The first quarter was relatively good. The battle was equal, nip-and-tuck game with no major differences. Though Hatcher got a technical foul after 5 minutes (he fought with Jenkins, his technical foul is forgiven). Then Koprivica was fouled twice within 10 seconds, this one was a bit more tough. (What is more, around the end of the quarter he got his third foul...) Gudurić also got a technical foul, then - less than 30 seconds were left - another Zvezda-player got a technical as well. We were leading to 20:23, only five seconds were left, Zvezda scored a basket, but it was double dribble, the referees invalidated it. Fans were raging, they were booing and hissing (the tribunes were all in red-and-white, only a handful of Partizan-fans were allowed, and they were surrounded by gendarmerie), but who cared for the whining of Zvezda-fans. We were leading.
It started in the second quarter, namely that process which is usual at such derbies. Referees whistle off everything, giving fouls to Partizan-players. Zvezda gets a million free throws, of course they take the lead. We kept the pace at the beginning (22:26), but two minutes later Zvezda took the lead after those gift free throws. (27:26).
I have to admit though, we had too many missed-out chances. Really. It was a pain to watch. Especially the missed-out 3-pointers. We paid the price for these.
Finally we could score (31:28), then we reduced to 34:31. Only two minutes were left, when Zvezda made it to 10 points (44:34), while we were just struggling. We got a long row of fouls, but when Veličković was pushed to the floor, that was not whistled off... The referee just waved to Partizan’s team captain to stand up, come on, come on... Hatcher made a buzzer-beater 3-pointer, with his score we finished the first half with 48:39.
The third quarter was the sequel of the first two. We were fouled at almost every Zvezda-attack, Zvezda got a gift free throw every time, while we were struggling to score. The enemy was leading to 54:39. Foul came after foul, as if the world was against us. 56:43... Aleksandar Džikić asked for time-out in the middle of the quarter. Seriously, once he will get an apoplectic seizure during a time-out for yelling so much and so hard with the players.
I’m not familiar with such things, also it’s easy to play the smartass from here, at the sideline, but can anyone tell why must half the time-out be wasted with Džikić yelling at the players, sometimes in a too rough way? Isn’t a time-out rather for tactical discussion, while keeping the yelling part for the locker room?
It didn’t get any better for us. 61:46... We made every possible mistake. Or scenes like two Zvezda-players were hanging on Luković, the referee didn’t bat an eyelid. But when Luković hung on a Zvezda-player at the other side of the court, he was fouled immediately. At the end of the quarter the difference was 20 points (67:46), Average Fan was watching the endless row of fouls with just a dry smile. The quarter finished with 70:53.
And then, at the beginning of the fourth quarter, when the standing was 72:53, the head coach of Zvezda got the crust to make a tantrum when Zvezda got an offensive foul. (What a tantrum that was, my good God.)
The standing was 73:59, it was around the middle of the quarter, when Majstorović stayed laying on the ground with a painful face. The slow motion replay showed him clashing with someone and getting injured on the ingunial.
What has to be noticed though: as Majstorović was limping off the court, he got an applause from Zvezda-fans. This was nice of you, guys. Thanks. Really.
The game continued and it was the same... (fault >> gift free throw to them, missed-out chances here). 77:61... 82:66... Finally, at 83:70 Vrabac scored, 24 seconds before the end. This way we could avoid the 10-point difference. But let’s just rather forget this game.
Update: it seems Majstorović needs at least a month of rest to recover from his injury
Crvena Zvezda: Wolters (6), Dangubić (6), Mitrović (12), Lazić (11), Simanić, Dobrić, Simonović (8), Jenkins (19), Gudurić (4), Jović, Kuzmić (8), Bjelica (9)
KK Partizan: Robinson (2), Ratkovica (11), Vrabac (6), Marinković (9), Veličković (11), Majstorović (3), Birčević (10), Koprivica (4), Andrić, Hatcher (16), Karahodžić, Luković
Current standing of the league:
1. CZ 16 pointa
2. Budućnost 16 points
3. Cibona 14 points
4. KK Partizan 14 points
5. Cedevita 13 points
6. Igokea 12 points
7. FMP 11 points
8. Krka 11 points
9. Zadar 11 points
10. Mornar Bar 10 points
11. Mega Leks 10 points
12. MZT Skopje 10 points
13. Union Olimpija 9 points
14. Karpoš 8 points
(photos: Facebook/KK Partizan)