Edo Murić was carrying the team on his back for the whole game. He scored 22 points, jumped to grab rebounds, blocked attacks and ploughed up the ground in general. So now you stand up and salute for him.
Gagić grabbed the ball right after the start, but after several missed out chances Krka scored first. And even more. (0:4) After 3 minutes Murić scored Partizan’s first basket (2:4), we even equalized with Tepić’s help. But the opponent still got back their advantage. Partizan missed numerous chances, no matter what a great movement Milutinov made to catch a rebound. For the whole match the team seemed to be cursed, just nothing worked. Slovenians were leading 4:9 when Murić scored a 3-pointer - here I have to add, the fans were applausing loud on every of his movements. But Krka was unstoppable, it was 7:11, then 7:13 when Gagić made an alley-oop and it looked a bit better (9:13).
It seemed to gave some spirit to the team. Andrić scored from foul shot, Gagić added one more basket, then 9 seconds before the end Murić equalized (15:15). But it was too much for the referee, so he whistled a foul against Andrić. It was followed by a foul shot, Krka’s player scored, the quarter ended with 15:17.
The second part started with a row of fouls, one to here, one to there, one for Krka, one for Partizan, then another one for Krka, another for Partizan, then after 2 minutes the referees got fed up and Šalić was penalized with a foul. Šalić wasn’t the referees’ favourite tonight, he wasn’t much active tonight, but whenever he made any movement, a referee immediately whistled. To all these, Duško Vujošević got a technical foul after complaining for the free shot after Šalić’s foul.
It came to my mind, in the previous season Gagić was the favourite punchbag of the referees. It seems, this year this great, responsible and challenging position was bestowed upon Šalić.
It was 15:18 when Tepić got a free shot after Krka’s foul (17:18). Then a big silence came, for about one and a half minutes. Both teams had many missed chances, and truthfully, the game looked awful as well. Nothing spectacular, no excitement or tricks, but a bunch of fouls, as well as a 3-pointer from Krka (17:21). Also, as an extra, a brilliant block by Bezbradica, so great that it made Pionir Hall explode.
Another row of missed chances from both teams... Then Murić scored from a foul shot, immediately followed by a 3-pointer (18:24). Milutinov made some progress in the result (20:24)...
...but even this didn’t help, because Krka scored another basket, right before the shot clock's signal.
Then Andrić and Milutinov both scored a 3-pointer, for Milutinov it was actually a 4-point play. The difference was just 1 point (28:29). What is more, 17 seconds before the end Andrić scored another 3-pointer and Partizan took the lead!! (31:29) It was again too much for the referees, because one (!!!) second before the buzz Krka got a foul shot after one of their players made a very scenic fall on the ground. The half time was 31:31.
In the 3rd quarter Partizan tried to keep their advantage. Gagić threw a 4-point play (34:31). It gave him the spirit, because he scored another basket (36:31), and Average Fan had a great smile on the face. And when Dallo changed it to 38:31, Average Fan laid back. Gagić scored from a foul shot (40:33), Murić also threw a basket and a 4-point play (45:36), the difference was almost a double digit. What else could a Partizan-fan ask for?
Maybe to ask the referees to stop hating Šalić this much, that made Krka improve to 45:39.
Partizan still kept their advantage. Milutinov scored from Gagić’s rebound, Dallo also threw a basket (49:41). It wasn’t a good game, it wasn’t exciting either, but at least we were on the lead. Well, at this point.
There was less than one and a half minutes left from the quarter when Tepić was attacked hard. Referees just waved "go ahead", Duško Vujošević complained. The referees didn’t like that the Master is against their will, they put another technical foul on him. The head coach had to leave the field, from here Velimir Gašić was on charge.
The audience booed and whistled whenever the opponent touched the ball. Despite all this Krka equalized, and they even got the lead with a buzzer beater. (49:51)
The last quarter brought another amount of mud wrestling. Krka was always ahead with 1-2 points. Partizan could equalize twice, both with the help of Murić. It was 56:56 when they could do it for the last time. Partizan also tried with many 3-pointers, but they all failed, all dropped from the rim. Meanwhile the Slovenians slowly started to rise their advantage. 56:58, then 58:60 (Bezbradica scored in the meantime, after more than 2 minutes), then at 58:62 chaos emerged, the referee disagreed with Milutinov’s basket. Partizan challenged, the game was on halt, everyone was watching the screens.
But the referees didn’t change their minds, the game had to go ahead. The audience was booing and hissing, Krka were improving their advantage. Fouls were tougher and tougher, Murić also got it in the neck, meanwhile nothing worked for Partizan. Finally Murić and Gagić could somehow pick the team together (62:64), but at this point the entire Partizan bench was standing and shouting loud towards the referee, who again didn’t want to give a foul against Krka, and this was not the first time the officials were this kind to the opponent. Krka kept on improving, 62:66, then 62:68. Finally Tepić threw a basket (buzzer beater style) and that was the end.
Current league standings:
1. Crvena Zvezda 4 points
2. Union Olimpija 4 points
3. Krka 4 points
4. Budućnost Podgorica 4 points
5. MZT Skopje 3 points
6. Mega Vizura 3 points
7. Levski 3 points
8. Partizan 3 points
9. Szolnoki Olaj 3 points
10. Zadar 3 points
11. Igokea 2 points
12. Cedevita 2 points
13. Metalac 2 points
14. Cibona 2 points
Good news is that Luka Bogdanović signed for Partizan, he can even play against Cedevita.
I kept the best one for the end. Léo Westermann posted this on Twitter:
Ajmo crno beli !!! pic.twitter.com/ccrnybFobN
— Westermann Léo (@lwestermann) October 8, 2014
(unsigned images: Facebook/KK Partizan)