We had a great start though. It was even excellent. We were leading, the team was bursting from energy.
Then it was 14:7. We had a strong start, we played well and spectacular. Cedevita tried to find their breath. They could still equalize (14:14), they even took the lead (17:20), but Veličković took it back twice and we finished the first quarter with a one-point advantage with his scores (23:22).
The second quarter was even better.
Our advantage was growing. 27:23, then 32:23... at a point Cedevita’s head coach had a meltdown, he got a technical foul. It made him freaked out, he yelled with the referees, finally he had to leave the court. The assistant coach took his duty, and I was sure he was waiting for this very moment. Gianmarco Pozzecco made an unbelievable show at the bench. If I didn’t have such a terrible mood after this defeat, I’d say things like Pozzecco for president or this guy and all his gestures must be spread all over the internet as gifs. Here is a compilation with him, you can click and take a look. (If you don’t have a too bad mood, it may even be entertaining.)
At the end of the video you can see and hear it well: Partizan-fans gave a loud applause to him and his team.
Meanwhile we were leading with more than 10 points.
Everything worked well, we did whatever we wanted. Then two and a half minutes before the end Ratkovica was fouled, that was the point when we somehow halted. Cedevita started to reduce their difference, they equalized from 49:42. We could still keep our advantage with a free throw (51:49), that was the half-time result.
Then came the third quarter.
At first we kept ourselves. Nothing seemed to be suspicious. (61:56) Then Cedevita equalized (61:61) and took the lead (61:63). We equalized, but Cedevita again took the lead (63:68). From this point on there was no return... They jumped to 65:73, meanwhile Veličković got a technical foul for yelling off the referee’s head. At the end of the quarter we got a free throw, Hatcher scored one, missed out the other. We were heading to the final quarter with 66:73.
Let’s not talk about the last quarter...
We failed. We were nervous. We fell apart. The opponent took advantage of it all. Their point guard, Jackson was like as if he was sent directly from hell to Pionir Hall. He was very quick, tricked himself through Partizan’s defense and threw a million baskets. The other players of Cedevita could have walked off the court to the snack bar for a beer, Jackson did whatever he wanted. They were leading to 73:83, then we started to reduce the difference slowly and struggling. Two and a half minutes before the end it was 84:87, but we couldn’t make it any closer. Jackson was fouled out at the end, but only 50 seconds were left, it did neither good nor harm.
And a message for those
KK Partizan: Robinson, Ratkovica (8), Vrabac, Marinković (8), Veličković (20), Birčević (7), Koprivica (2), Andrić (11), Hatcher (19), Pot, Karahodžić, Luković (12)
Cedevita: James (8), Krušlin (2), Katić, Babić (9), Žganec (3), Musa, Bilan (19), Begić (3), Tomas (16), Arapović (5), Jackson (32)
Current standing of the Liga:
1. Budućnost 17 points
2. CZ 16 points
3. Cedevita 15 points
4. Partizan 15 points
5. Cibona 14 points
6. Igokea 13 points
7. Mega Leks 12 points
8. FMP 11 points
9. Krka 11 points
10. Zadar 11 points
11. Mornar Bar 10 points
12. Karpoš 10 points
13. MZT Skopje 10 points
14. Union Olimpija 9 points
(photos: Facebook/KK Partizan)