A message to everyone in charge: KLS’s stream was more dead than the mummy of Tut-Ankh-Amun. Finally I could find a working one, though I surely gained a few more grey hair.
It was clear that Mega Leks came to Pionir Hall to win. There was no doubt about it. Thus they had a very heavy start and took the lead to 7:10. But Williams equalized (10:10) and it was mostly him who made us taking the lead and jumping to 20:16 for the end of the first quarter.
A few moments from the beginning of the match:
The second quarter brought actual combat fight on the court. At first Mega Leks equalized (20:20), then Partizan came up to 30:22 step by step, fighting for every single point. We kept our advantage (36:29), the two Americans, Jones and Wilson scored some 3-pointers. Only 1 second was left from the first half, when we got free throw. Wilson scored one point from that, we finished the first 20 minutes with 41:33.
For the third quarter Mega Leks decided that either they tear us to tiny pieces or they die. They almost managed to do the first. They did it the same way as we did in the second quarter. They reduced their difference step by step, with stubbornness and hard work to 2 points (48:46). They even equalized (48:48) with a huge steal. Aleksandar Džikić immediately asked for timeout, when we returned to the court, Marinković threw a 3-pointer right there (51:48). The players were fighting for the ball, Mega Leks got into man-to-man fight without hesitation. They were always just a few steps behind us (55:51) finally they equalized right before the buzz. (62:62)
The last quarter was like a circus.
The last time I saw so many fouls was surely at a derby game. Referees were whistling continuously, foul came after foul. Players were fighting, wrestling for the ball, and even though we were leading, the guests were always behind us (73:71). We could never make it to the two-digit difference, not even when Cvetković threw a 3-pointer almost from the parking lot (83:75). Mega Leks kept the pace (87:83). Only 28 seconds were left, when Marinković was fouled out, followed almost immediately by a Mega Leks player who also got his 5th foul. The standing was 90:83, when Mega Leks got a free throw (90:85). Partizan got one, too, when 25 seconds were left. Veličković scored (92:85). Mega Leks asks for time out. When they return to the court, another free throw is waiting for them (92:87). Only 21 seconds are left. Partizan also gets a free throw. Wilson scores easily (94:87). Mega Leks uses full court press, they fight with all their might left. They got another free throw when there are only 12 seconds left. 94:89. The guests put us under very heavy pressure, while Partizan goes for stonewalling. Then it ended, thankfully. We could celebrate.
This was the last game in the group stage. From Group B Partizan and Mega Leks qualified. The latter one will play against Crvena Zvezda, while Partizan got the red team’s sub-team, FMP.
KK Partizan: Cvetković (13), Jones (9), Murić (4), Marinković (15), Veličković (8), Vitkovac (5), Đumić (2), Andrić, Milutinović (7), Williams (9), Vrabac (14), Wilson (8)
Mega Leks: Simić, Rašić (19), Đoković, Veljković, Ivanović (1), Zubac (4), Luwawu (7), Zagorac (17), Popović, Simeunović, Nikolić (29), Janković (12)