BC Partizan NIS will play first game in new ABA League season against BC MZT Skopje Aerodrom today, Friday, September 29th at 8 p.m. in S.C. Jane Sandanski in Skopje.
Until now club from Belgrade have 7 victories and 3 losses against Skopje, but in capital of Macedonia they won 2 games and lost 3. Tomorrow, Miroslav Nikolić’s team will have a chance to win third game as a visitor and first in the new season.
It’s the start of the season, and everyone are excited to see how their teams will play in ABA League, but fans in Skopje are super excited because their team will host Partizan in the opening game of 2017-2018 season. This game has always been considered as a special one among the local crowd.
Both team have made some major changes in their rosters since the end of the previous season and both teams have American point guards – Eric Garcia (Skopje) and Nigel Williams-Goss (Partizan). It will be interesting to see how the newcomers will adapt to the new environment and to see who will get the victory. Both Americans are the players to watch in this game, they were born in the same year and both are great basketball talents.
It will be interesting to see how Partizan’s young roster, with two experienced players Novica Veličković and Marko Čakarević, will deal with the Skopje team because they finished completing the squad just before the start of the season.
Also, head coach Miroslav “Muta” Nikolić won’t be counting on Andreja Stevanović and Aleksandar Aranitović and in Skopje questionable players for this game are Adem Mekić and Andrej Maslinko.
Last year, Partizan finished season as third team, but after the season they changed coach and most of the players. New head coach is interested in giving chance to young talent and also because of the financial crisis in the club most of the players are young. Although they are mixed with experienced players who played important games during their careers.
Skopje also have made same changes in the roster from the previous season when they finished competition as the 13th out of 14 teams in the League. The squad is made mostly of young players and mostly of Macedonian ones. But they have three Americans (Garcia, Daniel Jansen and Brett Bailey) and one player from Croatia (experienced Jure Lalić, who was also with the team in previous season). The head coach of Macedonian club is Aleksandar Todorov.
Skopje was founded in 1966 as BC Skopje in the capital of Macedonia. It adopted the current name MZT in 1984 when factory Metalski zavod Tito (MZT) took over the club and built the famous Jane Sandanski arena in part of the town, named Aerodrom.
Partizan is also club with long history, and glorious one. The club was established in 1946 as the basketball section inside the Sports Union of the Yugoslavian Army and participated in the first season of Yugoslavian national championship. Now, the club is operating as a member of Yugoslavian Sports Union Partizan. The club has 44 Trophies but the most valuable is from 1992, when Partizan won EuroLeague Trophy by beating Joventut in the final game in Istanbul.