Champions League

PPD Zagreb in the Last 16 with the help of Stipe Mandalinic

PPD Zagreb in the Last 16 with the help of Stipe Mandalinic

It was a deciding match, PPD Zagreb and Celje Pivovarna Lasko were looking for a ticket for Champions League Last 16. Zagreb had a home court advantage and Stipe Mandalinic in their roster, which seemed to be deciding for the home team. They were celebrating in the end with 24:23.

All 60 minutes Zagreb and Celje played goal for goal. The defence was great from both sides as the biggest difference was +2 for Celje in the first seven minutes of the match. Povilas Babarskas and Ziga Mlakar were the scorers, but Zagreb then took a short lead with the help of Domagoj Pavlovic and Stipe Mandalinic. They continued playing in the same rhythm and finished the halftime with 8:9 for the away team.
It seemed that Veselin Vujović found a solution because Zagreb came back on the court with more self-confidence. With every minute passing by, Vujovic’ crew lead by Stipe Mandalinic, was stronger, took the lead and went to +3 (22:19) in the 49th minute. Two minutes later Vujović saw that he has to call time out. After the short talk with the coach, Zagreb went on 23:19, but then they loosened up.

The home team was already in the Last 16 in their thoughts, what Celje used and came to 23:24 with only a minute left until the final whistle. Zagreb had the attack, Luka Sebetic missed and Slovenian side had time to score for a tie, but Ivan Stevanovic was ready for Luka Zvizej. With this victory, Zagreb secured their place in the Last 16 of Champions League.

One of the best players in this match on the home side, alongside Stevanovic and Filip Ivic, was Mandalinic who had 10/10, causing a lot of troubles to the Slovenian. On the other side, Mlakar had 7/12, followed by Blaz Janc with 6/11.

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