KK Split Loses Important Placement Match against Zadar 81:95 (32:54)

By 14 March 2022
KK Split Loses Important Placement Match against Zadar 81:95 (32:54)
Burak Canboy

March 14, 2022 - With KK Split and KK Zadar as last year's finalists, two of the big favorites for the Croatian title in the HT Premijer Liga met tonight at Gripe to battle for a good spot in the playoffs. 

The Croatian league is again dominated by the big four teams, including Cibona and Cedevita from Zagreb. All four are qualified for the playoffs, and tonight's game was important not only for prestige but also to secure a good spot in the upcoming playoffs.


A total of 8 teams qualify for the playoffs. The six teams that played the championship round will be supplemented by the top two teams of the relegation round.


With four defeats, Split had the least losses of the top teams before the game while the other three teams had 5 defeats. However, Split did not play like a championship contender for most of the game. 


Zadar started the game with a dunk by Trevor Carter Thompson and was able to do whatever they wanted with the Yellows during the entire first quarter (12:27). Srđan Subotić's home team could not find a solution against Zadar's inside game. 


Thompson, Bursać, Vuković continued to cut through Split's defense play after play and increased the lead to 32:54 at halftime. 

The 700 visitors witnessed an ugly third quarter with plenty of could but no difference in the lead. The guests were even able to pull away to a 28 point lead before the end of the third quarter (58:79).


However, those who stayed to watch were rewarded by an extremely fun final quarter. Out of nowhere, Split was able to find a way back into the game. Led by Roko Ukić, three-pointers by Perković, Čampara, and Kovačevič, the home crowd smelled a sensation. With 3 minutes to play, Split had managed to be in a 10-point-game. 

The surprised guests from northern Dalmatia almost lost all their nerves, hadn't it been for team captain Dominik Mavra who scored a three-pointer with 37 seconds to play and re-established an 11 point lead for his team.

The final score was 81:95 and Split lost both the game and the 9-point-advantage from their first-leg victory. With one more game to be played by Cibona, it appears that Zadar secured the top spot for the playoffs, while Split will need to wait for the Cibona-Furnir game's result tomorrow to know at which spot they will head into the playoffs.

The best player of the night for guest coach Srđan Helbich was Trevor Carter Thompson who scored a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Small Gym on Gripe


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