the Senators regrouped after the break, the mold had set in. Shots got fumbled, unnecessary faults marked and at one point, Karaj Huqi had passed the ball back only to discover no one was standing there. The kid had talent but was just losing his marbles. After blowing a twelve point lead to the Blasters - of all teams - last week, they could not afford to lose again after leading with double digits. Not again.

It was for moments like those Olti Bregu had to be there. The captain, the firm hand on the steering wheel. The last of the Titans, someone had called him in a newspaper. It sounded heroic, it felt like a burden to Olti.

Five seasons ago seemed like an eternity. The team ran on oldtimers with Argent Salliu as the figurehead. Coming off a sixth place the previous season, they were written up for a midtable finish by the bookmakers. But somehow, the chemistry bound and before they knew it, they battled for the title. An unlikely twist, an underdog story, a fairytale coming true. It was a scenario for a mediocre movie suddenly being played out in basketball halls across the land. But it happened, bizarrely, and Terponat Titans won the title. Their fifth and to date, their last.

Olti Bregu knew that that statistic would stand the test of time a bit longer but this… One by one, the old guard had waved goodbye to the sport. The Salberu brothers transferred to Tusjak, Egon Khuka switched for the Eagles. And with Grembi calling it a day, Bregu was all that remained from the champions team.

It wasn't that there was no promise in those who wore the blue Titans shirts these days. It's just… They are fine players but they are islands, each playing their own game. And when the pressure gets high, they fall apart like sand.

As Selber closed down the gap, Olti Bregu tried to keep everybody's head in the game. Don't rush, pick your moments. He had been a greenhorn in the days, now at 27 he had to direct the play. He had not chosen for this but he knew it was his duty now. The Senators peeled off the gap, point by point but hanging by the skin of their teeth, the Titans were not crashing down. Huqi, the best thing Bregu had seen coming from the youth ranks in ages, suffered but showed glimpses of his potential. Devis Bardhi, a newcomer out of the regional leagues did his utter best to step it up.

Maybe, just maybe, Olti thought.

As Bardhi slammed in two, Bregu glanced at the board. 25 seconds and three points up, this had to go well. His 'stay calm' almost drowned amidst the roaring support for the home team. The Senators smelled blood and with some quick passing, they got an unmarked man who sunk three. Even.

Bregu looked at his teammates. They were washed up, as much physically as mentally. Either they drag it over the line or they implode in overtime. Fourteen seconds. He signalled to open up calmly and a good move from Huqi got them out of full-court pressure. Seven left. Terponat dropped the pace, trying to lure Selber in a false sense of truce. Four. Olti Bregu seemed to switch sides but as there were two, three fast passes, he got away and found an open spot at the side of the bucket. Two left. Bregu got the ball, aimed, shot and…

The net rustled as the buzzer went off. Unfortunately because it was the wrong side that hit the leather. As his eyes followed the trajectory of the ball, slowly bouncing off the field, he sighed.

Who on earth could think this was a perfect role for him?
Last edited by Lerujka on Wed Aug 12, 2020 3:23 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Lerujka » Sun Aug 02, 2020 3:09 pm

January 12, 874

Ligë Basketbolli

Matchday 3

Fishkopi Bluejays  86–82    Selber Senators

Vosjan Bears       79–73      Vosjan Eagles

Lurore Lions       52–75    Tusjak Capitals

Erkani Bulldogs    73–74 Skrovoda Lightning

Zagjan Blasters    75–94       Pjer Rockets

Terponat Titans    72–62       Obosan Hoops

If you hate your kids, just be an Eagles fan. By the time they find out, they're used to losing.

The small away section of the audience in the Nequ Hall was used already to the cordial abuse and the derogative banter. Even more, they cultivated it. One could set aside a Bears fan as a success supporter but not one who carried the black-and-yellow - that was a man who was true to the heart of his side. It even got to the point where they didn't mind as they knew that every victory tasted sweeter if you had to wait for it - hunger is the best sauce. At one point it had been seven years since the last derby win against the Bears but it had made the game that broke the streak, a close 72-71 affair, even more legendary.

That was until all stars aligned. There was a fine generation at its peak, a well-knit group of players who worked hard for one another. It made them a good side, middle of the pack and an assurance of an interesting game. That was already something for an Eagles' fan. But the salt and pepper to their game were two talents, once in a generation types but all at once.

Alsid Januzi was electric. Fast, energetic, playful, a guy who draws the masses and couldn't care less about them. And there was Uerdi Turtulli, tall, powerful and with a natural authority. The two were the pepper and salt that spiced up a reliable dish - Januzi adding a bit of fire and Turtulli bringing it all together. Suddenly everything became possible, a winning streak which evolved into a title battle into the sweetest possible scenario - a title game against their nemesis. At the ultimate game, the Eagles struggled but in the dying seconds, Januzi sunk the decisive one and an unexpected triumph became truth. The start of an era…

Or so they hoped. Alsid chose the right time to make a buck and Uerdi… Well, he stayed. The next season, they made him the captain, the linchpin of it all. Was it the success or the pressure for more that broke him?

Three minutes left and the Bears, looking more mortal than usual, only lead by four points. A hesitating Eagles' manager brings Turtulli off the bench. The fact he is still in the selection shows the slimness of the squad. He looks shaky and those in the know claim he's seen more of the bottom of his glass than the court across the off-season. The look is still there, the vision, but the execution is flawed. Bears win by six.

So everything is back to normal for an Eagles' fan. But it's only since the title that a defeat like this tastes bitter.
Last edited by Lerujka on Sun Aug 02, 2020 3:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Lerujka » Wed Aug 05, 2020 3:03 pm

January 12, 874

Mundja Slam

Tournament Mekur


Isnik Gruda         wins vs Qazim Bushati

Dod Tare            wins vs Migjen Duraku

Dritbardh Shefeti   wins vs Myzafer Kiri

Gjelosh Radoja      wins vs Gjon Staka


Dod Tare            wins vs Isnik Gruda

Gjelosh Radoja      wins vs Dritbardh Shefeti


Dod Tare            wins vs Gjelosh Radoja

He didn't even blink.

Migjen smiled as he saw the packed crowds. There were four duels going on simultaneously, yet eighty percent of the fans had gathered to witness this clash - those who weren't probably skipped because there was not a single empty seat left. The announcer did his utter best to convince those few left who were not yet intrigued by this bout. "A duel of the generations with the two active wrestlers with the most Mundji to their name… At my left hand, Migjen Duraku, an eternal record of twelve titles to his name, back from the dead and ready for his vengeance!"

This was, factually, all nearly true. As the number of tournaments per year had grown, Duraku had edged out illustrious names such as Zarka and Mucaj - but he wouldn't dare to put himself above them. Not yet at least, unless this comeback worked out. Over a year ago, during some innocent training roughhousing, his knee had been torn. The subsequent operation had lead to complications in the calf and only now, there was light at the end of a very long tunnel. Before the start, there were glimmers of doubt but after three easy victories, Migjens full confidence returned.

"At my right hand, the man who won all but one of his duels last year, the reigning champion here in Mekur, Dod Tare!"

There was a pencil moustache and the shoulders were a little bulkier, but he had hardly changed since the first time - which was coincidentally the only time - Migjen had been in the ring against Tare. He had the air of a gentle giant, even a bit simple at first glance, with dark eyes deep in the sockets and a slow accent with a slight lisp. Back in 868, he had been a promising youngster but made the same mistakes as others: too energetic in the start, worn out after fifteen minutes. Nonetheless, Duraku noticed his variance in attacking style and focus throughout. But what he had remembered most was the soft 'thank you' after the final hand signal from the referee. Only later had Migjen realised it was to himself and not to the referee.

Back in 868… Back then, Duraku was the name of the game, the man of the hour. Afterwards, stints of supremacy had been marred by injury woes and planning gaps. Material for frustration, but his intrinsic rule had not been rivalled.

Had. Now Dod Tare was all that sold the newspapers and Migjen seemed just to be old hat. Somehow people forgot he won over half the tournaments he started. Or started healthy and in shape, at least. During the hiatus, Dod made the most of it and Duraku did not feel envy - fresh blood and fine competitors are good for the sport, he knew as well. At 31, Migjen knew that his years at the top were numbered. But they weren't finished yet.

The referee dropped his fist, indicating the start. Much to his surprise, Dod Tare didn't opt for the attack immediately. Migjen grinned internally, many feared to combat a hegemon and held back a little at the start and that even a champ like Tare did it was a good signal for his status amongst the ranks. During the first few minutes, he nearly threw him twice. It surprised him, how easy this was going. He even got an elbow to the sand, often a first sign of weakness in the opposition.

And then, a good ten minutes in, the tables turned. Dod took over, took risks and before Migjen fully realised what had changed, he was pinned down. By the signal, he saw how he was rolled like an amateur - this time, he had been given some space to exhaust himself before being disposed easily. Migjen Duraku had not had a bout like this in ten years.

"It's not over yet," a baffled Migjen uttered during the traditional post-match greeting. He himself was not really sure what that 'it' could be, but he hoped it included his career.

"Thank you. We'll see." Dod replied before turning around and walking out, unphased. He didn't even blink.

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Postby Lerujka » Mon Aug 10, 2020 8:54 am

January 19, 874

Ligë Basketbolli

Matchday 4

Selber Senators    67–54      Obosan Hoops

Pjer Rockets 70–66 Terponat Titans

Skrovoda Lightning 95–70 Zagjan Blasters

Tusjak Capitals 66–77 Erkani Bulldogs

Vosjan Eagles 82–58 Lurore Lions

Fishkopi Bluejays 73–101 Vosjan Bears

"And of course we want to thank the visiting fans from Lurore… Every single one of them."

It was not the first time the small away side from the Lions received a mocking remark of this type and the generic reply, an evenly sarcastic applause underlined by the lonely trumpet from Gyergi confirmed it all.

Apart from one or two visits, every away game was a genuine trip for them. But that didn't suffice to explain their scarce numbers. Lurore simply was a football city, they usually tried to reason. And that the team was mediocre at best and more often than not plainly poor did not help the matter.

By now, they had stopped envying opposition that brought hundreds of fans to their small, ratty home arena and started to embrace this phenomenon as an advantage - the bus travel felt like a gettogether between a peculiar but strong band of friends and they were on a first name basis with the players who greeted them personally. Some of the group even bluntly proclaimed that if for some odd reason the numbers would rise, they would stop coming as the 'cozyness is half the charm'.

But cozy or not, even the most loyal of fans had to admit that was starting to become a massacre. The team had started the season with some fresh faces, promoted youngsters and promising amateurs from the hinterland, but they seemed to have forgotten the basic rules of the sport. The manager, a newcomer as well whose ambitious plans and focus on style over result were not worn out, yet, by the lack of means, stood windmilling along the sidelines.

"Pressure off the ball, organise, organise, nooo…"

Once more, the Eagles found an unmarked player near the ring and sunk it. They themselves had started off the season with doubts but got a golden opportunity to shake them off. The toothless Lions, in the meanwhile were on their way to a third consecutive loss by over twenty points - fourth quarters so far had been dreary affairs with everyone in yellow and black awaiting the last signal.

Amidst the mess, 22-year old Erando Kraja stood out. The powerful centre ensured that the whooping did not become more humiliating, if such was possible, by at least balancing the rebound statistic in the advantage of the Lions. Yet this did not necessarily warm the hearts of the fans. Too often before, they had seen young talents being snapped off and the current state of their team would only speed up that process.

The hardcore fans did not have to worry, this season a single bus would still suffice to fit in all Lurore away fans.

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Postby Lerujka » Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:50 am

January 19, 874

Natën Doreza Arta

NDA 85

Cruiserweight    LBB     Edon Kukaj         wins vs   Murat Mborja      (KO R3)

Flyweight LLA Valdan Barjamaj loses vs Luigj Kaziu (TKO R9)

Welterweight LLA Kristian Metani wins vs Ilar Bejtaj (jury unanimous)

Edon rubbed his hands, softly caressing the tape around his knuckles. Even if he had not a single doubt about the quality of his ring team, he liked to go over each and every one of the layers, taking in the details in silence. If you know that your hands are all that stand between success and a severe beating, you are careful and focussed. Even for this bout. As such, the sigh was not only for the boisterous entrance from Flori Zeqiri - although still in part.

Nobody truly knew his background but somehow, across the last few years, Zeqiri had manoeuvred himself into one of the most important positions in the whole sport. He was the man who decided who would compete against who for bouts in that inexplicable web of title fights, challenger bouts and career competitions. By now, everyone knew that those who complained too much could see their run at glory end at a pub bout in a backwater rather than at the Natën Doreza, making him difficult to topple. And more annoyingly, Zeqiri knew that as well.

“Here is our champ!” he yelled, ruining the sacred silence Edon built up before each fight, “what a great place this is.”

Admiring, Zeqiri pounded a fist against the side of the dressing room. Somehow, he had inspired the owners of the basketball arena in Terponat to loan out their facility for this edition, well, loan… It was a public secret that the locations could reap the income from the catering stands if they dropped a percentage in the right pockets. Kukaj had to admit that it wasn’t the worst they stayed in, but that had more to do with the sort of circumstances they fought in before: pub rooms, wedding locations and once even a beach, not accounting for the fact that it turned out to be a rainy, windy evening.

“Been worse,” Edon flatly replied, still hoping for a bit of quiet.
“A beautiful arena for a beautiful fight, one with suspense, drama and…”
“It’s a sport, Flori, and I’ll treat it like that. Even with these opponents.”

Edon knew that simply calling him by his first name in itself was already a risk, but as the authoritative champ in his weight category, he dared to take it one step further. As the number of consistent top fighters was low these days, Kukaj had credit. Some credit.

“There, there,... Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, shall we, Edon.” The sly voice immediately laid out the power balance as Zeqiri continued. “Having a regular fight at the Natën is rare and you’re on the bill every three editions… Everybody wins, not? How you gain, I don’t have to explain and Mborja… Well, for some guys, losing to you is the best thing that can happen in their career. But still, I see him as talented. Very talented, top fighter.”

It was ridiculous. How much exactly, Egon did not know, but the entourage from Murat Mborja must have spent huge amounts to line up their 21-year old, not particularly talented fighter in a title fight. In theory, one had to go through a series of challenger bouts to climb up the ranks, but everyone knew there were ways to circumvent that. And if there weren’t, Zeqiri could make them.

“It’s not my fault Qosja stopped? You should see it as a favour, we’re training a next, big challenger, one that gets you the headlines.”

Yusuf Qosja. In everything, he was the complete opposite from Egon Kukaj. Five years older, a flamboyant man of the world, living in a luxury apartment in the capital. Big lines in the press and aware of his personal brand - with 90% of the population not even knowing what on earth that would be. When Egon, shorter, less astute, entered the scene, he genuinely was afraid of him. At first, Yusuf dominated him, taunted him even and got him the nickname the “Sheep Herder” for his rural upcoming. It only motivated Egon and that fear became hate - the fuel to become better. And beat him.

Some of their bouts became the most epic in the history of Lerujka. Fans loved the dichotomy and the chemistry between the two, the joker and the professional, the madman and the monk. Qosja danced in the ring, Kukaj pounded like no one could. And then, after the NDA79, when Edon finally managed to take over the LBB title, Qosja called it a day. Directly after the bout, Yusuf had leaned in, the blood from his brow dripping on Egon’s shoulder, and whispered “We’ve made history together - I’ll miss you and well, you’ll miss me.”

It seemed bullocks at the time and had even angered Kukaj. Why did he not fight a rematch, to definitely settle it all?

Now, Edon understood. And even agreed. He missed the tension, the challenge. The knowledge that everything less than perfection would make him lose made him the best possible fighter. These days, he got pitted against second-rate elements and frankly, it wasn’t the same.

“In a way,” Zeqiri continued, ignoring the daydreaming from Kukaj, “you should thank me for this.”

Edon snorted a little, making clear he'd rather use sandpaper instead of toilet roll for the rest of his life.

“Anyway - I’m off and,” he remarked with just his head left in the door opening, “be a bit kind on the kid, will you. Give him - and the fans - some rounds, ok?”
“If he’s a talented fighter, as you said, he’ll take care of his own, no?” Egon replied to the fading footsteps.

It was gruesome abuse that his corner man hadn’t thrown the towel yet. Mborja looked dizzy and blood was dripping from both his jaw and his brow. The referee tried to mitigate but all parties somehow had their reasons to stretch this one. Because it would look bad on his record? To show his strength? Or simply because Zeqiri had asked for it?

But Egon Kukaj knew enough when he saw the bewildered, unfocused stare in his eyes at the opening bell of the third round. With one powerful and precise jab, he flattened Murat Mborja and prolonged his title. It hardly felt satisfying.

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Postby Lerujka » Wed Aug 12, 2020 3:40 am

January 26, 874
Ligë Basketbolli
Matchday 5

Vosjan Bears     78–66     Selber Senators
Lurore Lions 65–64 Fishkopi Bluejays
Erkani Bulldogs 90–81 Vosjan Eagles
Zagjan Blasters 70–84 Tusjak Capitals
Terponat Titans 66–91 Skrovoda Lightning
Obosan Hoops 60–94 Pjer Rockets

A slender man, with his thin grey hair combed over in an elegant fashion, slowly walks to the empty bench. It isn't occupied, even if the park is lively and filled with the sound of children blasting through their last bit of energy of the day, because the residents know that that spot is reserved. Calmly, he places his bucket with three half-litres twirling in cold water next to it, wipes off the dust from the trees with a moist handkerchief and takes his seat at the right-hand side. It's hardly an action but rather a ritual, a routine which comforts and relaxes.

It is a matter of minutes before his two companions appear. The taller one holds a small plate with a mix of finger food - no session can start or finish without praising his wife Bardhulina and her cooking. He has a slight hunch and the continuous frown of a man who has seen his share of misery in his lifetime. Last, as always, joins a man with a small radio. He wears a costume vest and there's brilliantine in his hair - you need to take a second look to note the ratty shoes. The locals know that vest, it's on that bench every single day for the last ten years.

And so are all three of them, every dry day, gathering at about seven till darkness strikes. Usually they discuss sports or politics. Sometimes they relish memories, even if the three of them have shared them all by now. And every once and awhile, they just sit and stare, across the park, to the waves that come and go at the beach of Pjer, a quiet city outside of the holidays. When the sun sets, they greet one another and the Parliament - as their neighbours monikered them - parts.

Munching on sun-dried tomatoes with halloumi, the crackled radio decides the course of the conversation tonight. It is game night, after all, and nothing gets their conversation going more than…

Afrimi Mula, looking composed and down goes another three! No stopping the Bears tonight, they are leading by eight and looking solid as ever. Have we seen a better Endri Dermaku before?

… the Vosjan Bears.

“Of course, of course we have,” the slender Arlindo mutters under his breath. “He’s good in position but what’s the last time he played more than thirty minutes?”
“Oh come on, he never stopped being the greatest, I’ve always told you!”

As the sole Bears fan, Besir is used to hissing and whistling after that remark.

“If it weren’t for Bardhulina’s dishes… You could go sit elsewhere! Never heard of Alsid Januzi?”
“They’re on their way to the title and Dermaku will lift that trophy, I tell you!”

Yes indeed, I am standing here, live, at courtside with the Titans and this is becoming an outright thrashing. Bregu tries to inspire them with words but it’s not going to be their day. The Lightning lead - how often we’ve said that already this season - by a whopping seventeen points at halftime.

“No way, Besir, no way. Skrovoda is unstoppable, they’ve got Xjefa, Hamzai, Hektor Tufa, … And Alsid Januzi of course. These guys are going back to back.”
“It’s always the same with you - you just support anyone who isn't the Bears. Since last year it’s Skrovoda, before it were the Titans, or the Senators or even the goddamned Tusjak Capitals.”
“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves - I may be a dirty old fool, but I never supported the Capitals.”
“Well, by manner of speech,” Besir mumbled.

For some inexplicable reason, the team from the capital must be the only thing the three agreed on - whether due to their tendency to buy players, their luxurious stadium or notably hardheaded manager Endri Karabeci.

“Well, maybe this time it’s your turn to support the Rockets,” Gjin smiled, “as you should.” The eldest of them held the home team in the highest esteem. Having a club in the Ligë was remarkable for a minor city like Pjer and the red-and-white generally were an appreciated, albeit not always successful member since the start. The last few years had been spent lingering anonymously in the second half of the peloton: good enough not to be the laughing stock, too mediocre to truly compete.

We’ve heard from the one-sided affair in Terponat but what about the Obosan game? 41-68 at the moment and the Rockets don’t seem willing to stop now!

“You hear it alright… That’s five wins in a row!”
“Against the Hoops, Gjin, against the bloody Hoops,” Arlindo tempered the expectations. “My back is out but I could still be in their rotation.”
“You said the same thing the last four weeks, but they’re still winning.”

The other two remain silent - there is little value in crushing their friend's hopes. They tend to spare him a bit more in their banter, and not just for the frailness in his walk.

“We’ll see,” Besir concludes. “After all, it’s all just about second place after the Bears.”

Collective groaning from the rest of the Parliament.

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Postby Lerujka » Sun Aug 16, 2020 4:08 pm

February 2, 874

Ligë Basketbolli

Matchday 6

Selber Senators    83–72       Pjer Rockets

Skrovoda Lightning 91–71       Obosan Hoops

Tusjak Capitals    86–81    Terponat Titans

Vosjan Eagles      81–80    Zagjan Blasters

Fishkopi Bluejays  72–80    Erkani Bulldogs

Vosjan Bears       83–59       Lurore Lions

Ligë Basketbolli         Pld   W   L   PF   PA   PD   Pts

 1 Skrovoda Lightning      6   6   0  508  384 +124     6

 2 Pjer Rockets            6   5   1  505  427  +78     5

 3 Vosjan Bears            6   5   1  483  425  +58     5

 4 Tusjak Capitals         6   4   2  491  431  +60     4

 5 Selber Senators         6   4   2  474  437  +37     4

 6 Erkani Bulldogs         6   4   2  495  466  +29     4

 7 Vosjan Eagles           6   2   4  451  472  −21     2

 8 Zagjan Blasters         6   2   4  436  471  −35     2

 9 Fishkopi Bluejays       6   2   4  433  493  −60     2

10 Terponat Titans         6   1   5  429  458  −29     1

11 Lurore Lions            6   1   5  355  471 −116     1

12 Obosan Hoops            6   0   6  380  505 −125     0

Six games on game six, condensed in six key figures - it has been the matchday of the Beast!

250 - Even the away fans rose and got their hands together as the home captain entered the arena of the Capitals tonight. Nikjan Eldici hit the court for the 250th time, a mark of an exceptional career. Going into his fourteenth season, Eldici remains a high-quality guard who brings stability and pace to his side. If he remains healthy, the all-time record of Besnik Hafaj - who appeared 285 times for the Blasters - might be broken in the course of next season. Maybe even the incredible 300 might be within reach for the 34-year old!

240 - The Lightning so far can bank on a perfect record, topped off with the best offensive and defensive numbers. Xhefa took a next step in his evolution, Tufa is an authority in the bucket but the man who dominates the play is clear. However, reliance can become a danger as well as Alsid Januzi appeared every single minute of every game so far. Question remains whether Skrovoda can keep up their high-pace passing game if 'the Magician' suddenly would have to be benched. Or can Januzi carry his side to the title and himself to the MVP title?

51 - One man who will definitely do his utter best to prevent the above scenario is Endri Dermaku and his role in the growing form of Vosjan has been widely discussed. Yet we want to underline a different impact of the aging Bears' captain. He has reached the age where he is iconic enough to inspire newcomers at the highest level to pick the iconic 51 number - and it doesn't do them harm. Karaj Huqi from the Titans has shown more than glimpses of his potential and Klodian Duka, the Bulldogs power forward did even better, playing a key role in a stellar season opening. Duka's confidence gives him the stature of an oldtimer.

43% - Making yourself stand out in a team that suffers from abysmal consistency, beating the Senators whilst losing to the Lions by example, is not an easy task. Yet, Aldin Seranaj will become a wanted target during the off-season if he keeps up his impact for the Bluejays. With 27 successful attempts outside the paint, out of 63, he not only leads the threepointers table but also offers a searching team a tried and tested tactic when the options run out. Seranaj sets a high bar to all specialists of this shot.

30 - Admittedly, it's an arbitrary cut-off point but 30 points scored usually indicates a dominant game, making it a rarer occurrence than some suspect. Amongst the list of those who did it yet, one sees usual suspects such as Dermaku, Januzi, Ehupi and Jashari. Yet, most notable has been Blasters' Gjorgji Proto who not only managed to do that three times but also achieved that distinctive mark in three losing games. It shows that Proto evolved from a starting to a key player, the sort to whom you hand off the ball in case of emergency and doubt.

12 - Last year, Skrovoda had a grand total of eight different players at tip-off across 22 games with one of them only appearing in the dead rubber on the last match day. A title winning team and that is something we won't say of the current line-up of the Lurore Lions. Manager Baci is seemingly out of options, having started 12 different players already and still from a solid five, judging from the poor appearance against a Bears who kept their powder dry. Only Erando Kraja has been a constant factor, but around him we see a lack of patterns. A case of bad management or is there a simple lack of quality in the dressing room?

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Postby Lerujka » Fri Aug 21, 2020 3:52 pm

February 9, 874

Ligë Basketbolli

Matchday 7

Lurore Lions       59–94    Selber Senators

Erkani Bulldogs    79–92       Vosjan Bears

Zagjan Blasters    95–79  Fishkopi Bluejays

Terponat Titans    79–93      Vosjan Eagles

Obosan Hoops       91–77    Tusjak Capitals

Pjer Rockets       80–74 Skrovoda Lightning

Alsid Januzi rubbed the sweat of his brow - even the time-out hadn't halted the water from leaking out of every pore. The sports hall in Pjer held its reputation for being closed up, noisy and awkwardly moist with a certain pride so with six seconds left on the clock, standing still felt like residing in the midst of the jungle. A drum was being harassed amidst outbursts for defence by the home fans. Even if he was aware of and intrigued by the circumstances, Alsid didn't feel overwhelmed. The same, unfortunately, could not be said by his teammates.

They were all looking to him as if he was the saviour in person, making the ploy painfully obvious. In as far, of course, a panicky coach Mheru had not shouted the instructions into the ears of even the worst seated fans. Make some movement, then pass it to Januzi and he will score three to draw level.

Alsid knew it would come down to this before the time-out had been called. Evenmore, he could not remember the time where he played basketball and that, when it truly got rough, they did not turn to him. The praise from the media had been shared across the players but in bad weather he would have to take the helm. If Januzi was more bothered about things like titles, team chemistry or long-term building, this would have been something that worried him. But now he took a barely audible sigh and decided to go out and do what he got paid for.

And to be honest, they paid handsomely in Skrovoda. The title had made their appetite for glory even stronger and simply letting his agent toot some horns in the press about potential suitors had ensured another additional percentage on Alsids pay check.

So now all he had to do was win the Lightning overtime and a shot to keep their perfect record. Simple as that.

Simple. The pass from Hamzai was a bit half-assed but not impossible, yet somehow Alsid didn't anticipate it sufficiently. Out of a corner of his eye he saw the slender shoulders from Kristaq Gavani pick it up. Bolted to the floor, he couldn't even stop the scrawny Pjer guard put three more points on the board - but on the other side.

It's just a game, not a disaster, Januzi told himself, but something did crack that night in the Skrovoda spirit.

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Postby Lerujka » Mon Aug 24, 2020 1:34 am

February 16, 874
Ligë Basketbolli
Matchday 8

Selber Senators    85–69 Skrovoda Lightning
Tusjak Capitals 90–57 Pjer Rockets
Vosjan Eagles 71–67 Obosan Hoops
Fishkopi Bluejays 69–68 Terponat Titans
Vosjan Bears 76–66 Zagjan Blasters
Lurore Lions 73–78 Erkani Bulldogs

“Good job… And that at your age.”

Although the joke started to get old - pun intended - , Endri Dermaku let it go as he high-fived his teammate at the sideline for the replacement. Gava used it as if he wasn’t only three years his junior and even the equipment guy, a morbidly obese veteran with a junkyard for a denture, had used it sparingly. After the opening game of the season, where the Bears had taken a deserved beating against Skrovoda, some pundit had written a damning column, condemning Endri to a place in the days of lore claiming he should be going through all this stuff and finally call it a day. ‘At his age’.

Dermaku knew well enough that being in the spotlights sufficed to be criticised. And if you did so whilst wearing the jersey of the Bears, one could be sure to get an extra layer in case of one of the rare defeats. Truth to be told, he never had worried. No, they didn’t play well on the day, but this was merely the rust still being there and the new guys having to settle in. In Irindi Stafa, they had acquired a reliable centre from the Bulldogs and Selim Memini was one of the most-sought after talents in the league. Even more, it were the two names he had slipped to the management during the off-season. That they were required reinforced two important things for Dermaku - that his team would bounce back after a mediocre ‘73 season and that they took him seriously in the board rooms, even if one did not need to be a top scout to pick out Stafa and Memini as the missing puzzle pieces.

Taking his seats in the stands, Dermaku started to reminisce about the future. He hadn’t voiced his doubts about his future aloud to anyone and took the aging jokes with a grin. A meagre one, but still. Because it did remind him that at 34, his body started to protest the tear and wear from being a professional athlete. At times, he skipped a training session and the coach didn’t mind if he ignored the literal and proverbial heavy lifting in the gym. Already during the start-up of his career, there had been injuries and revalidations but smarter coaching allowed him to make some great, healthy seasons. But even that only stretched so far. The clock was ticking down for him.

On the court, the Bears dictated the pace yet the Blasters put up a good fight - despite their losing streak, it was clear to see that Zagjan had more arrows up their bow than in most seasons. It made his own team a bit twitchy, Endri saw. In theory, a starting five of Stafa, Memini, the formidable Afrimi Mula, the fast Xoan Sinani and youngster Rezart Bendo, a technical gem, should be good enough to challenge for a title. Yet, they once more let the Blasters get into the game. A fifteen point gap started to drop and much to Endri’s annoyance, the coach just let it slip by, filling his time with shouting into the void. With two minutes left and 70-64, the coach waved him in hastily.

As usual - it seemed to be the only card up his sleeve. “Calm them a bit, Endri - perfect job at your age,” the coach attempted to be chummy. It curled Dermaku’s toes. If he were the manager, he would…

If he were the manager? When he’ll be the manager.

But first, there was a title to be won.

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Posts: 37
Founded: Jul 08, 2020

Postby Lerujka » Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:24 am

February 16, 874
Natën Doreza Arta
NDA 86

Heavyweight       LLA    Rron Pali         wins vs     Rudin Buba        (majority decision)
Middleweight LBB Marash Bushi wins vs Anton Kushta (KO round 7)
Flyweight LBB Ireneo Janku loses vs Besim Strati (TKO round 10)

“Keep your head in it! Just keep your head in it!”

In theory, Halim knew that as a cornerman, he had to represent a beacon of calmth and reliability to his boxer but the excitement got the better of him. This was not just any match for Rron Pali, this was his final assignment before getting the nod to compete for the status of heavyweight superchamp. If he could defend his LLA title for the third time, that was, and things were looking better with every passing round.

Rudin Buba, the opponent for this exercise had put up a good fight but even if the bulky northerner possessed a mean hook, he lacked that bit of flair. As the exhaustion started to set in, Rron simply managed to evade the blows before countering repeatedly. Eight bells had come and gone and it only was a testimony to the endurance of Buba that he had made it all the way till the last one. At age 27, Rron Pali indefinitely could stake a claim for being the best boxer in Lerujka.

It reminded Halim of the damp basement which served as the makeshift boxing club in Gedom, a small city in the hills where there was so little to keep the young entertained. Rron rarely spoke but his eyes always seemed to be on fire. Punching that bag, again and again, until the moonlight came through the narrow, dusty windows, did not quench that flame but enabled him to control it. There were times when Halim genuinely believed that the bouts were just a minor addition to the trajectory - it all came down to delivering that blow over and over, the numbing repetition which is the long but only road to perfection.

As round nine started, Rron scanned the ring again, searching for an opening for a clear punch. His sole weakness, critics said, was that he wanted to fight a perfect fight. They never saw him bulldozer over an opponent, but rather slowly deconstruct him. It led to long fights and in the beginning of his career, they accused him of a lack of hunder, which hadn’t always been in his advantage in jury decisions. By now, they knew his style and were not surprised to see him wait nearly half a minute before hitting that first jab - but it was a stellar one on the chin.

Buba now became desperate, windmilling his way within reach rather than trying to live up to the reputation of the noble sport. It seemed to matter little, another round came and went with the advantage to Pali. With the last seconds before the bell ticking away, Buba tried another hapless combination and by sheer coincidence, hit a nasty punch on Rron. Like a fountain, blood squirted from his ear - thankfully the bell rang.

The ring doctor did some ersatz tests, it always struck Halim how makeshift it all was. It didn’t have the clinical backdrop of the medical profession, these were battlefield tactics. Rron looked a bit hazy, even dazed and seemed to respond slowly.

“Is it bad?” Halim yelled, louder than he cared to admit.

The doctor stepped away from Rron, leaving him with a young kid who tried to get rid of the blood with a filthy sponge.

“It’s… Hmm…” the doc hesitated. He had been in this arena enough times to know the weight of his words. “It does not look really good. There still is hearing but… If he gets another punch there, I’m not responsible for the consequences.”

Looking the cornerman in the eye, he emphasised his last words. “No major damage yet but this could become bad.”

Halim hesitated - if Rron abandoned the fight, he would fall down the ladder once more. He had build a proper reputation, but it would be another jungle of challenger and eliminator fights… Just now the had the grand price in sight.

“Can we continue?” the referee chimed in. Halim hesitated, looked back and saw Rron.

“Nothing bad?” he murmured.
“No, no, bit of blood but nothing bad,” Halim replied.
“So I go on, dad?”

A pause.

“Yes, just focus on defending - it is already in the bag,” Halim Pali spoke. I cannot be in his corner for the super fight, Halim realised at the exact same moment.

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Posts: 37
Founded: Jul 08, 2020

Postby Lerujka » Fri Aug 28, 2020 2:13 pm

February 23, 874

Ligë Basketbolli

Matchday 9

Erkani Bulldogs     63–80     Selber Senators

Zagjan Blasters     73–80        Lurore Lions

Terponat Titans     75–84        Vosjan Bears

Obosan Hoops        78–81   Fishkopi Bluejays

Pjer Rockets        66–85       Vosjan Eagles

Skrovoda Lightning  69–81     Tusjak Capitals

“Mister Karabeci! Mister Karabeci!”

Only a greenhorn amongst the guild would have tried to just shout ‘coach’ or ‘Karabeci’ or, even worse, ‘Endri’. Without any doubt, the vast majority of those in the room hated the required decorum to get their question in with the uncrowned Sun King of the Lerujkan basketball coaches. Especially on days like these. If the Tusjak Capitals had lost, Karabeci would be snarky, impatient and rude, but at least you got a good quote out of it and well, a bit of schadenfreude is no stranger to a journalist either.

However, tonight had been the night that his side had pummeled Skrovoda Lightning with a certain flair, providing them a third consecutive loss - quite a surprise after their flying start in the league. Most analysts could note that this meant that Vosjan Bears silently ran away from the bulk  of the peloton but Karabeci mainly saw it as a confirmation of his theory that the Capitals were title challengers, despite their form having the consistency of a bowl of jelly. The smile with which he pointed to one of the more junior members in the room did not hide any bit of the satisfaction he felt.

"Which tipped the scales today, the dip in the form of Skrovoda or the performance of your own team?"

He should have known better. Karabeci sighed as if he was instructing a child that just could not wrap his head around the table of three.

"This is the title holder, by default an exceptional team. Still, we managed to outdo them based upon the combination of a positive team spirit, an intricate tactical plan and solid personal performances. If those three elements are present, we can beat any team."

It was a small step from the truth as Skrovoda really needed to find a second breath, the last few games Januzi had been playing on an island. Lightning got more talent lying around than just him but could not make a fist. The decisiveness from Kalaz Salberu and Mar Ehupi, who had grown into a dangerous tandem over the years, did that.

"After the loss against the Hoops there were some question marks on the continued cooperation between you and Tu-"

"Listen! That's just a lazy slander by a paper who lacks the quality to tell the truth. If you don't know which one, read your f-ing badge. Or are you too dumb to read? Ok, someone with a proper question left in the room?"

His instability and heavy mood swings had earned him the nickname Mr. Uranium and well, he lived up to that tonight. To appease, a veteran of many press conference wars, informed on his prospects for the next game.

"It's another key game, of course. Selber plays on enthusiasm but that opens up opportunities for us. They're vulnerable in the organisation and if you force them to use their depth, there is a loss in quality and not enough air force."

Amidst his centrifugal force of controversy and loud boistering, the hurricane Karabeci had a keen eye for the game and could put his finger on the flaws of his opponent. He needed to have that as he seemed to be the only element of stability in Tusjak against a board notorious to replace players like a conveyor belt every summer. No wonder they had to overpay as joining the Capitals wasn't exactly considered a wise long-term strategy: it could end over one poor quarter and you were going to be boo'ed in every arena of the country as the dislike of the rich capital was rarely felt as much as in the sporting competitions.

"What would you consider as the ambition of this team?"


"Second place?"

That addition was a capital mistake - pun intended.

"Is this a press room or the recovery room of the lobotomy wing in the hospital? For crying out loud, what an utterly stupid question. I just explained we could beat anyone so what do think we aim for? We are not the only title candidate of course, but we are a key one. Jezus Christ. That's it for today, try better next time."



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