In the first round of ABA League 2017-2018 BC Partizan lost as a visitor in Macedonia against BC MZT Skopje Aerodrom 92 – 89 (26 – 25, 16 – 23, 21 – 19 and 29 – 22).
Black and white captain Novica Veličković played an excellent game even he couldn’t help his team to score a victory. In some parts of the game, Partizan played well and they also have double-digits advantage but the team gambled away that advantage and now are coming to Belgrade defeated.
Damjan Stojanovski scored 25 points for hosts but the one that scored most important points was Bojan Trajkovski, who always hits for three when his team needed him to do it.
Trajkovski finished the match with 20 points, 17 added Eric Garcia and 14 Daniel Jansen. For Partizan, Veličković was the best player and scored most points (16). He was followed by Patrick Miller, Mihajlo Andrić and Nigel Cole Williams-Goss, who each scored 12 points. Marko Čakarević finished the game with 11 points.
Williams-Goss couldn’t shoot that well during the game. The American playmaker helped his teammates to score, and finished the match with double-double adding 10 assists. But he missed some important three point shots in the key moments and finished the match scoring 3 of 13 in the game.
From the beginning of the match, Skopje showed that they will be a tough opponent. Great pick and roll game and Croatian player Jure Lalić defense put Miroslav Nikolić’s team in very difficult position in the first quarter.
In the beginning, Lalić scored some points but also made personal fouls and that helped Partizan to play an egal game until Garcia and Trajkovski scored two important three points shots and helped their team to lead 21 – 14. Andrić helped Partizan to stay in the game and in the beginning he was shooting perfectly, but first quarter finished 26 – 25 for the Macedonian team.
Second quarter was Novica Veličković’s quarter. He scored 12 points in only 9 minutes and also he was rebounding in offense and assisting Miller in scoring the basket. Partizan’s captain was doing everything in that part of the game, he was all over the court. He helped Partizan to take over the lead and in one moment double digits lead (44:43), but they went to mini rest leading by 6.
In the beginning of the second half, both team played badly. Đoko Šalić from Partizan was only light spot in that moment and he helped his team to lead by double digits again, but in the end of the quarter Trajkovski made some important shots and helped Skopje to finish quarter only 4 points behind.
Jansen scored important points in the beginning of the fourth quarter and helped his team to take the lead, so that was the announcement for a tense game until the end. After that, it happened maybe the most important play in the game. Veličković had an opportunity to help Partizan to lead again, but he was blocked by Trajkovski, who then scored three points shot.
After that key moment, Skopje just saved the lead and Partizan wasn’t be able to come back and win in the first round of ABA League.