Edo Murić was also there sitting in the crowd. He got injured during the previous match - Duško Vujošević noted, it seems to be a tradition that Murić gets injured against Crvena Zvezda.
There were some famous guests there, too. Novak Đoković, the alpha and omega of Serbian tennis visited the game together with Viktor Troicki, another star of Serbian tennis.
The best of Serbian tennis could be found on the tribunes. Nenad Zimonjić was also present, though he had his place at an upper tribune, together with his son.
Here is a video, for you, to see what kind of an atmosphere there is at Pionir Hall. (In case you have never seen it yet.)
Keen-eyed people could see Ivan Bandalovski and his girlfriend making a selfie at 2:59 as well as Nemanja Kojić with an adorable baby at 3:25.
Now you go back and watch it again. I know you didn’t notice them.
Troicki was great by the way. He was singing along with the fans, couldn’t stay calm, jumped up, didn’t seem to care much about the cameras focusing on him, while the openly Zvezda-fan Đoković’s face got more and more sour. (Here I must admit, Đoković acted like a gentleman for the whole time. It couldn’t be easy though.)
At the beginning it was tough again. Pavlović gave a good start though (2:0), but Zvezda had two very fast american players, Williams and Jenkins. We tried to increase the difference, we took the lead first to 13:8, then to 15:12, mostly by Pavlović’s scores, but the two Americans equalized with their 3-pointers, what is more, at the end of the first quarter they took over the lead (15:17).
The second quarter found Zvezda still domineering, thanks mostly to their American players. It was almost only Jenkins and Williams being active among them, among us Tepić, Marinković and Milosavljević were working hard to earn points. Despite our efforts the situation got tougher and tougher. The standing was 22:28, then 27:33, the two red-white striped Americans seemed to be unstoppable. (Interesting, Luka Mitrović scored zero points at this match. Mountain-sized Marjanović could make only 5 points, "Rat of the ABA League" title winner Jaka Blažić also made not more than 5 points.)
And then came the point when Mačvan got fed up.
The beast broke out of Mačvan. Mačvan took the whole team under his armpit, ploughed up Pionir Hall, ground the wooden pieces of the paruqette to saw-dust with bare hands, ran through the shocked Zvezda-players like a bulldozer and made an unbelievable 10-point series. (37:33)
We finished the first half with 38:33, Đumić scored one point from free throw.
This little girl was the half-time sensation :)
Then we ran back to the floor, Pavlović again gave the keynote (41:35) and then it was again Mačvan time.
He was simply amazing.
Nothing worked for Zvezda. The ball always dropped down from the ring or flew too far. But the greatest moment was when Mitrović stole the ball, ran up and clearly wanted to make the Dunk of the Year. His pace was just too big, the ball hit the ring and instead of falling into the net it dropped down and flew back at least to the half-line.
I know it was cruel from me, but I died of laugh. Mea culpa.
Meanwhile we took the lead to 53:41, Milutinov made an XXL-sized block, Tepić scored (while at least 3 Zvezda-players were hanging on him), Jenkins got a technical foul after hitting Đumić, we got a free throw, Đumić threw and scored easily (59:41).
And that was the moment, too, when Jenkins dropped the ball in the most critical moment. Zvezda-players were yelling with each other while we didn’t let control out of our hands.
The atmosphere was more than huge, the fans were singing in ecstasy. (Mačvan is the official atmosphere-maker of the team.)
And then came the final quarter.
Mačvan could have some rest, because Milutinov took the role of Partizan’s Steam Roller Engine. He increased the difference by himself from 59:44 to 64:53. At this point the pace got a bit slower, but only to give space for the last and greatest attack.
And to Milutinov.
Then again to Milutinov.
(Watch how Blažić drops the ball in the beginning and how Dallo steals it.)
Zvezda fell to pieces. They could only assist to Partizan’s festive show. At the end Milutinović joined the team, said hi (74:61), and for the last seconds only Dallo’s spectacular action was left.
Then it was time for the well-deserved celebration.
The best moment can be seen around 2:35, when even journalists forget about their official masks and turn into happy fans.