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05.03.2009 · 00:00

'Black and Whites' shine in Arena debut

BC Partizan have become new record holders with 22.567 spectators on a Euroleague match. Panathinaikos stumbled in 'Arena' too, after dropping out of the competition in 'Pionir' last year. Partizan players beat Panathinaikos 63:56 in Euroleague Top 16 Week 5 and scored 4th consecutive win in Euroleague. After having been making spectacular atmosphere during all these years in 'Pionir', 'Grobari' proved once more that they deserve the largest Arena in the world after passing Belgrade Arena test with the best grades. Victory just could not get away from Arena this night. A nervous start from both sides led to miserable 25 points in the first quarter. Athens team start the second a bit better and get their first two digit lead 17:27. The Black and Whites woke up instantly and trail just 3 points at the half. Then, the rumble from the stands becomes thunder like and 'the Black and Whites' catch their first lead in the game (30:29). Greeks lead again soon (40:36), but the 'Black and Whites' shifted the fifth gear on 'the Steamroller' and grabbed their biggest lead in the match 57:44. Belgrade Arena is in a complete frenzy. Serbian Champions wrote another page in their prolific history beating PAO in their first 'Arena' match. "Before the game, everyone stated that this game has no competitive grounds because of the fact that both teams had already qualified for the play-offs but you could see the playing energy from both sides in this match. Atmosphere was marvelous in 'Arena' this evening. It's not easy at all to fill 'Arena' and I want to thank to all the fans who were present here tonight. We had a fear, I personally believed that we are able to fill 'Arena', but no one expected that a lot of fans will stay without their tickets for this match. I am very sorry because of that becuse we moved to 'Arena' to meet the needs of all our fans who want to watch our games. The match had a very defensive approach on both sides. Regarding the fact that they played tough defensively and the fact that my guys had a sort of stage-fright as they wanted to pay back to the Fans with good play and a win in this match, we had a lot of mistakes as it was obviously a big ballast to them. I advised my players to let off that burden and play the way they know, and they played tough defense and attacked attractively." said Duško Vujošević, BC Partizan head coach.Captain Petar Božić said that his team was shocked by the number of the fans in Arena and that they all needed time to get used to it."I think that we were all confused when we stepped out of the locker rooms as most of us have never played in front of such numerous audience. We stabilized soon and caught our rythm and after playing well defensively and freely attackingly we managed to win. I do not know how spectators saw this game from the stands but it was a real warfare on the floor and we fought hard for each and every point“. Milenko Tepić said that he and his teammates will take care just for their own playing and that they do not care about prognosis and expectations. “As the prevision that we were hardly able to catch two wins was not realistic. Someone should be realistic and say something now. Of course that a young team can fly up high after such wins but we did not reach this far with an unrealistic way of thinking. We will still think just about the way WE play." BC Partizan –BC Panathinaikos 63:56 (12:13, 14:16, 15:11, 22:16) BC Partizan: Tepić 5, Milošević , Rašić 5, Tripković 12, Veličković 10, Lasme 12, Aleksić , Vitkovac , Božić , Rakočević 6, Vesely 9, Vraneš 4. BC Panathinaikos: Kecman , Spanoulis 9, Perperoglou , Batiste , Fotsis 10, Chatzivrettas , Nicholas , Tsartsaris 3, Diamantidis 21, Peković 10, Šakota , Jasikevicius 3.