In the first quarter Skopje clearly wanted to show the world they are not afraid of the famous guests. They sent the awfully fast Dixon in the battle - we had a troll Mačvan. The result of the first period was 19:24, at first glance it looks as a smooth game. In reality we sweated blood, we had to switch back the result to our side three times. Mačvan was on full speed, Pavlović was our nuclear reactor, who scored our first 3-pointer at the end of the quarter, while Murić added a sophisticated elegance to all this teamwork.
In the second quarter the Macedonian team went flat, like a used tyre, compared to that pace they had at the beginning. They became dull and missed out a lot of chances. We took a nasty advantage of them, Pavlović kept on scoring as if there was no tomorrow, Andrić brought a 3-pointer with a broad smile and it couldn’t happen without Mačvan and Milutinov (especially Mačvan, his performace was simply brutal in this match, he was like a granite foundation). The standing was 30:38 in the half-time.
Home team again pulled themselves together for the 3rd part. As a beginning they made a 7:2 series (37:40) and at a point they took the lead (47:46) as well as control over the game. We missed out too many chances and it paid off, as always. The result was 49:48 at the end of the quarter, and even in the beginning of the last one the Macedonian team opened with a free throw (51:48). They even started to send wide grins to each other as something like "hey, look at these Belgrade big boys, they are so out of themselves".
Then came Marinković and an awesome, 10-point series.
First he scored a 3-pointer (51:51), then Murić (51:54) also Milosavljević (51:57) and it was also him who topped it all from a free throw (51:58).
Then , the truth is, that was more or less all about the quarter. Nothing else happened. Both teams slowed down and the only mentionable event was when Gagić needed medical treatment after falling and hitting himself hard to the floor. At the end there were some free throws left (one for Skopje, two for us) and one weak action goal on both sides (by Andrić, for us). We won (55:63) and right now that’s the most important.
(photos: Facebook/KK Partizan)