Gosh, what a game it was. Even now, way after the final buzz I’m still twitching every now and then, as I’m trying to put my thoughts (and my notes) in order about this match.
Everything was against us. The chances, the circumstances, the referees... But we won and qualified to the semifinal.
The game started immediately with a free throw. Noooo, not for us, no way... for FMP. Don’t ever ask why. Because. Because Filip Čović, the little baby boy of basketball-godfather/KKCZ-boss Nebojša Cović plays in FMP, and if anyone just gave him a bad look, the referees immediately gave a foul to the culprit. It did happen this way. No joke.
Nevertheless FMP missed out the free throw, while Marinković quickly scored a 3-pointer (3:0). FMP equalized, while all Grave Diggers who were present were chanting a well-known, but rather obscene song to mock the guest team. At this point referees gave the second foul to Murić
less than 2 minutes passed from the game. It was not Murić’s day, referees did everything to kill him slowly
but despite the opponent powers we were leading to 7:3. We kept our advantege, FMP could maybe approach us (9:5), but whenever they just tried with this, someone from Partizan immediately threw a row of baskets (11:7 - Williams, 16:9 - Marinković with a fantastic 3-pointer). In the meantime Murić got his 3rd foul, because why not
it was nerve-racking and the end was more than far away
and Čović jr. surely took some doping before the match, he scored a 3-pointer, FMP equalized (19:19)
This guy was awful. He kept on scoring 3-pointers with a nasty grimace on his round face. He could do it, he was allowed, referees were on his and his team’s side.
Williams took back the lead (21:19), he even gave his own little extra (24:19), finally we finished the first quarter with 24:21.
In the beginning of the second quarter FMP dangerously approached us, they even took the lead for a short while (29:30). It didn’t last long, Cvetković quickly scored a 3-pointer (32:30). Jones took the team on his back and jumped with us to 36:30. What is more, after an FMP-attempt we made a fantastic counter-attack. Vitkovac was literally bulldozed by the guests, but even that couldn’t stop us (38:30). FMP’s coach asked for time-out, referees gave us a long row of fouls (Cvetković soon reached his 3rd personal foul, Marinković his 2nd), Average Fan lost thread at this point. Nevertheless FMP got a free throw, but they missed it out.
Karma is a bitch.
Jones increased our difference (40:33), but Čović & Co. made it to 40:39. Aleksandar Džikić asked for time-out.
After this short rest Vitkovac scored a fantastic 3-pointer (43:39). Jones followed him, he even got a bonus shot (46:39), but then, at this point the only thing I could see was that Cvetković clashes with Čović. Partizan’s point guard fell on the ground, he slid out of the court - and he got a technical foul.
I got to know only later what happened.
You can see that Čović (no. 3) stomps on Cvetković’s foot.
You get it, right? When Čović makes a foul, then Čović doesn’t make any foul. Cvetković made that foul. Or Murić. Or Vitkovac. Or the cleaning staff. Anyone but Čoki jr. As the saying in my mother tongue says: everyone’s stupid, only he is helicopter.
But fans are not stupid. It was obvious that referees openly served the favour of FMP. What Filip Čović got here from the Grave Diggers, well, he will surely not forget it for a while. Thousands of raging Partizan-fans were shouting obscene rhymes about the entire family-tree of Čović in the most different possible contexts.
And so typical that it made referees so upset that they paused the game for a short while, because of the "unsportsmanlike behaviour of Partizan-fans".
Yeah, sure. But Čoki jr. being a holy cow is not unsportsmanlike, is it?
FMP nevertheless got another free throw. Čović scored (46:40).
But here came Darrell Williams.
First he scored from free throw (47:40), then he scored a field goal, too, because it’s better to be safe than sorry (49:40).
It was high time for the half-time pause.
Partizan-players were on the way to the locker-room, when the cameras showed FMP’s Bursać, who was saying something to the referee with big gestures, being seemingly upset. The referee was listening for a while with poker face, then he whistled and gave a technical foul to the shocked Bursać.
Average Fan discreetly fell on the floor from laugh. Karma is a bitch.
So, we started the third quarter with a free throw, and earned the two-digit difference (50:40). Marinković increased it (52:40), so did Jones with a great hook (54:40). Referees kept on trying, someone from us accidentally touched Čović, that resulted a foul for Partizan’s side. Jones took the most noble revenge for the corrupted judgement of the referees (56:42), what is more, after a foul that was committed clearly against him, referees had to give us a free throw. Jones scored (58:42). At 58:45 Wilson got a free throw (59:45), then there was silence for a while. The two teams were wrestling and strangling each other without much result. This silence was broken by FMP (59:47), but at 60:49 Koprivica made us a 13-point advantage with a fantastic alley-oop (assisted by Wilson). For the rest of the quarter we kept the 10-point difference, more or less - FMP broke it only once (65:57), but Aranitović settled back the World Peace with a marvellous hook just before the buzz. 67:57, a short break and we can enter the final part of the game.
The last quarter was a nightmare. At 70:63 we attacked, FMP blocked Wilson. Referees gave a foul to Wilson (don’t ask why...). Vitkovac protested against the referees’ judgement, he claimed that Wilson made no foul.
The referees gave a technical foul to Vitkovac after this.
Just because they could.
You could get a week-long constipation, you idiots.
But FMP missed out the free throw they got for the technical foul.
It was followed by a bitter fight. FMP was cramped, but it was so useless, the lovely referees helped them anyway. They got a gift bonus shot for their score (70:66), then it was already 70:69. Wilson sped up, he wanted to score with a hook, the opponent pushed the ball back through the ring. The referees took a deep breath and validated this score for us (72:69). Cvetković scored from free throw (74:71), Jones also had a goal (76:71).
Less than 2 minutes were left, FMP got a free throw. 79:78. Murić came, risking his 5th foul (81:78). FMP was right behind us again (81:80). Wilson made the Steal of the Century, then the 3-Pointer of the Century (84:80). FMP’s coach asked for time-out. His team entered the court then with a 3-pointer (84:83). Only 13 seconds were left, when Čović bulldozed Wilson. Free throw for Partizan. Wilson scores (85:83). FMP tries with a last, desperate attack. Đoković gets the ball. He is about to throw the 3-pointer of his life... and his hand trembles in the last moment. He misses it out. End buzz. The end. We won. We qualified to the semifinal, where we’ll clash with the winner of the Crvena Zvezda - Smederevo game.
Here you can watch the last approx. 1,5 minutes of the game.
KK Partizan: Cvetković (11), Aranitović (9), Jones (21), Murić (2), Marinković (8), Tanasković, Vitkovac (2), Koprivica (4), Milutinović, Williams (13), Jovanović, Wilson (15)
FMP: Čović (20), Ostojić, Apić (8), Jeković, Đoković (12), Lazarević (7), Bursać (11), Dobrić (23), Šešlija (2), Radanov, Radovanović