Every single TV-channel earned the jackpot of "going to hell" for not broadcasting it.
It was a battle of two giants. Two hordes of enraged wild elephants clashed and fought until the last breath.
We brought back this game from the grave twice. Zvezda had match ball twice at the end. We could switch it back twice.
We simply couldn’t lose this game.
Even though it looked so more than once during the game that all we could do here is to die with glory, because laurels don’t seem to have black and white colours.
Zvezda won the first set. We fought hard, we were even leading (21:20), but finally Zvezda squeezed out the victory. It wasn’t an easy game for them tough, we made it as hard for them as possible, ending it to 24:26.
For the second set there are no words. The second set mirrored the entire game, but probably also Partizan’s entire season so far.
In the second set Zvezda made a brutal advantage. 8:12, 10:16, 15:21. Average Fan started to make a slipknot on the nearest available rope to make all these sufferings to a quick end.
Then Partizan had an awesome resurrection.
Kostić was the embodiment of the Steam Roller. Compared to this game when I was grumbling a bit because of him, this time Ivan Kostić washed up the floor of Vizura sports hall with the red team. He achieved 8 aces (!!!!!) during the match. So now you raise yourself up, stand straight and salute for the Captain.
There was no stop. We switched from 15:21 to 26:24. It’s not simply a world class performance, but something we will remember even after years.
Then came the third set.
Zvezda took the lead. Not much, just with 1-2 points. At a period it looked like a ping-pong game, one point here, draw, one point there. Then it seemed that Zvezda had it on the long wind. (14:16)
But they didn’t know that we have a Buša, a Pantić and a Veličković.
And the whole team has the biggest heart.
The three youngsters swept off Zvezda in a great teamwork. Partizan switched from 14:16 to 21:20. Zvezda tried to keep the pace, they always equalized, chasing us, being behind us with only one point. They wanted this set to be won, as the starving wants a piece of bread. They still failed. After a great battle we won this part to 26:24.
For the fourth set Partizan probably ran out a bit from fresh air. Zvezda won it to 20:25. We didn’t make the favour for them though to provide them an easy win. We strangled them by the throat, but still they picked themselves together for the end and pressured out the victory. 2:2, tie-break.
That was one unbelievable drama.
We took the lead. Then Zvezda equalized to 6:6. Never mind, we took back the lead, with self-confidence and 10:8.
Zvezda came back, equalized and took the lead again (11:12). Nobody knows what kind of secret power supplements they had, but they wanted to win by all means, because if they could have done so, they would have qualified to the final.
For a while it seemed they would really do it. They were leading to 11:14. The next service was the match ball for them.
BUT PARTIZAN COULD SWITCH BACK EVEN FROM HERE!!!
Unbelievable. U-n-b-e-l-i-e-v-a-b-l-e. I wanted to die a few times while watching the live score page. We came back slowly, step by step. The team had a superhuman performance. We equalized. What is more, we took the lead back to 15:14. Zveza equalized, we took back the lead once again. Average Fan was wet from sweat. 16:16. It’s just impossible. COME ON, BOYS, COME ON, FOR GOD’S SAKE!!!
Pale face, fingers go white as the hand is clenched. Come on, boys!... Come on!...
My mighty God. We won. We won a marching victory with a wonderful game, by putting our heart and soul out to the court of the sports hall. A totally well-deserved victory.
Next (and last) game comes on Monday 18th from 18:00. One last victory and we qualify to the final.
OK Partizan: Buša (26 - 1 ace), Pantić (16 - 4 aces), Nedeljković Žugić, Lopar (10 - 1 ace), Kostić (11 - 8 aces), Rajković (libero), Jokanović, Veličković (15), Polomac (7), Popović, Perišić
Head coach: Vladimir Vasović
Crvena Zvezda: Okolić (12), Jevtić (libero), Đurđević, Skrbić, Gmitrović (13), Milutinović (6), Jakovljević (19 - 1 ace), Stojsavljević (16), Munćan (2), Blagojević (7), Veljović, Buculjević (4 - 2 aces)
Head coach: Dragan Kobiljski