Partizan won 83 – 77, as a host, against FMP, in the city derby, in the 11th round of the ABA League (17 – 22, 26 – 20, 25 – 20, 15 – 15).
This was the third win in a row for the Black and Whites (Crno-Beli) in the regional league and in the EuroCup, while the team from Železnik had their 7th loss in the ABA League.
The Away team opened better the first quarter. They surprised the home team with some great shots and transition play. The Result of all that was 6 – 15 after the first 4 minutes. When FMP was leading 13 – 20, it was a wakening call for the Black and Whites and they managed to finish the period with 5 points behind (17 – 22).
The second quarter of the game was a totally different story. Trinchieri’s squad played more focused, more aggressively and ambitious game. The Black and Whites turned around the match and after 20 minutes they were leading 43 – 42.
In the third quarter, Partizan continued with the aggressiveness and that resulted with a lot of mistakes from their opponent, even FMP bench got technical fault due to constant criticism to the referees by the coach Vladimir Jovanović. The difference would be even bigger than 6 points after 30 minutes but at the end of the quarter the Black and Whites were losing the ball easily. The Result before the last quarter was 68 – 62.
The last quarter was very exciting, especially because FMP woke up and got really close (4 points behind) at 3 minutes before the end. The only problems for “Panthers” (Panteri, Nickname for the players of FMP) in those minutes were themselves, because they missed some easy shots they were given as a gift from the home team.
The best player on the court (MVP of the game, 29 index rating) was definitely Jock Landale with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Đorđe Gagić (17 index rating) scored the same number of points. Their teammate Rade Zagorac (12 index rating) finished the match with 10 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists.
In FMP, the top scorer was Matic Rebec. The Slovenian Point guard scored 17 points (8 index rating), while Stefan Đorđević scored 13 points (10 index rating). Three players finished the match with 10 points: Marko Jeremić (FMP MVP, 12 index rating), Stefan Pot and Marko Radovanović.
After the match, FMP head coach Vladimir Jovanović congratulated Partizan and also his team.
“I want to congratulate Partizan on this win, they deserved. But also, I want to congratulate my team, they played tough without some important players in the roster (they played without Dragan Apić and Aleksandar Bursać). It wasn’t an excellent game, but my team fight. Before this match, I said that we weren’t afraid of anyone and I think we showed that on the court. In the end, the key of their victory was longer bench, of course their quality, our mistakes, and some not that smart shots”, said Jovanović, who explained that Marko Jeremić played the game at his own risk.
“I have to mention Jeremić. He risked his career and decided to play tonight’s game without a practice. It was his decision to play 26 minutes and he put his career at risk in order to help others“, finished FMP head coach.
Andrea Trinchieri was satisfied with the win, but not with the play of his squad.
“Before this match I didn’t expect nothing different. In the end, it wasn’t a beautiful basketball. Three tough games in a row are messing with our heads. But, one month ago we would lost this kind of a game. But, it was defense, rotation, 10 players that played at least 10 minutes and we found the way to win the match, every time with tall five”, started the Italian coach.
“When you miss some open shots, the court become really small and in those situations, it is hard to play and win. I am really glad we found the way to score the victory. We didn’t play well, we missed a lot and you lose in those games. This team lost these kind of games a lot of time. And this is going forward”, said Trinchieri, who was already talking about the next game against Turk Telekom.
“Wednesday is very important day, it is Saint Nicholas’ Day. But I am sure that Saint Nicholas would like for Pionir to be full of crowd. He didn’t still told me that, but I am sure. Turk Telekom has excellent players and they are in advantage without a crowd, so we will need that ‘push’, big support”, said Partizan head coach.
After the match, the best player on the court Jock Landale mentioned that this was a tough game to play.
“It was a pretty groany game, I mean, I felt like we needed to play a little bit difference. And they played smart, they surprised us, without the key players. In the end, we managed to get together, we played as a team. We were really struggling to hit the shots, and when you missed those shots the game is going in the entirely different way. But, we trusted our guys, we trusted ourselves”, said Landale at the beginning.
“We switched defense a lot, and it was a teamplay. It is not only me, or any other player by himself, it was a team effort. We had to work on those things a lot. I have never before played as a small forward, and tonight I did. We started doing that when coach came here and it was difficult at first but we are now getting used to his kind of tactic. When he came here, I kind of regress a little a little bit, but I think that now I am on the right path. It is all thanks to my teammates. We helped each other a lot. And as I mentioned before, it isn’t one player win, it is a team effort”, said Landale.
Đorđe Gagić said that he likes to be on the court with Landale because he reminds him of Joffrey Lauvergne (ex-teammate from Partizan, now he plays in Fenerbahce).
“It is unusual situation to see Landale and me together on court (both are centers) but I like to be paired with him on the court. He reminds me a little bit of Jo (Joffrey Lauvergne), they have a similar style of play, and I loved playing with Jo. Same thing is with Landale”, said Gagić after the match, who also mentioned the importance of the win against FMP.
“It wasn’t a beautiful game, you saw that, but it was important to win this kind of game. And we did it. We are still growing, get used to the coach and I hope we will continue to grow. Also, this win is great for our self-confidence especially because the new hard match is in front of us. Important one against Turk Telekom and I am hoping we will get rest and focus on that game”, said the Serbian center.