It’s just impossible. It’s just... no.
First we presented how to gain a 20-point-advantage in full cross-wind, while the referees openly support the opponent.
Then we presented how to lose this 20-point-advantage.
Finally we presented how much a basketball team can be humiliated.
And all these we presented before the very eyes of a lot of old friends. So many of them came to support the team.
Bivši igrači Partizana Tepić,Drobnjak i Vujanić na utakmici finala plej ofa.#playoff #superliga #vecitiderbi pic.twitter.com/qnKRqETnGs— Telegraf Sport (@TelegrafSport) June 5, 2016
In the meantime we warmed up. Magdevski was present this time, after Cvetković’s injury at the previous game.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but Magdevski still didn’t play one single minute.
Još malo do početka 2. utakmice @PartizanBC @kkcrvenazvezda #kls #sportmts pic.twitter.com/UiDYSowZj9— sportmts (@tvojsvetsporta) June 5, 2016
Then we gave it a kickstart - so much that less than 30 seconds passed when Đumić got his first personal foul. (For the middle of the quarter he got his third from the kind-hearted referees. Three is the truth, isn’t it?...) We were leading, but we struggled. The opponent used their well-working man-to-man-fight tactics, just like last time. They were aggressive, whenever a Partizan-player approached the backboard, he immediately got again at least 3 Zvezda-players in his neck. Referees were superfluous. They could have joined Zvezda’s team, nobody would have noticed it. The rate of fouls was 5:0 at the beginning
yea, for us... why, what did you think, for Zvezda?...
and it just worsened as the game was going on. (Of course free throw was always a gift at every single foul.)
Never mind. We were leading, we even made the 10-point-difference here (25:15). Murić was on fire. He made a giant block, if needed, or he stole the ball and slam dunked it or just scored, simply as that
well, at least when he was not fouled by the referees
For the end Zvezda reduced the difference to 25:21.
The second quarter brought even more struggle. At first Murić got his 3rd foul, because why not. Then ArenaSport’s broadcast died. (Me, too.) When it came back to life, the standing was 27:26. I could just see that great moment when Novica Veličković scored a 3-pointer for Partizan after a very very long time.
At the previous game we scored no 3-pointers. We could now, at long last, in the 2nd quarter.
Though, I guess I won’t make too big spoiler if I tell you, we didn’t score that much for the rest of the game either.
We were leading, we kept our advantage, meanwhile we were fouled always. Vitkovac got a technical one, when the referee made an irrational judgement for the x-th time and he lost his temper and threw the ball to the ground. We were still leading, now with 20 points (50:30), even though referees did everything to find any reason to foul us.
We used the same tactics now as Zvezda. Whenever they appeared at our backboard, their attacker got at least 3 Partizan-players on his neck. The problem was that Zvezda could use these tactics without any hiccup, while we were always fouled for this defending style.
Impartial judgement, my a.......
The half-time brought 54:37.
The third quarter made it clear that it wouldn’t be as easy as we thought first. At the beginning Zvezda made a 8-point series (54:45), our advantage was only 9 points. Marinković and Williams made us jump to 59:47.
The atmosphere was so tensed that Wilson and Kinsey got into a fight. Teammates had to separate them... Needless to say, Wilson was fouled and Zvezda got the gift free throw (59:49).
The opponent reduced their difference step by step. Our advantage was only 7 points (60:53). Then Zvezda’s player Jović was hit with something. All that could be seen was that he runs up with the ball, then suddenly grabs his head with a painful face. Partizan-fans were singing on the top of their voice and hell breaking loose was just a few millimetres away.
Finally again Aleksandar Džikić had to calm down the fans.
260 000 dinars. That’s the amount of fine Partizan has to pay for the atrocities.
But oh well, we were still leading with 15 points (70:55). We kept the two-digit difference even at the end of the quarter (72:62), though these games are those that teach you the reality of match endings: matches always end when the end buzz comes. Never earlier.
Don’t ask what happened in the last quarter, because I have no idea.
We opened it with Murić’s 3-pointer. Excellent start (75:62). Zvezda scored back (75:64), then no baskets were threwn at all for long. None of the teams could score.
Then the opponent scored two 3-pointers and whoooppss, our advantage melted to 5 points (75:70). In the meantime referees fouled Murić twice within 40 seconds. Partizan’s Slovene got his 5th foul, he had to leave the court.
Zvezda got a row of free throws. Our advantage was only 1 point (75:74). Zvezda took the lead for a moment (77:78), which was quickly wiped by Marinković and his giant 3-pointer (80:78). Barely 2 minutes were left. Zvezda got a free throw, but they couldn’t equalize (80:79).
But don’t be afraid, children. The kind-hearted referees gave them another free throw and then they managed (80:80).
Then Veličković took back the lead for us with an unbelievable, impossible 3-pointer from the other side of the street. (83:80)
It was already the last minute. There was a hand-to-hand combat on the court between the players of the two teams. Referees fouled Vrabac, Zvezda got the gift (83:82). The combat continued, now we got a free trhow. Jones scored (85:82). Only 19 seconds were left. Zvezda’s coach asked for time-out. Then we came back to the court and here the referees fouled Williams with a trumped-up reason. Hell broke loose. You can watch it.
Our advantage was only 1 point. 11 seconds were left, when we got a free throw. Wilson scored one (86:84).
What came here, has no explanation. Only 6 seconds were left, when Gudurić got the ball, and then he threw it from a distance, probably thinking something like "whatever, what could happen".
Time was up. We could only have a threw-in from behind the baseline, but even that only because the regulations say that the end buzz can come only when the ball is in play.
I don’t know what happened. Really. I’ve been thinking of this since last night. We screwed up a 20-point difference. I can’t help but think of Duško Vujošević. Such a thing could have never happened during his era. Dule would have torn off each player’s head in live broadcast, ignoring the cameras around him. Something was missing from this team. They fought, they battled, but...
...but for God’s sake, I could see this fighting spirit from the Dule-times only on Novica Veličković. Only him. For this he deserves a big salutation from you.
I don’t know if that’s the maximum Aleksandar Džikić can bring out of the players, or players themselves can’t jump higher than this level. At the previous game we lost with 31 points, now we wasted a 20-point advantage. All these in a championship final, against the eternal enemy. (If we had done the same against e.g. Barcelona or Fenerbahce, I’d keep silent. They are world-renowned teams.)
I have no idea what can be behind it, but one thing is sure, it can’t go on like this.
The third game will be on Tuesday from 21:00. ArenaSport 1 will be broadcast it live.
KK Partizan: Aranitović (9), Jones (10), Murić (9), Marinković (6), Veličković (17), Vitkovac (4), Đumić, Magdevski, Milutinović, Williams (13), Vrabac, Wilson (18)
Crvena Zvezda: Kinsey (13), Rebić, Dangubić (13), Mitrović (8), Lazić (8), Micić (10), Simonović, Gudurić (11), Jović (13), Miller (6), Zirbes (13), Štimac (2)