It has only been 4 weeks since coach Mile Karakaš took over his position on the sidelines from Ivica Skelin but what a difference he has made so far. Before today’s game, the Split basketball team was to be looked for somewhere in the middle to bottom third in the tables of their competitions.
However, a fresh wind is sweeping through between the walls of Sports Center Gripe lately. In the Croatian Premijer Liga, the team from Split has risen to the second rank behind Zadar and with this evening’s 7th win in the last 9 games, they have made quite a statement in the ABA league.
This week the ABA league was all over the news after dismissing three referees for their weak performance during Saturday’s Cibona-Buducnost game. KK Split however created some good news today and promoted the sport with an impressive upset against the highly favoured team from Belgrade. Mega Soccerbet Belgrade had decided the first meetup of the two on December 6th with 91:75. The topscorer back then was Filip Petrušev with a dominating 31 points.
The “Yellows” plan however was to ignore Belgrade’s top scorers’ performance and concentrate on keeping all other players from getting into the game. Not only did they succeed in keeping the guests at 65 points but they also were able to contain Petrušev to 22, while Roko Ukić was able to put in 29 points for the winning side.
The game was close for most parts and both teams were keeping the other at arm’s length. While the guests from Serbia were clearly better when it came to field goal percentage and rebounds they failed to score from the perimeter. Only two of 22 3-point attempts were successful. The hosts on the other hand sank 12 of their 32 attempts and were able to enforce 21 turnovers while only losing the ball 11 times themselves.
After a close first half, both teams picked up the intensity during the third quarter, and during the fourth quarter Split made the decisive shots and was able to lock down Belgrade to 8 points. The victory allows them to take a deep breath and gives them hope that they will be able to leave the fight against relegation very soon
KK Split Mega Soccerbet Belgrade
Results by Quarters
Q1 24:30 Q2 18:10 Q3 18:17 Q4 14:8
Ukić R. 29
Luković M. 16
Đoković I. 11
Marčinković P. 9
Coach: Mile Karakaš
Petrušev F. 22
Simonović M. 15
Jović N. 10
Matković K. 6
Coach: Vlada Jovanović
Referees: Sašo Petek, Uroš Nikolić, Bojan Kruljac
Full Boxscore available HERE.
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