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29.01.2009 · 00:00

Partizan loses the Top 16 starter

BC Partizan is defeated in Athens by Panathinaikos on TOP 16, Day 1 Match 81:63 (22:23, 14:18, 19:11, 26:11). Novica Veličković was scoring leader for Partizan with 13 points, but Stephan Lasme scored a point less. Nikola Pekovic was MVP of the game scoring 26 points for Panathinaikos. Partizan had a great start in Athens. Rašić opened the match with a good lay-off and a three-pointer. Partizan was running away with 8:14 after double threes from Milenko Tepic and Novica Veličković. However, Spanulis free throws give Panathinaikos equal score ( 14:14 ) in the seventh minute of the game. Partizan answers to this too, with triple threes: one from Rašić and two from Petar Božić, and gets away with 14:23. Greeks come close again at the end of the 1st quarter and the score is 22:23. Partizan literary showered from downtown shooting 7 out of 9 for 3-points. The second quarter starts in the same manner, Velickovic scores a three-pointer for 22:26, then Greeks score and trail one point, but Tripkovic scores a 3p again and Partizan leads four 27:31. Partizan players shoot their first free throws in the last minute of the 2nd period. Lasme scores both and after good defensive play Žarko Rakočević scores to set the half time score 36:41. Lasme dunks the third period starter and Tepic scores a three again for 41:46. But, Panathinaikos equals the score mid third quarter – 46:46, and Petar Božić gets fouled out. Greeks lead for the first time a minute later as Nikola Peković scores both free throws- 50:48. Novica Veličković goes out due to injury and PAO starts the 4th quarter with 55:52. Peković and Jasikevičius score and result is 59:52 at the beginning of the 4th quarter. Vitkovac gets a hard shot for Partizan's first points in the final quarter. Nikola Peković, former Partizan player, has his night from that moment and with help from Diamantidis from downtown, and "The Greens" go way ahead 66:55. Panathinaikos paces in the same rythm and finishes game in a big style with 81:63."Congratulations to Panathinaikos for a deserved win. We didn't play the same half-times and we didn't answer to their agressive play in a proper way. We didn't manage to go through their first defensive lines and our guards had a weak cooperation with our centers. We continuously played full attacks going into the final seconds with "pick and roll" plays which was useful for the opponent. I am not pleased with the second half. I knew that PAO was going to play agressive and tough match and prepared my players for that. Panathinaikos is not in an optimal condition at the moment, and the match was very important for both sides. I hope that we learned something from this and that we are able to prove our knowledge in the next matches,", said Duško Vujošević, Partizan coach at the post-match press conference.Duško Vujošević commented on marvelous three-point shot series from the first quarter for Partizan players who scored even nine 3-point shots. „That's something we are practicing but that also had bad sides as we lost inside the paint cooperation“, said Vujošević, praising on Nikola Peković's match. Partizan hosts Lotomatica Rome on Top 16, Day 2 in "Pionir" on February 4.Panathinaikos: Alvertis, Kecman 3, Spanoulis 15, Perperoglu 9, Batiste 6, Fotsis 6, Hatzivrettas, Nicholas 2, Diamantidis 8, Peković 26, Šakota, Jasikevicius 6. Partizan: Tepić 8, Milošević, Rašić 8, Tripković 10, Veličković 13, Lasme 12, Aleksić, Vitkovac 2, Božić 6, Rakočević 2, Vesely, Vraneš 2.