Confidence was already high for the 5000 spectators at Dražen Petrović Basketball Center in Zagreb before the game began. In the previous 12 finals played by Cibona and Zadar in the Croatian championships, the people of Zagreb had celebrated 11 times. This year both teams had managed to win one away game and one home game during the first four games to reach this decisive game 5.
Despite the great support from the fans, the home team seemed to be absent at the beginning. Zadar only needed 2 minutes to acquire a 0:8 lead before Cibona was able to respond with multiple three point shots. At the other end of the court Okorn Gašper’s youngsters also started to show a better defense to turn the game around by the end of the first quarter (18:16).
With 10 points from MVP Roko Prkačin in the second quarter, Cibona managed to pass by the guests. Srđan Hellbich’s men could not find an answer for the young Cibona team’s intensive defense and accurate outside scoring. For many, the game already seemed decided by half-time (38:25).
Defending champions Zadar did not give the game up yet however. With the support of their 500 noisy fans, they managed to hold Cibona to only 8 points in the third quarter while scoring 12 themselves to make it 46:37 before the start of the final quarter. The guests even had a chance to turn the game around within the final minute. Home court advantage meant that two critical decisions were given to Cibona. The second one was a foul called against Zadar’s Thompson who fouled out and had to watch the hosts winning the game despite being outscored in the fourth quarter as well.
Cibona’s top scorers were Toni Nakić with 15 and Roko Prkačin with 14 points. Zadar’s captain Dominik Mavra (13) and his team-mate Trevor Thompson (12) scored best for the guests who couldn’t beat the odds and congratulated Cibona Zagreb on their 20th title.
Referees: Hordov Tomislav, Jovović Alfred, Jurčević Josip
Box score: https://fibalivestats.dcd.shared.geniussports.com/u/HKS/2097393/
Result by quarters: 18:16, 20:9, 8:12, 10:14
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