By the way, before the match Milutinov scared the hell out of the public with this photo:
In Pionir Hall he already had it full bald. Well, God knows, maybe he should have had this one-sided haircut even on the basketball floor. He would have scared the daylight out of Lithuanians, making them rush home as fast as they could.
Anyway, sorry, everyone. I have a very bad mood, I'm not much about joking it away. Especially after such a match, when the boys put their heart and soul out of the floor, yet the Lithuanian team took all away with a 5+3 lineup (5 field players + 3 referees).
The first quarter brought scenes that can be seen usually only at the final one. Marinković made a huge turnover, pushing the team into a counter-attack. Gagić was the Wall, the Fortress blocking the opponent’s most impossible attempts. Mačvan took the team on his back and turned himself into unstoppable.
The only problem was that the guest team led to 2:10. We missed a row of chances. They were just missed, not blocked or stolen. Mačvan then made it to 7:14, so did Milutinov from a great turnover (10:14). Lithuanians earned personal fouls instead of baskets, while
The end of the quarter was 16:18.
The second period brought again numerous missed chances and steals. The first score came after more than 2 minutes (16:20), and more than 4 minutes were needed for the first Partizan-basket (20:26), scored by Murić, from free throw. Dallo made an amazing, fantastic turnover and passed it to Mačvan, who didn’t hesitate (22:26), then came Partizan’s first 3-pointer by Andrić (25:28).
Also, this one.
But Lithuanians were still on the lead. We couldn’t control the match for a moment, even if it was a very exciting, spectacular game with lots of breath-taking actions and even with wrestling on the floor.
As well as with three deaf and blind referees.
Partizan turned into full force, Mačvan scored a 3-pointer (34:41), the half time result was 32:38.
After the break Milutinov scored (34:41), Marinković also threw a 3-pointer (37:43), but the difference was soon double digit (37:47). The Lithuanians even made it to 37:49, which was reduced to 39:49 by the Tepić-Andrić axis. There were still 10 points between the two teams. Tepić took a deep breath and brought up Partizan to 45:51, making a 7-point series. We even made it to 50:54, thanks to Mačvan and Milutinović.
Yet whenever we approached the opponent to 4 points, something immediately happened. A personal foul or anything else that earned a free throw for Lietuvos, increasing the difference.
The atmosphere was great though. (Later one of Lietuvos’s American players tweeted this.)
54:58 (Murić), 56:60 (Milutinović), that was the best we could afford. The end of the quarter was 58:64, even if Dallo threw a basket that happens only once in a century, from our (!) 3-pointer line and scored!!! But the referees kept themselves to the standpoint that the ball touched the ring after the buzz, making Dallo’s score invalid.
The last quarter was similar to the previous ones. Partizan players were fighting like lions, in exchange Milutinov was fouled out, nobody knew why (maybe not even the referees). Meanwhile it was 62:75, Partizan could score only from free throws. Finally Andrić threw a field goal, not just an average one, but a 3-pointer (69:78), but it brought an instant free throw to the Lithuanian team (69:79). Murić made a giant slam dunk (71:79), Mačvan also brought 2 points (74:83), we kept on fighting, not collapsing even in the very last seconds. Finally Gagić scored the last basket from free throw (76:85).
KK Partizan: Tepić (8), Murić (14), Marinković (3), Dallo (2), Milutinov (8), Mačvan (22), Gagić (8), Andrić (6), Milutinović (5)
Lietuvos Rytas: Leslie (12), Dambrauskas, Juškevičius (8), Lukauskis, Baron (2), Šeškus, Valeika, Gecevičius (17), Orelik (21), Kavaliauskas (23), Moser (2)
(unmarked images: Facebook/KK Partizan, Google)