KK Split started the game at the bottom of the ABA League table after seven completed games with only a single win so far against Cibona during their last encounter on October 31st. However, the victory was close and resolved only by a single point with 77:76 for the Yellows (and meant an impressive series of 10 consecutive wins against the team from Zagreb). Krka arrived in Split from Slovenia with three wins out of seven games, making them 10th in the table. Since all the guest’s wins were during their home games, KK Split hoped to make up some ground and establish a position in the race to stay in the league.
The game went back and forth in the first minutes while both teams tried not to make too many mistakes and concentrated on their outside shooting. After a first 6:6 tie, both sides threw in two successful threes to tie the game again at 12:12 before home coach Srđan Subotić had his men defend much more aggressively and saw it rewarded with a 20:14 lead by the end of the first quarter.
However, the guests from Novo Mesto, who are currently leading the Slovenian national league, did not give up and got back into the game and continued to do so every time that the Yellows seemed to pull away.
Krka coach Dalibor Damjanović lost his cool several times and was not happy with the referees’ calls. Finally, in the third quarter, he was punished with a technical foul after seeing his star player Hasahn French being fouled and falling down hard. The center had to be escorted off the field injured and was not able to return.
Even without their big man, the team in green fought back again and stayed only a few possessions behind Split until the key moment of the game. Three and a half minutes to go at 75:73, a three-pointer by KK Split guard Barić then a steal followed by a fast-break lay-up for 5 points within just seconds first broke Krka’s motivation two dunks by Bajo in the following two possessions broke their neck and sealed the victory.
Despite Split scoring 25 points from turnovers and leading in most statistical categories, the game could have gone either way and was a very attractive game to watch. Instead, the spectators got to see plenty of dunks and good outside scoring with the better end for the home team.
Six yellow players ended up scoring in double digits, led by Nejc Barič, who delivered a convincing game and shone in clutch situations. With 20 points and 10 assists, he was named Man of the Match. The top scorer for Krka was point-guard Stipčević, who had to play the entire 40 minutes, made 3 of his 4 three-point attempts, and totalled 19 points.
Referees: Marko Juras, Dragan Porobić, Radoš Arsenijević