By suffering, at the start of the last quarter (64-56), a partial that started at 9-0 (73-56) and ended with 15-3 (79-59), Portugal mortgaged every chance of fighting for the victory at Bemax Arena, in Podgorica, and ended up defeated by Montenegro by heavyweight 83-69, in a match counting for the 2nd round of Group E of the qualifying phase for the 2023 World Cup.
It was the second defeat of the team led by Mário Gomes after, last Friday, having lost against Hungary (75-81), in Matosinhos.
Despite the fact that, from the beginning, the set of corners have experienced many difficulties, on both sides of the field, given the advantage of stature and experience of the hosts in taking advantage of this, especially in relation to the Zoran Nikolic post (11 pts, 11 res, 3 ass, 2 dsl), as entries by Daniel Relvão (16 points, 4 res) and Francisco Amarante (10), with 100% in field shots in 12 minutes (2/2 L2 and 2/2 L3), allowed for a reduction there are disadvantages that had reached 10 at the close of the 1st quarter (24-14) to only 3 (24-21) at the beginning of the 2nd.
Relvão prevailed at the tables and even with the opposing base Justin Cobbs (22 pts, 3 ass) bringing the game of the Montenegrins abroad, Portugal remained in the fight for the result, although the hosts never retired any rhythm game or provoked panic.
Three triples by Vladimir Mihailovic (16) helped a new partial of 14-2 (54-40) that put everything in question and the national weakness in the effective circulation of the ball, however, once again, Relvão, with 6 points, tries recovering the disadvantage up to 5 points (61-56), 30 seconds from the end of the period.
So bad launching decisions and turnovers – Portugal committed 16 (!) to Montenegro’s 9 – scored 64-56. It would end up being the harbinger of what would come to pass in the final quarter.