KK Split give Zadar another home game 77:78 (42:36)

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March 29, 2022 – KK Split gave Zadar another home game, losing 77:78 to Gripe on Tuesday night.

Almost two weeks have passed since the “Yellows” lost their place in the sun on the last day of the regular season in the Croatian HT Premijer Liga. KK Zadar dominated most of the game and managed to steal points from Gripe with a convincing victory of 81:95.

Since then, Split have won all three games against Cedevita and Gorica in the championship round of HT Premijer Liga and picked up a surprise victory at Borac in the ABA League.

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Zadar won their last game of the regular season against Zabok and prevailed at home against Cibona in the championship round. After that, however, they lost at home in the ABA league to Ljubljana (77:92) and then tight again at Mornar (86:84).

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Tonight Split dominated most of the match but failed to get a kill. At Gripe, 900 fans saw a good Split game in the first half. The home team used their advantage under the basket. Zadar was missing Vuković and Bursać, two experienced big men. With space under the basket, the Yellows were able to stage a successful home-and-away game with easy baskets from the perimeter.

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During the third quarter, guest coach Anzulović and his team were able to find answers. Zadar’s stolen talent in Podstrana, Tomislav Buljan, seized his chance and gave his team the extra energy they needed. The U19 Finals MVP used his 11 minutes for 6 points and 4 rebounds and occupied the centers at home.

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With minutes to go, Split seemed the assured winner with a 71:62 lead and just under 4 minutes to play. However, when needed, guest captain Mavra resumed shooting outside. With just seconds to go and the draw, Shannon Shorter was blocked by Zadar’s Justin Carter. The American combo guard delivered a convincing game with 15 points, 11 rebounds and two critical blocks. His last block sealed victory.

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The top scorer of the night was again guest captain Dominik Mavra with 19 points (5 of 7 3-pointers) and 8 assists.

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Srđan Subotić had to leave the gym with his head down. This match should not have been lost. Once again, the low free throw percentage (12 of 19 = 63%) cost his team the victory. Kovačević was the team’s top scorer at home with 16 points (5 of 10 3-pointers)

Box score: https://fibalivestats.dcd.shared.geniussports.com/u/HKS/2072167/bs_en_AU.html

Referees: Hordov Tomislav, Radojkovic Josip, Gracin Franko

Format HT Premier Liga:

The Croatian Basketball Championship is played over 3 rounds. The twelve teams in HT Premijer Liga play each other twice to establish the top and bottom half of the league. Points are maintained in the second round, where the top 6 teams play each other twice in the championship round; the bottom 6 teams also play each other twice again in the relegation round. Then the top 6 teams and the top two teams from the relegation round face off in the Championship playoffs. The last-placed team at the end of the relegation round forfeit and 11th face the Premier League runners-up in a two-game tie. The team that scores the most in these two matches wins the right to play in the top league the following season.

All photos by Burak Canboy

To find out more about sport in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN page.

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