Monday, February 22, 2016

Mega Leks - KK Partizan 85:80 (Korać Cup, final)

Don’t ever ask.
Well, anyway, it doesn’t matter actually. Even if you asked, I couldn’t answer.
The atmosphere was great. A field music band walked around inside the hall playing the popular march song. It was fantastic to see and hear as thousands of fans were singing Grobarski marš on the top of their voice.

Then the band played the Serbian national anthem, too.

(photo: Twitter)

We had a great start. We jumped to 2:10, Marinković himself scored 8 points, while Koprivica performed such an excellent dunk which can be performed only by professionals.

(photo: Facebook/KK Partizan)

The problem was that Mega Leks reduced the difference. Had they only reduced it, but they even took the lead (12:11). They even jumped to 16:11. They were very aggressive, for the whole time during the game. They played full court press as well as player-to-player fight, as if every Partizan-player would have got a personal backpack. Cvetković kept the spirit in the team, once we even equalized with Wilson’s free throw (21:21). The quarter finished with 24:23, Wilson made a great buzzer beater.

Time-out in the first quarter
(photo: Twitter)

For the second quarter things got back on track. Milutinović started with a fantastic 3-pointer (after a spectacular, quick passing of the ball around the paint, 24:26), Murić followed his example (27:29), Williams stole the ball with a great movement from a Mega-player, he even threw it to the backboard, but it rebounded. But Milutinović appeared out of the blue and pushed the ball back to the ring. A Mega-player picked it out, but the referees validated the basket (27:31).
Then came Edo Murić.
From another planet. With a brutal 3-pointer.

(source: GlimmerKKP)

We kept our advance. Though Vitkovac soon got his third personal foul, Luwawu very aggressively attacked every Partizan-player, Jones got another foul, after a Mega-player played the dying swan

the slow motion replay clearly showed that Jones just barely touched the other player, yet the dude acted as if he got a 16-ton anvil right onto his head. And yes, the referee believed him

aaaand they got a gift free throw (33:36). Players were wrestling and fighting on the court, at one of these a Partizan-player (I didn’t see clearly who it actually was) threw the ball to Wilson while laying on the ground. Wilson ran up and scored (33:40).
And Edo Murić.
Edo Murić had a fantastic performance tonight. He scored from any angle, any distance. He made us jump up to 38:45. Finally the referees quickly fouled him, Mega got another gift free throw (43:45).

A bonus shot by Murić at the end of the first half
(photo: Facebook/KK Partizan)

The result of the half-time was 46:48, we got a free throw (Cvetković scored), one was for Mega, because why not.
The third quarter started with Murić’s gigantic block. Mega Leks turned into even more aggressive, they were very heavy on this full court press. Wilson scored a 3-pointer (46:51), Mega reduced the difference to 49:51. Here came a Koprivica-Jones teamwork (49:53), Mega was again in our back (52:53).

They were awful. One of their trick was full court press, the other is the 3-pointr attack. All of them scored a row of 3-pointers. Seriously, these guys surely swore on their own life not to leave the Niš sports hall until they kill us. As if they would have been playing all-or-nothing.

We kept ourselves, though sometimes we were fouled for unbelievable things (Marinković tripped over a Mega-player laying on the floor, whoops, a foul for Marinković). There was a huge fight on the court, but we were still a bit ahead of Mega. Then, at the very end the standing was 63:64, when Mega scored a buzzer-beater 3-pointer. 66:64 to face the final part of the game.

Williams and Marinković block a Mega-player
(photo: Facebook/KK Partizan)

For the fourth quarter things started to get out of hand. Mega-players were like a bunch of pitbulls, playing the most aggressive possible full court press with player-to-player fights and tension.
And then Cvetković scored such a 3-pointer that the walls of the sports hall got demolished immediately.

(source: GlimmerKKP)

We took back the lead and made it to 66:71. Fans were singing and chanting on the top of their lungs, the team was burning on a thousand degrees, finally referees whistled off a Partizan-attack, giving a foul to Williams, sending everyone to the other side of the court to Partizan’s backboard (gift free throw to Mega - 67:71). Marinković was fouled out, Mega equalized (73:73). Murić scored another XXL-sized 3-pointer (73:76), Williams performed a giant block, and then he got the grip and scored (73:78).
But Mega equalized again (78:78).
55 seconds before the end they took back the lead (80:78).
Partizan got very nervous, referees whistled off all our mistakes. In the last 38 seconds they whistled 4 times, that means 4 free throws. Out of these 4 free throws only 1 went to Partizan, the rest was all for Mega. We tried a lot of 3-pointers, but all rebounded. The only score we could make was Cvetković’s free throw (83:80) 11 seconds before the end.
Only 9 seconds were left. Mega got a free throw - and they missed it out! What is more, Luwawu got fouled out. We ran up, Milutinović wanted to score the 3-pointer of the year - but someone blocked it. As a coup de grace Jones got a foul 5 seconds before the end. Of course Mega got another gift free throw.
They scored.
That was all.

(photo: Facebook/KK Partizan)

At the end of the match the medals and the cup was given to the players by Dragan Đilas, president of the Serbian Basketball Association. What he got from Grave Diggers, that hissing, booing and whistles, well, he’ll surely not forget it for a while.

This video says it all.

Nobody cares about Mega Leks jumping around and celebrating. The entire hall screams "Partizan ole ole ole" - as if Mega wasn’t even there, as if Partizan had won the Cup.

Mega Leks: Simić, Jaramaz (4), Veljković, Musić, Ivanović (24), Pavlović, Luwawu (13), Kaba (10), Zagorac (9), Simeunović, Nikolić (18), Janković (7)

KK Partizan: Cvetković (14), Aranitović, Jones (4), Murić (16), Marinković (16), Tanasković, Vitkovac, Koprivica (2), Milutinović (7), Williams (4), Jovanović, Wilson (17)

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