Both teams at Leona Štuklja Sports Hall in Novo Mesto knew how important the match was for their respective future in ABA League 1. Merely 3 wins from 18 games for the hosts and 3 wins from 19 games for the “Yellows” from Split meant the worst two teams in the league were going head to head.
Mornar, Zadar, and Borac, with seven victories, already seem out of reach, and the loser would very likely have to go down into the second league while the winner would at least keep hopes alive to play relegation against the runner-up in ABA League 2.
Krka coach Dalibor Damjanović tried to have his team prepared against many threats from Shannon Shorter and several of his teammates while Srđan Subotić, coach of Split, tried to have his team forget the surprising home game loss against KK Alkar on Friday. Instead, both coaches had their teams start the game focused.
The 250 guests who came to watch the game at an unusual time saw a good first half with few mistakes on both sides. The match was very balanced in the first half, with plenty of lead changes. Nevertheless, the guests from Split managed to take a slight lead into the locker room at half-time (46:49).
Krka all-around player Adonis Thomas who had been injured during the game in Split, showed his importance in the second half. The team from Novo Mesto returned wide awake from the break and laid the foundation for the win with a 23:11 scoring run in the third quarter. While the “Yellows” came back into the game in the fourth quarter, the energy seemed drained after the game on Friday and traveling on Saturday.
It could be just bad luck for Split that after 12 straight losses, it was in game 13 that Krka could stop its losing streak, but then again, any team making only 12 of 21 free throws does not deserve to win at this level. Both teams still have a few opportunities to change their position in the table but despite still holding the advantage in direct comparison, Split missed a critical chance tonight.
Apart from Thomas, who had eight rebounds and 23 points, Miha Lapornik shone brightly for the home team and dropped a total of 25 points to become the top scorer of the night. However, it was once again Shannon Shorter who scored most points for the guests sharing the spot with Toni Perkovic this time (both 18).
The “Yellows” will have a week to lick their wounds before they host Mornar at Gripe on Friday. Krka will play in the Slovenian league on Wednesday before traveling to Borac on Saturday.
2022/03/06 ABA League KK Krka vs. KK Split
Venue: ŠD Leona Štuklja Novo Mesto
Referees: Ilija Belošević, Uroš Obrknežević, Vladimir Vesković
Results by quarter. 21:24,25:25,23:11,18:24
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