Saturday, 29 January 2022

KK Split Shows Sign of Life in ABA League

January 29, 2022 - KK Split won 89:77 over Igokea to mark the end of a 0:8 losing streak. 

The 350 fans who came to Gripe last night had good reason to celebrate. After a devastating 8 losses and last position in the league, the first-ever ABA league victory against the guests from Republika Srpska could not have come at a better time. 

Both teams had good reasons why they needed a success. Igokea was hoping to strengthen its position amongst the top 8 teams to qualify for the play-offs, however, "The Yellows" from Split had an urge to leave the end of the list in order to maintain a chance to avoid relegation.

It only took a few minutes until everyone could see who was the better team and why. Split's Shannon Shorter was unstoppable right from the start. The guests could neither stop him nor were they able to launch counterstrikes themselves. The 10:12 guest lead in the sixth minute was continuously remodeled by the hosts and turned into an 18 point lead in the 23rd minute of the match (54:36).

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The guests tried to come back, but Coach Srđan Subotić's team found quality answers to all of Igokea's attacks, even without the injured players Roko Ukić and Toni Perković. Apart from Top Scorer Shorter (28 points), Nejc Barić and Maj Kovacević also set exclamation marks by each hitting 4 of their 7 three-point attempts. Darko Bajo added another 14 points.

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"This is a very important victory for us, because of the situation in the table. We needed this self-confidence and faith that we are on the right track. This is proof that we can play against serious teams" was Subotic's comment on the success. 

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Guest coach Mirko Barač's team could not show the same quality of play that they had shown in the Champions League lately where they were close to qualifying for the round of 16. Marko Jošilo was his best scorer with 17 points followed by Robinson and Ilić with 14 each. 

Final result 89:77 (By quarter: 23:18, 24:18, 16:21, 26:20).

Referees: Marko Juras, Ivan Stefanović, Stefan Ćalić

Box Score:

https://www.aba-liga.com/match/120/21/1/Overview/q1/1/home/split-igokea-m-tel/ 

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Monday, 3 January 2022

KK Split Falls Short of a Sensation against Red Star Belgrade

January 3, 2022 - A basketball giant as an opponent, Hajduk Coach Valdas Dambrauskas as a special guest, and 1500 spectators at Gripe could not help KK Split on Sunday, currently the worst team in the league. However, hopes were high for a sensation in the 14th round game of the ABA League. 

Hajduk Split coach Valdas Dambrauskas was welcomed by KK Split director Edo Blažević who handed him a Jugoplastika Toni Kukoč jersey before tip-off.

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Understandably apart from the VIP guest, the fans were especially looking for support from the newly signed American Guard Shannon Shorter. The 32-year-old Texan recently joined KK Split as his 21st club in his 11th season as a professional athlete. The 193cm Combo Guard made a big difference to KK Split at both ends of the floor.

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However, even Shorter's 24 points, including several sensational crunch-time baskets, did not stop Split from being defeated by Belgrade (Crvena Zvezda) 66:62 (16:9, 18:18, 15:15, 17:20). 

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The guests had entered the game much more aggressively and quickly secured a seven-point lead, but the "Yellows" were persistent; they came back repeatedly to keep the game close. The spectators created a great atmosphere at Gripe and witnessed an uncertain game outcome until the very end.  

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"We played an excellent game, a gentlemen's game.  Unfortunately, we did not have enough strength and quality to keep the points, but this game can guide how we can and should play. If we can play like this against Zvezda, then there will be no problems in the continuation of the season," said Split Head Coach Srdjan Subotic when analyzing the game. Regarding his new player, he added: "I don't like to judge good or bad based on one or two games, but if he is close to this level, we have certainly got the right player we need."

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Guest coach Dejan Radonjić was able to celebrate the 13th victory of the season and continues to lead the league. Ten of his twelve players scored; however, 11 points from Ivanović and 10 from White stood out for the only two who reached double figures.

Referees: Sašo Petek, Bojan Kruljac, Dragan Porobić 

Box score: https://www.aba-liga.com/match/92/21/1/Overview/q1/1/home/split-crvena-zvezda-mts/ 

All photos by Burak Canboy

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Friday, 12 November 2021

KK Split Celebrates 87:77 (38:33) Victory in ABA League

November 12, 2021 - Krka delivered a good fight, but Hasahn French's injury in the 3rd quarter helped bring KK Split the victory. 

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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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

Box Score: https://www.aba-liga.com/match-live/50/21/1/Boxscore/q1/1/home/split-krka/ 

Thursday, 30 September 2021

ABA League: KK Split Loses to Partizan Belgrade 59:69 (24:38)

September 30, 2021 - Two losses for Split and two wins for Belgrade in their first games in the ABA League.

First Red Star then Cibona and now Partizan. You can call it a classic season opener for the "Yellows". While the first ABA league game in Belgrade did not go well, KK Split was able to beat Cibona Zagreb 73:62 at home to start the Premijer Liga on the right foot. 

Split's newly appointed head coach, former team captain and assistant coach Srđan Subotić, expects repeating good games on the home court, and most importantly a big step forward compared to the devastating 97:61 loss in the 1st round of ABA League against Red Star.

"Against Cibona, it was seen how much wind in our backs the return of fans in the bleachers gave us. We will get back at them, this is a derby, we are motivated and ready, we will do all to keep the points at home for our fans at home," were the Split coach's words before the game.

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At Gripe, the second game in the ABA league started slow for the home team, while legendary guest coach Željko Obradović saw his team take a 5:0 lead which Partizan was able to increase to 11:3 before Split got into the game and closed the first at 15:17 immediately after giving away their first lead of the match.

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A very low shooting percentage was the reason why KK Split lost control of the game during the second quarter and had to watch Belgrade score attack after attack to take a 38:24 lead at halftime.

Tonko Vuko's buzzer-beater to finish the third quarter 43:53 marked the only quarter Split was able to win (19:15) was also the signal for the "Yellows" to start the last effort to come back.

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Three three-pointers by Toni Perković gave Split some momentum and got the home crowd from their seats in the final quarter of the game. However, the routine of Belgrade was enough to regain control and safely take the points home. 

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Perković was the only player in double digits for Split (17), LeDay (15 points,  10 rebounds) and Smailagić (12 points) were the top scorers for Partizan Belgrade.

Referees: Igor Dragojević, Miloš Koljenšić, Ernad Karović

Box score:

https://www.aba-liga.com/match-live/8/21/1/Overview/q1/1/home/split-partizan-nis/

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Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Champions League Qualifiers: KK Split Tops AEK for First European Win in 17 Years

September 14, 2021 - KK Split tops AEK for its first European victory in 17 years! A look at the Basketball Champions League qualifiers.  

At the Peristerija hall in Athens, KK Split defeated Cypriot team AEK 65:50 (13:11, 15:12, 13:16, 24:11) in the 1st match of the qualifications for the Basketball Champions League.

It was clear that Split was the better team from the first minute, and it was only a matter of time before they broke away for the lead. The last quarter was crucial when Srđan Subotić's team made it 50:39 to end all of AEK's hopes. The best scorer for Split was Karlo Žganec with 15 points, Toni Perković added 13, and it is necessary to emphasize the minutes of captain Mateo Kedžo. 

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"We are happy to win, especially since we went to Europe after so many years. It was obvious that nervousness was present and that the match's importance was felt, although we did not have any external pressure. We put pressure on ourselves; we wanted to win, this means a lot to us. In the most important moments, we played as we should have," said Split coach Srđan Subotić, who won his first match on the KK Split bench.

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He commented on Kedžo's game.

"Kedžo scored a few points in the critical minutes of the first half, and in the second half, he had great cooperation with Žganec. He showed that there is still "oil in the candle,"" says Subotić.

Split's opponent in the 2nd round will be the champion of Switzerland, Friborg. The match will be played on Wednesday, at 4.30 pm. The winner will advance to the decisive match for entering the Champions League.

"We will analyze this match, then additionally Friborg. We hope for a better game, and I believe that we can go further," concluded Subotić.

Split: Perković 13, Perasović, Kedžo 4, Runjić 4, Žganec 15, Vuko 7, Čampara 9, Bajo 6, McLean 2, Barič 5.

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Tuesday, 10 August 2021

Longtime KK Split Captain Srđan Subotić Becomes New First Team Coach

August 10, 2021 - Croatian basketball runner-up KK Split announced on Monday that Srđan Subotić (41) has been appointed the new coach of the first team.

The long-time captain of Split, who was a promising young player and had a unique game as a playmaker, immediately started working as a coach at the club after the end of his playing career.

In 2017,  Subotić started working as a coach in the club's youth team and then assisted the coaches of the first team, Ivica Skelina and Mile Karakaš. He will lead Split to a new season in which they will fight again in the 1st ABA League, but also the qualifications of the FIBA ​​Champions League.

"Thank you to the club's management for the trust in me, this is a great honor, but also an obligation. I know how this club breathes, I know its size and I am aware of all the challenges ahead. At the very beginning, it is not the time for some big statements, the most important thing is to equip ourselves as soon as possible and start working," said Subotić.

Subotić will replace Milo Karakas on the Split bench, who led the team at the end of last season and managed to stay in the regional ABA league, while in the Croatian championship playoffs they reached the final in which Zadar won 3-2. 

The key and the most urgent task facing the club is to put together a team as soon as possible for the demanding season ahead of them, given the numerous departures of players from last season's squad. Split was left without Luković, Đoković, Mesiček, and Vranković, but reinforcements are still expected. However, we are still unsure we know what the roster will look like in the new season.

Source: Sportklub

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Saturday, 5 June 2021

KK Zadar Becomes Croatian Basketball Champions After 13 Years!

June 5, 2021 - KK Zadar becomes Croatian basketball champions after defeating Split 84:57 in the final game of the series on Saturday at Višnjik.

Since Croatian independence, Zagreb teams Cedevita and Cibona have mostly dominated the Basketball Championships (25 of 28 seasons). Split was able to pull off one title in 2003, while Zadar was able to win two in 2005 and 2008. 

Tonight, the two Dalmatian teams had to battle to find out who would be forever remembered as the 2021 champions and who would only be known by experts remembering a series that was played to the last decisive game. Recall, Zadar won its two home games to take a lead and seemed like the sure champions before Split somehow managed to come back to win game 3 in overtime and continue with a clear victory in game 4 to tie the series 2:2.

A lot of rumors were going on regarding discussions between the Zadar club,  the National Basketball Association, and the epidemiologists in charge of deciding how many spectators would be allowed into the gym. After the two losses in Split, the hosts were hoping for some support after seeing how much noise 100 spectators could make in Split and how many 100 spectators could actually be. During the first two games, Zadar had basically played in front of empty seats. Not very surprisingly thousands of spectators could not be held back and found their way into the arena to give Zadar a true home atmosphere, and despite all epidemic concerns it surely got loud in the arena. 

Despite the noise and intimidation, Split had the better start with a 0:5 in the first 3 minutes. Zadar was able to counter with a 14:2 run until 8 minutes into the game. Zadar was able to control the boards once again and outrebounded the Yellows 26:15 in the first half.

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The second quarter opened with a three-pointer by Jordano (20:9), followed by two more Jordano three-pointers for a 15-point Zadar advantage in the 16th minute (33:18). Mesiček responded with a three-pointer, but in the next minute and a half, the 8:0 Zadar series on the wings of Mavra and Onuaku followed, and in the 18th minute, Zadar was up by 20 (41:21). The second quarter ended with a three-pointer by Ukić and Onuaku dunk (49:29).

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Zadar's Jordano was on fire tonight and scored his sixth three-pointer of the final for 55:31 in the third quarter. Thanks to Vuković and Junaković, Zadar was up by 30 (68:38) in the last minute of the third quarter. Vukovic scored for 71:40, and Ukić ended the quarter with a three-pointer for 71:43.

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Zadar calmly brought the game to an end. In the last quarter, more attention was paid to the stands than to the floor. Zadar fans lit torches and celebrated their new title.

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Zadar: Carter 15, Jordano 22, Justice, Palokaj, Brala, Vukovic 7, Bursac 4, Junakovic 4, Mavra 11, Onuaku 19, Planinic 2, Kraljevic.

Split: Perkovic 3, Perasovic 5, Kedzo 2, Ukic 18, Marcinkovic, Bajo 2, Champara, Babic 5, Vrankovic 2, Lukovic 9, Maric 6, Mesicek 5.

Referees: Luka Kardum, Tomislav Vovk, Bojan Kruljac

Source: Dalmatinski Portal

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Wednesday, 2 June 2021

KK Split Sensationally Stops another Zadar Match-point to Tie the Series

June 2, 2021 - 81:68 (44:37) KK Split victory sends the national finals into a decisive game 5 in Zadar on Friday.

Zadar had already celebrated with its fans from the balcony of Krešimir Ćosić Sports Center after the win on Friday to take a 2:0 lead in the series. Then at the game on Monday, the guests were already 16 points ahead in the second quarter and looked like the next champions. Now it looks like they celebrated too early. After tonight's defeat, Zadar will have a home-court advantage, but the Yellows now have the momentum on their side.

Split showed a remarkable reaction already during the last game. After a dunk from the Yellows' big man Luka Babić, Zadar had to take a timeout. On the way to the bench, Marko Luković from Split and Aleksandar Bursać from Zadar got into a verbal dispute that caused the teams to go head to head on the court and home coach Mile Karakaš had to wrestle Luković to the ground to save him from further disciplinary punishment. Both players were ejected and it became a turning point in the series. Zadar seemed to have lost all energy while Split started to dominate the game and managed to cut the lead by end of regular time and then easily won the game in overtime.

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Both "fighters" were allowed to play again today and the game started with both teams playing on the same level. Changing leads with good outside scoring was the predominant situation in the first minutes before Zadar was able to pull away 14:21 after 9 minutes and close the quarter at 19:23.

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The guests managed to lead until Split came back with a double punch. A three-pointer by Toni Perković marked the 25:27 in the 13th minute before another three-pointer by Perasović gave the Yellows a 28:27 lead. 

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KK Zadar fought back and both teams were exchanging leads before Perković marked the 33:31 and Split managed to have a run to reach its biggest lead of the first half at 44:36 just before half-time (44:37).

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The second half started with both teams respecting one another and none wanting to lose ground. There was a long time without scoring before Marko Luković showed the positive side of his game by hitting 2 back-to-back three-pointers to give the hosts a 56:42 lead who managed to maintain the lead until 62:48 at the end of the third quarter.

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Zadar could not come back and Split managed to use its homecourt advantage for the second time and now has a shot at the title again on Friday when the decisive game at Krešimir Ćosić Sports Center will produce the 2020/2021 Croatian National Basketball Champions. 

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The best players of the night were Toni Perković with 18 points (4/8 three-pointers) and Marko Luković 17 points (5/8 three-pointers). Mavra, Onuaku, and Carter were able to score double digits for the guests. 

Referees: Tomislav Vovk, Alfred Jovovich, Bojan Kruljac

Boxscore: https://fibalivestats.dcd.shared.geniussports.com/u/HKS/1884521/ 

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Monday, 31 May 2021

Croatian Basketball Finals Game 3: Split Stays Alive with Overtime Win against Zadar!

May 31, 2021 - KK Split stays alive with an overtime win against Zadar in the Croatian basketball finals game 3 in Split on Monday (83:75). 

Split and Zadar met at Gripe in Split for the third game of the Croatian basketball championship finals. Zadar celebrated in the first two games, and one victory separated them from the title.

Ukić opened the match with a basket, and Bursać returned the favor on the other side with a three-pointer. In the fourth minute, Vranković scored for 6:8, and in the next four and a half minutes, Zadar's Mavra, Justice, and Bursać had a 13:0 series for the 21:6 lead in the ninth minute. Marić missed two free throws but got both in the next attack. Carter closed the quarter with a cross from the center at the last second. Carter hit a buzzer-beater to end the 1st quarter at 10:24 for Zadar.

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Split burst into the 2nd quarter with newfound energy, but it wasn't too much for Zadar to handle. Zadar had more offensive rebounds. Carter scored for 26:10, and Ukić returned the favor with a three-pointer. Mesiček also scored (15:26), and Planinić was precise on the other side of the floor. Babić scored a three-pointer for 18:28, and Split did not score in the next four minutes. Zadar scored four points and led 32:18 by the 17th minute.

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Luković scored a three-pointer, and after Perković was blocked in the counter by Bursać, Karakaš reacted violently and earned a technical. Justice scored a free throw for 21:35. Ukić scored a three-pointer, followed by a Perković field goal. The heat between Bursać and Luković resulted in a fight on the floor, and both players were excluded. Ukić scored a three-pointer, and Zadar only had a six-point advantage at halftime (29:35).

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Ukić opened the 3rd quarter with a three-pointer for Split (32:35). Vuković made two free throws, and then Onuaku scored (32:39). Ukić reduced the lead to 35:39 with his fifth three-pointer, but Zadar retaliated with a three-pointer by Mavra and Justice (35:44). Perković nailed a three-pointer, and Ukić was fouled (41:44). Jordano scored five consecutive points (41:49), but Ukić returned (43:49). Thanks to Marić, Split reached 52:55 in the last minute of the 3rd quarter (54:49). 
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Split was minus two (57:59) to start the final quarter. Zadar again reached a six-point advantage thanks to Carter and Onuaku. The 'Yellows' came to 61:63 with a three-pointer by Marčinković, but Zadar fought back. Carter scored for three (61:67). Five minutes before the end, Marić knocked for 68:69, but Carter soon returned (68:71). Split was in the lead for the first time (72:71) with Ukić's baskets from the free-throw line. With just over two minutes to go, Vuković missed, Onuaku jumped in the attack, and Jordano returned the advantage to Zadar with a three-pointer. Ukić was brilliant to score for 74:74. In the final minute, Junaković and Ukić could not score, moving the game to overtime.

Split managed to win in overtime 83:75, bringing the series to game 4 in Split on Wednesday! 

Source: Dalmatinski Portal 

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Friday, 28 May 2021

KK Zadar Only One More Win Away from Croatian Championship Title

May 28, 2021 - KK Split fought but was missing the necessary edge and luck to make a difference at 73:58 (28:28).

In the first game of the Croatian National Basketball Championship Finals, Zadar convincingly celebrated a victory against Split (81:53). Zadar dominated the entire match and with their dedication, they took the first step towards lifting the trophy for the third time. The main reason for the Zadar celebration was their defense. Coach Veljko Mršić’s squad played with high intensity and aggression. Zadar had 10 rebounds more than the guests and forced Split to 17 turnovers.

During the first match, Antonio Jordano was extremely successful from the three-point range, hitting three of his 6 attempts.

"We played a really good game but we have to leave that behind because the series is long. I think that in the next game we have to play as aggressively and focused as possible because that is the only way we will be able to fulfill some of the goals we agreed on. We have to be at a high level in defense and attack, I think that is the key for tomorrow's game. We have shown that we play as a team, we play as a team, and that is the most important thing," said Antonio Jordano last night.

At the same press conference, Veljko Mršić said that one should be careful after the first game. "I expect a good Split, it is still a team that beat Cibona twice in the semifinals. We have no right to relax after yesterday's victory, regardless of the fact that we have beaten Split four times in a row. We have to continue like this, because this is only the first third of the road, we have two more steps to win the title, that is our wish. We are going step by step, tomorrow is a new game and we are just thinking about that," said Veljko Mršić.

The normally very relaxed guest coach Mile Karakaš became very emotional during the second half of the game and stayed in Zadar with his team to fully focus on finding a way to crack the Zadar defense. He was able to start with his full roster including Perković who had missed the last game. 

The game started with slight advantages for the home team. Towards the end of the first quarter, Split brought the game to Marin Marić who could not be stopped. However, Zadar was able to pull away again with the last two attacks of the first quarter including a buzzer-beater by Carter for an 18:13 lead. 

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The Yellows were able to shake off the first loss and the issues of the first quarter and continued to put pressure on Zadar's big men. Despite a low shooting percentage, Split stayed in the game and put up a good fight for the rebounds. With Marić scoring 11 points in the first half, the guests tied the game 28:28 at halftime. 

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Milan Karakaš had to watch his team's luck run out in the second half. His team kept fighting against the constantly delivering home team but neither free throws nor important outside shots found their way into the basket.

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Zadar out-rebounded the guests in the second half by 21:8 while Split could not even score from the free-throw line. A mere 3 shots out of nine found their target.

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Despite his team having the upper hand, Zadar's top scorer Chinanu Michael Onuaku (19 points) showed some unsportsmanlike conduct in several situations towards the end of the game leading to a verbal dispute with Luka Babić after the final whistle. Maybe he sparked the fire that Split will need to get back into this series.

The next two games will be played in Split on Monday and Wednesday. Zadar only needs one more win to finish the season with their third title.

Referees: Luka Kardum, Tomislav Vovk, Alfred Jovović

Box score: https://fibalivestats.dcd.shared.geniussports.com/u/HKS/1884507/

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