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25.10.2008 · 00:00

Victory in Zagreb

After Istambul, guys in black and white headed for Zagreb for the 5th round game of the NLB league. It took overtime period for Partizan to notch up their 5th consecutive victory, final score 91:92 (19:20, 20:16, 24:17, 15:25, 13:14). Guys in black and white started the game very well, but by the end of the 1st quarter the home team showed their intention to win and reached a 4 point lead just before the half time break 39:35. After the break with a more aggressive approach on offense Zagreb reached a double digit lead. From that moment our team came back and restored parity. We had the last shot of the game but the game went to overtime. After additional 5 minutes and a very intense ending, Partizan managed to remain undefeated. “Zagreb is a team of quality and a very serious club, which is not a member of the NLB league by chance. They have a full roster, a good coach and they’re a serious club. They’ve played a game against Cibona, in which the 4th rebound in the last second was practically the decider, they really show quality, I congratulate them, and they were very motivated tonight. On our part, we have spent not only our physical strength but also the energy from our Euroleague game which is not easy to make up without it leaving a scar. We still haven’t played a full 40 minute game, we started well, but from the moment they turned the score in their favor, we haven’t picked up aggressiveness on defense and we weren’t allowed to. The whole length of the game we witnessed poor refereeing which cannot be observed outside the story brought up on behalf of Aca Petrovic and Zadar after our game in Belgrade. That story is more than just a fake emotion, but a part of a strategy to misinform and create a false pretend that Partizan, especially after my pressure on referees has a “favorable” refereeing. That does not resemble the truth and his statements that I am outside other coaches’ category are meant to provoke referees to show that they cannot be influenced by me. Even the commentator on national television said that Zadar would benefit from Zagreb’s victory over us. It seems to me that there is somebody set out to protect the interests of Zadar and maybe a few others, at Partizan’s expense. I also believe that NLB league management should advocate regularity of the competition and the quality of refereeing because, if all kinds of games and pressures come into play, if the host of the final four is already assigned, if one creates the competition system, if one uses phone calls to force someone’s hand, if the referees get poor ratings every time Partizan wins, leading to what happened tonight, it will benefit no one” concluded coach Duško Vujoševic after the game in Zagreb. Zagreb: Tomic 23, Vladovic 18, Babic 2, Simon 19, Papac 2, Dundovic 13, Rahimic, Bašljan 5, Štimac 9, Drezga. Partizan: Tepic 17, Miloševic 8, Rašic 14, Tripkovic 20, Velickovic 11, Lasme 13, Aleksic 1, Vitkovac, Božic, Rakocevic 6, Vesely, Vraneš 2.