Zvezda was already holding the towel in hand, ready to throw it in and capitulate in the ABA League finals, but players of Budućnost Voli were intimidated by a second win in Belgrade in only two days
Instead of a knockout, they allowed a hazed opponent to recover, taking matters into their own hands, complete the match with a two-digit difference and equalize the tally in the final series.
But, the finals are now moving to Morača arena, where the players selected by Aleksandar Džikić will be hosts on Friday and Saturday, and in order to win the ABA League title, they only need to defend the Podgorica basketball temple. They proved capable of doing so three times this season, and with support from the stands they will at least have a starting advantage – not a small one – against triple consecutive champion of this regional competition.
The final score in Tuesday game does not even remotely depict the events in the floor of the Aleksandar Nikolić arena. Zvezda did open the match better, with a four point lead after the first quarter, using the neutral game of the guests in the next six minutes to reach a double digit advantage, when Taylor Rochestie scored a three pointer to end the mini series of the Belgrade team for a 29:19 lead in the 17th minute.
Budućnost woke up then, playing like they did the day before, riding a rhythm which seemed to lead to a certain win. Three pointers by Nemanja Gordić and Nikola Ivanović (three seconds before the end of the quarter), a two pointer by Filip Barović and four free throws by Justin Doleman created a 12:2 series for Budućnost, making the two teams equal at halftime.
The Podgorica team was also ahead in the first two minutes of the third quarter, with an 8:0 series (five points by Ivanović, three pointer by Gordić), but then they ran out of breath, especially on offense, which the host used to get back in the game and reduce the difference to just one point.
Another three pointer by Gordić saw Budućnost up 52:50 with 8 minutes and 13 seconds to the end, but this turned out to be the last lead by the blue jerseys in this game. Gordić was also the last scorer for the guests 3,34 minutes before the end, when he reduced the Zvezda advantage to 60:59, whose hero was center Alen Omić, who made all six free throws in the finish.
Translated from Vijesti Online, for the original click here.