At first it did not seem so at all. Metalac was ahead with 0:5, when Gagić scored our first basket. Our defense was a bit draughty, the Valjevo team scored more (2:7, then 4:9, from our side Milutinov threw a basket). As a matter of fact, we scored 12 points in the first quarter, and 8 of them were free throws. That’s how it was going. This Milutinov-basket mentioned above was one of the "field goals", another was by Bogdanović at 9:19. (Hanging on the truth, Bogdanović’s 2-pointer score went with a bonus shot.) Even though Andrić tried a 3-pointer at the end of the quarter. (I’ll tell more about him later.) The first quarter ended with 12:23, it was rather saddening.
Well, at this point only.
The second half was started by Milutinov (14:23), then - better to be safe than sorry - Gagić also threw a basket (16:25), but Metalac still didn’t want to stop scoring more and more. They made a 2:9 series, it was 18:34 to them (Andrić scored in the meantime). Then it was 20:36, when Bogdanović threw our first 3-pointer.
One foul here, one foul there, 24:38. Our defense was still a relatively cool passage way (for Metalac surely...), that resulted in 25:42. Then a wrestling match started under Metalac’s backboard...
...we tried all sorts of methods, finally compassion won over the referee’s heart and Partizan got a free throw. Gagić stood there and scored (27:42).
And something started at this point.
As if the pieces of the puzzle suddenly got together. Everything started to roll, the team shook themselves up and Andrić scored the season’s most heart-warming 3-pointer as a beginning. Then Metalac attacked, but we made a turnover and Bogdanović reduced the difference (32:42). The guests pressured a 3-pointer in, but just half a minute before the end buzz Murić scored. The half time result was 34:45.
At the beginning of the third quarter the opponent was still trying, Gagić got another foul (34:46), then... then came a brutal, 10-point series by Partizan.
You see it well.
10-point series by Partizan. From 34:46 to 44:46.
Gagić threw a basket. Then Milutinov brought another 3 points - basket with bonus shot. (39:46) Then Murić scored a 3-pointer from a great counter-attack, and the dot to the letter i was put by Milutinov. After Murić’s score there was still an extra bonus shot, but the Slovenian player missed it. Milutinov didn’t, he made a rebound and scored. 44:46.
Metalac tried to keep the pace with a 3-pointer, but it didn’t last long. Again Milutinov, he came, saw and equalized. 49:49.
Then again equal, thanks to Bogdanović - 51:51.
And then 54:51.
Mihajlo Andrić and his brilliant 3-pointer.
Metalac tried to save what they could. They equalized (54:54), but Tepić turned it for the benefit of Partizan. Finally, 17 seconds before the end of the quarter Andrić scored another fantastic 3-pointer. (59:57)
The last quarter was the quarter of fireworks. Andrić followed his own footsteps (62:57). Gagić was used as a punchbag by the opponent, the center fell on the floor and slided out of the field. Free throw. (65:63) The Kraljevo-based team picked themselves together one more time and equalized. (65:65) Then came Murić and the score was 67:65 on the board.
Then 73:67, with Bogdanović’s perfect 3-pointer. Murić scored from free throw (75:67). Here Metalac worked off a bit their difference, the standing was 76:71. Only 2 minutes were left from the match, when Milutinov dunked and it was 78:71. Andrić scored another fantastic 3-pointer (82:75), Average Fan happily screamed, and for the very end there were two points left, both from free throws, one by Bogdanović and another by Dallo. 84:77. We won. Thank God.
KK Partizan: Tepić (4), Murić (11), Marinković, Dallo (1), Milutinovi (17), Mačvan, Gagić (13), Andrić (18), Milutinović (3), Glišić, Bogdanović (14), Šalić
Metalac: Malešević (4), Radenković, Bakić (11), Kutlešić (12), Otašević (3), Majstorović (10), Jevtović (8), Jošilo (7), Tomašević, Ljubičić (10), Rakićević, Todorović (12)
(photos: Facebook/KK Partizan)