Though the atmosphere was excellent.
There were some old friends there.
Then jump ball, kickstart.
After 14 seconds Luković was fouled.
More than a minute passed when the first score arrived (0:3).
After one and a half minute came the first technical foul (for Budućnost).
Almost two minutes passed when we could equalize (3:3).
So, you get the point.
Then Vrabac got injured on his forehead after a clash. He got a quick first aid, from then on he played the whole game with bandage on his eyebrow. Hero.
Yet Budućnost was leading. Though I have to think hard to remember when we had such a struggling game. The standing was 5:10 in the middle of the quarter. We were out of order, so was the opponent. A terrible amount of missed out attempts on both sides. Two and a half minutes before the end it was 7:14. We narrowed the standing a bit for the end, but Average Fan could hear the noise of clenched teeth through the stream... The quarter finished with 11:18.
The second quarter was the sequel of the first in the beginning. Budućnost was slowly tearing us into tiny pieces... Then Novica Veličković took the team on his back and made a fantastic march. The standing was 13:27, we got a free throw, he scored. And then there was no stop. The others also got the gear (17:27 by Robinson, then later 21:30 by Luković) and we came up to 35:29!!!! Good Lord, it’s just IMPOSSIBLE what we did. We made a 22:2 series the Novi Beograd sports hall was about to explode.
6 seconds were left from the quarter, Budućnost got a free throw (35:30). Then Vrabac got the ball and he ran up, with bandage on his face and after a tremendous solo he made a BUZZER BEATER making it 37:30 for the half-time. This was one of Partizan’s greatest resurrections, for sure.
In the beginning of the third quarter we continued our march. We kept it quite well until the middle of the part (43:37), when Budućnost slowly started to reduce the difference. One and a half minute before the end they equalized (43:43). Luković took back the lead (45:43). They equalized again (45:45). 18 seconds were left, we got a free throw. Robinson brought us a little advantage, enough of a small breath. (46:45).
Then Budućnost took the lead (48:49). Cold shower. Players were wrestling on the court, making a long row of missed-out attempts and free throws, both sides. Nightmare. The guests were leading to 49:56, barely 4 minutes were left from the game. Struggling. We jump to 54:56. Hatcher equalizes for us (56:56).
Less than two and a half minutes are left. Budućnost takes back the lead (56:58). Robinson scores a fantastic 3-pointer (59:58).
One minute and 15 seconds are left. It’s unbelievable. Budućnost also scores a 3-pointer. They even get a bonus shot. They’re leading again... (61:62). Great struggling and fight on the court.
55 seconds are left. Players are fighting with each other. The referee gives the ball to Budućnost. Their coach asks for time-out. The whole sports hall is on their feet. The teams come back on the court. We get the ball, we run up for an attack. Marinković shots from 3-pointer position... and misses it out.
7 seconds are left. Free throw for Budućnost.
Williams scores both. 61:64. Aleksandar Džikić asks for time-out.
It’s all in vain. We run back to the court, Veličković tries an attempt... and misses it out.
KK Partizan: Robinson (11), Ratkovica (2), Vrabac (5), Marinković (4), Veličković (15), Majstorović, Birčević (6), Koprivica, Andrić, Hatcher (6), Pot, Luković (12)
Budućnost: Reynolds (10), Williams (13), Šehović (8), James (12), Subotić (2), Ilić, Savović (5), Nikolić (7), Popović (7), Vranješ
Current standing of the league:
1. Budućnost 14 points
2. Cibona 13 points
3. Partizan 13 points
4. CZ 12 points
5. Cedevita 11 points
6. Igokea 10 points
7. Zadar 10 points
8. FMP 9 points
9. Mega Leks 9 points
10. Krka 9 points
11. Mornar Bar 8 points
12. MZT Skopje 8 points
13. Union Olimpija 6 points
14. Karpoš 6 points