I’ll be honest: I missed out numerous moments from the first half. The truth is, I was watching the waterpolo game between Serbia and Slovakia parallel with this one on another stream, clicking here and there all the time. I did not regret it, the two water polo teams had an exciting game with a lot of battles. And Serbia won, qualifying themselves to the quarterifinal!
Meanwhile Cvetković took the whole team on his back, ploughed up the court and he was like an uncontrollable imperial star destroyer. (3:9) At 3:11 Krka picked themselves together a bit and equalized for the end of the first quarter (11:11).
Looking into my notes I see there was always a long idle time between scores. When Wilson scored the 11th point for Partizan, there were barely more than 3 minutes left. Krka scored mostly from free throw.
In the second quarter Cvetković continued what he started in the first one (11:16), but the home team was again way too close to us (17:18). But Cvetković was unstoppable. We didn’t even reach the half-time, but he was already like a nuclear reactor soon before meltdown. (17:22) The newly signed Williams also had his moment (17:24), then again it was Cvele-time. (17:26)
Vitkovac and Jones scored, the difference was 10 points for us (20:30). The end of the first half was 27:36, after Krka’s 3-pointer Wilson threw one more.
For the third quarter Krka again tried to pick themselves together. First they equalized (37:37), then they took the lead (39:37). Jones equalized from free throw (39:39). What is more, Cvetković had an amazing moment, flashing across the court among the shocked Slovenian players. Then he passed the ball to Jones with an elegant switch, Jones just had to serve it right into the ring. 39:41, we took back the lead.
Yes, just Krka equalized again (41:41). What is more, the well-meaning uncle referee gave them an extra bonus shot. (42:41)
For the second half the Serbian stream collapsed. After a long and hysterical search I could find only a Croatian one. It worked well, in HD, with no lagging, but the Croatian commentator spoke in such a bored, monotonous tone that I almost fell asleep. He came back to his spirits only when Krka took the lead.
Jones again. We are leading again (42:43). Krka takes it back again (45:43). They even got a free throw (46:43). Vitkovac also got one (46:44), not much, but more than nothing. But Krka sped up. (48:44) So did Cvetković (48:47). Krka quickly scored a 3-pointer. (51:47)
Vrabac and Cvetković didn’t leave it at that. We equalized (51:51). Krka threw again a basket (53:51), Jones equalized (53:53). Again a score from Krka (55:53), now Williams answered (53:53). Buzz. Let’s get ready for the final quarter.
In the beginning Krka scored again (57:55), we equalized again (57:57, Vitkovac). This was the point when Krka probably got fed up with the flow of events and threw two 3-pointers (63:57).
Oh, no. There goes again our victory. It’s just impossible. That’s it, folks, let’s close the shutters, goodbye, Adriatic League.
But the two Americans, Jones and Wilson pulled the team back from the edge of the abyss. They together made a fantastic series (of course Cvetković took part in it as well, with his assists), that we didn’t just equalize, but took back the lead (63:65).
We just forgot about the referees. Now they put themselves into action. Probably they got scared that Partizan might win the game. They quickly put a foul on Vitkovac. Krka equalized with the gift free throw (65:65). Vitkovac and Jones together made 3 points (65:68).
But Krka again equalized (68:68).
Then came Vitkovac.
Partizan’s entire bench was on their feet. There were only 48 seconds left. Jones missed out an attempt for 3-pointer. Krka ran up to our backboard, the entire Partizan blocks them, the referees whistle it off. Time-out. Only 23 seconds are left. One referee stares at the monitor where questionnable fouls can be checked by slow motion replay. Finally Krka gets only a throw-in instead of free throw. They miss out the chance, the ball flies out of the court near the backboard. What is more, referees whistle for offensive foul. Free throw for Partizan. The whole company walks up to the other paint. Jones gets the ball, he throws, he scores (68:73). Krka can throw in a basket, too (70:73). Only 8 seconds left. Referees again whistle a foul on Krka. Free throw for Partizan, now it’s Wilson’s turn. He does it. 70:75. There’s one more Krka-attack left, but the ball again flies out of the court near the backboard.
That’s the end.
We can celebrate.
Krka: Rebec, Tratnik, Ivanov (11), Sinovec (11), Rojc (3), Lalić (11), Tomić, Kastrati (15), Dimec (3), Polutak, Ritlop (6), Lapornik (10)
KK Partizan: Cvetković (21), Aranitović, Jones (19), Murić, Marinković, Vitkovac (12), Đumić (1), Magdevski, Milutinović, Williams (4), Vrabac (4), Wilson (14)
Update: current standing of the League
1. Budućnost 40 points*
2. CZ 35 points
3. Cedevita 35 points
4. Mega Leks 33 points
5. Cibona 29 points
6. Zadar 29 points
7. Metalac 29 points*
8. MZT Skopje 28 points
9. Igokea 28 points
10. Partizan 28 points
11. Krka 28 points
12. Union Olimpija 27 points
13. Sutjeska 27 points
14. Tajfun Šentjur 27 points
Teams marked with * have played 21 games already.