In the game of the round 12 of the ABA League, Partizan is hosting Cedevita (Vitamini, The Vitamins, Orange Crew) from Zagreb in the “Aleksandar Nikolić” Sports Hall.
It will be a clash of two sides that are in an excellent shape lately, but, still, the team from Croatia is in a better situation. Currently, Cedevita is the third team in the standings League and to win against the Black and Whites (Crno-Beli) will help them to fight for the second place, while the loss will mean that their spot in the Playoffs will be endangered.
The Squad from Belgrade is the fifth in the ABA League and if they win against Cedevita, they will have more chances to book a spot in the Playoffs. In case they lose, they will be in the middle of the table and will have to take a harder path.
In the last five matches in the regional league, Slaven Rimac’s squad won in all five duels (102 – 103 against Mornar in the Round 11, 95 – 82 against Olimpija in the Round 10, 104 – 75 against Krka in the Round 9, 81 – 95 against FMP in the Round 8 and 100 – 80 against Igokea in the Round 7), while Andrea Trinchieri’s team won only in 3 (86 – 67 against Cibona in the Round 7, 84 – 97 against Igokea in the Round 10 and 83 – 77 against FMP in the Round 11).
The Black and Whites and Cedevita played 10 games in Belgrade against each other and throughout the history it was very difficult for the Croatian team to celebrate in the capital of Serbia (they won only 2 times), but when they needed the most, they were better and one game will be remembered for many years: at the semi-finals of the Final 4 in Arena in 2014 when the team from Zagreb stole the victory in the last second.
In the focus will be definitely the match-up between Cedevita best player, Jacob Pullen (Point guard, 16.66 index rating per game, team MVP), who was on fire with 30 points in the previous round against Mornar, and Vanja Marinković (Shooting guard), who is averaging 15.4 points per game in the regional league (Partizan Top scorer).
In the first game between these two clubs in this season the Black and Whites won 84 – 87 in Zagreb, but now both teams have new coaches and are in an excellent shape and highly motivated, especially after both advancing to the Top 16 of the EuroCup (both teams finished the first phase in the European competition as the third in their groups, as you can read throgh “@EuroCup: @PartizanBC (Crno-Beli) in the Top 16 (Rade Zagorac, MVP)“).
The Serbian squad will definitely have the home court advantage as it is expected for Pionir (aka “Aleksandar Nikolić” Hall) to be full.