Partizan played in front of almost empty stands, it was rather sad to see. Also, upon informations the German female basketball team wanted to have a training in Pionir Hall from 19:00 (Serbian and German female basketball teams play European Championship qualifying tomorrow in Belgrade), so even time was a bit limited.
The first quarter started a bit slowly, guests took the lead (2:4), then came Aranitović and switched the standing (5:4). The rest of the quarter was spent with easy basketball playing. We were leading for the whole time with 5-7 points, Vrabac and Milutinović had a great time. At this point it seemed that we beat the league newbie with a routine victory.
Well, we didn’t.
We finished the first part with 20:15, in the second part it was 30:23, most of all by Kevin Jones. But then Tajfun equalized (30:30), while we couldn’t score one single 3-pointer. The guests took the lead and for a long time they didn’t let us take it back.
Well, let’s see the positive side of it: the difference never grew into two-digit. Optimism is important, isn’t it?
We were struggling. Our defense line was like a corridor. If we could score, it was mostly from free throws. Tajfun continuously had a 3-4-point advantage. It doesn’t look that dangerous at the first glance, but it was still very bothersome, because on our side nothing seemed to work out. We finished the first half with 39:42.
In the third quarter we continued to struggle. Tajfun had numerous steals and increased their difference to 43:47.
And then came Vitkovac and Jones. We took back the lead (48:47).
Marinković demonstrated the block of the round.
At this part of the game the counter was switching there and back. The two teams grabbing out the lead from each other’s hands, 50:49, 50:51, 52:51, then the guests scored a 3-pointer, we equalized (54:54), but the Slovenian team took back the lead again. We finished the third part with 58:61.
The last quarter started with Anđušić equalizing (61:61). Tajfun fought hard and took back the lead (61:63) and did not want to let it out of their hands. We were behind always with only 1-2 points, sometimes we could even equalize, but Tajfun immediately took back the lead again. Finally after sweating blood we took the lead with Anđušić’s 3-pointer (74:73). Cvetković also scored one (77:73), but soon after he was fouled out. Tajfun reduced the difference to 77:75, at this point Vitkovac scored (79:75). Tajfun reduced the difference again, the standing was 79:78. Aranitović and Anđušić increased it to 83:78. Tajfun again reduced (83:81), it was Jones’s turn now (85:81). Tajfun’s players got more and more rough. There was not even half a minute left, when referees whistled 3 free throws in a line. First for Jones (87:84), then for Tajfun (87:85), finally for Anđušić (89:85). For the last seconds there was just some nerve-racking wrestling left, and then we could celebrate.
KK Partizan: Cvetković (11), Aranitović (14), Jones (17), Marinković (10), Vitkovac (10), Đumić (2), Koprivica, Perović, Milutinović (7), Vrabac (6), Wilson (2), Anđušić (10)
Tajfun Šentjur: Sebić (5), Držić, Čebular (29), Zimič, Bratož (10), Clark (7), Ponjavić (11), Drobnjak (2), Bolčina (14), Parker (7)
1. Budućnost 20 points
2. CZ 19 points
3. Cedevita 19 points
4. Mega Leks 19 points
5. Zadar 17 points
6. Krka 17 points
7. Igokea 16 points
8. MZT Skopje 15 points
9. Union Olimpija 15 points
10. Cibona 15 points
11. Partizan 15 points
12. Tajfun Šentjur 15 points
13. Metalac 15 points
14. Sutjeska 14 points