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05.11.2008 · 00:00

A show of heart brings come back

Zonal defense has been broken! The black and whites were able to find a solution to Italian’s passive game in the paint and to reach a very important victory. In the 3rd round, group D, of the Euroleague, Partizan was triumphant against Armani, the final score 81:76. High percentage shooting from every place on the floor by Armani players, gave their stamp to the 1st half. Especially successful in that period was Thomas, he scored 22 points in 15 minutes spent on the floor without a single miss. In the 15th minute it looked like it was all over, the score was 45:22 for the visiting team. However, the best fans in the world thought differently. The familiar noise from the bleachers was even louder this time, injecting the necessary adrenalin into the players and within minutes our champion cut into the visitors lead. It took only 15 minutes to rally from 23 points down to tie the game up. Afterwards, the relentless battle ensued. The visitors just wouldn’t give up their zonal defense, as the game drew to a close, Partizan was more successful in penetrating the paint. By playing very aggressive on defense, the black and whites managed to allow only 9 points in the 4th quarter and the victory was in their hands. “We’ve played over 80 games last season, in our pre match analysis we didn’t have much time to follow up on our opponents. Before the Armani game I’ve watched their last two games in the Italian championship. Against one of the best Italian teams Montegranara, they had played with quality and lost practically lost the game on one possession. Before the game there was this belief that Armani will be an easy opponent. They invested a lot coming into this season and I knew it will be hard. We allowed them to score 55 points in the 1st half and I am very upset with our approach on defense. If you do not play extremely well, you cannot expect to win in the Euroleague. I thank the supporters which, even when we were 20 points down, were fantastic. We knew that Armani couldn’t keep their high percentage shooting and that we’ll be able to catch up if we pick it up on defense. Partizan has a sort of experimental team for Euroleague and we cannot be considered favorites because wizardry is a hard craft. We’ll pick our game up in time, it is certain that players were burdened to make every shot count. The players unanimously said at half time that the game must be won. In order to win, you have to believe it!” stated coach Duško Vujoševic after the game. Partizan – AJ Milano 81:76 (15:28, 23:27, 28:12, 15:9) Partizan: Tepic 11, Miloševic , Rašic 12, Tripkovic 6, Velickovic 14, Lasme 12, Aleksic , Vitkovac 11, Božic 3, Rakocevic 10, Vesely , Vraneš 2. AJ Milano: Filloy , Hall 8, Mordente 7, Thomas 27, Katelynas 6, Micevic , Mercante , Beard 10, Sangare 4, Hawkins 14.