2007-08Top 16Round 5
March 13, 2008 CET: 19:15
Local time: 20:15 ABDI IPEKCI ARENA
Nikola Pekovic - Partizan Igokea Partizan Igokea took a major step towards reaching the Quarterfinal Playoffs from Group D by downing Efes Pilsen 79-83 in Istanbul, Turkey, on Thursday night. Partizan improved to 3-2 but needs to beat Panathinaikos at Pionir Arena next week in order to make it to the playoffs. Meanwhile, Efes dropped to 1-4 and ran out of the chances to advance to the next round. Nikola Pekovic paced the winners with 22 points on 9-for-12 shooting. Uros Tripkovic added 12 and Milt Palacio and Milenko Tepic each had 11 for Partizan. Scoonie Penn led Efes with 33 points on 7-for-10 three-point shooting. Mustafa Abi added 12, Ermal Kuqo and Kenny Gregory each had 11 while Kerem Gonlum barely missed a double-double with 9 points and 13 rebounds. Pekovic came off the bench midway through the first quarter and quickly had 12 points to give Partizan a 19-24 lead after 10 minutes. Tepic and Cedomir Vitkovac boosted the guests' lead to 21-34 early in the second quarter but Penn single-handedly brought Efes within 29-38 at halftime. Three-pointers by Palacio, Tepic and Vitkovac made it a 16-point game midway through the third quarter. A rain of three-pointers allowed Partizan to seal the outcome, 45-68, soon after that. Efes kept trying but Partizan held off a wild fourth-quarter rally to escape with a major road win.

Tripkovic got Partizan going with a smooth triple, while Slavko Vranes followed a power layup with a five-meter jumper for a 1-7 lead. Efes could not find the way to the basket in the opening four minutes and head coach David Blatt called timeout to adjust his offense. Kuqo stepped up with a layup-plus-foul that Penn followed with free throws for a 6-7 deficit. Pekovic came off the bench, however, and immediately delivered. He hit a turnaround jumper and after Penn tied the game with a triple, back-to-back baskets by Dusan Kecman and Pekovic gave the guests a 9-13 edge. Pekovic kept pacing Partizan and Petar Bozic struck from downtown to keep Partizan ahead, 14-18. Gregory stepped up with a three-point play and Penn scored again to give Efes its first lead, 19-18. Pekovic had all points in a 0-6 run that he capped with a two-handed dunk to make Partizan regain the lead, 19-24, after 10 minutes.

James Penn - Efes PilsenEfes's limited rotation also failed on rebounds and second-chance points and allowed Partizan to keep full control of the game early in the second quarter. Tepic and Vitkovac fired up Partizan, as both players combined for 8 points in a 2-10 run that boosted the guests' lead to double digits. Efes struggled to score until Mustafa Abi stepped up with a layup, but Pekovic dunked it again for a 23-36 Partizan margin. Abi paced Efes with a free throw and Penn added a driving layup, making Partizan head coach Dusko Vujosevic call timeout at 26-36. Pekovic took over with a turnaround jumper, but Penn had the final word for Efes. He answered from downtown in the closing seconds to get Efes within single digits, 29-38, as both teams headed to the locker rooms.

Partizan kept following its game plan, playing simple but effective basketball. Palacio, who had been scoreless in the first half, followed a jumper with a corner three-pointer to give Partizan a 14-point lead. Efes tried a zone defense, but that is when Partizan broke the game open with three-pointers from Tepic, Palacio and Vitkovac to make Blatt call timeout at 36-52. Kerem Gonlum dunked it in traffic and soon drew an unsportsmanlike foul from Vranes, but Efes had lost control already. Meanwhile, Pekovic shined with a jump hook and Tripkovic hit twice from downtown to make it 39-60. Abi joined the three-point shootout, but Kecman immediately copied him in the other end. Tepic buried another triple before Ender Arslan beat the buzzer with a floating layup to get Efes within 47-68 after 30 minutes.

Milenko Tepic - Partizan IgokeaTepic’s triple enlarged the gap to 23 points. The only working scoring weapon for Efes was Penn, who hit a three pointer to complete a 7-0 Efes run to reduce the difference to 57-73. Efes then started zone pressure, which helped the home team to create hope of winning the game. With three minutes remaining, Gonlum’s layup reduced the gap to 7 points, completing a 21-7 charge. But Pekovic denied Efes’s comeback with a skillful hook shot that held his team up. Penn cut the gap to 72-78, but Velickovic answered with free throws to make it 72-80 with 21 seconds remaining. Gregory threw in a triple and Penn scored 2 of his three free throws with a second to go to determine the final score: 79-83.


Thursday, March 13, 2008
Gokhan Ture, Istanbul
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Referees: AMOROS, XAVIER (ESP), GARCIA ORTIZ, JOSE RAMON (ESP), RYZHYK, BORYS (UKR)
Attendance: 4500
By Quarter1234
Efes Pilsen19101832
Partizan Igokea24143015
End of Quarter1234
Efes Pilsen19294779
Partizan Igokea24386883
Efes Pilsen
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
5 PENN, SCOONIE 38:23 33 4/7 7/10 4/5   3 3 4         3 2 32
9 GREGORY, KENNY 28:10 10 1/2 2/3 2/3   2 2 1 1 2     3 5 11
10 ABI, MUSTAFA 35:03 12 1/1 2/2 4/6   2 2   1 3     3 5 12
11 PACUN, BORA HUN 1:11                              
12 GONLUM, KEREM 27:25 9 3/6 0/2 3/4 4 9 13 1 2 1     4 2 16
17 ERDOGAN, SERKAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
23 KUQO, ERMAL 26:03 10 3/4 1/3 1/3   6 6 1 1 4     3 3 9
32 HERSEK, BARIS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
33 ARSLAN, ENDER 20:25 2 1/3 0/3         3           2 2
34 HUTSON, ANDRE 23:20 3 1/10   1/2 1 3 4   2 2   1 3 4 -3
Team                   1       1    
Totals 200:00 79 14/33 12/23 15/23 5 25 30 10 8 12 0 1 20 23 79
        42.4% 52.2% 65.2%
Head coach: BLATT, DAVID
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Partizan Igokea
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 PALACIO, MILT 26:21 11 1/2 2/4 3/4   5 5 3 2 2       5 20
5 TEPIC, MILENKO 29:37 11 2/3 2/3 1/2   2 2 3 3 3     4 2 11
7 KECMAN, DUSAN 24:37 7 2/4 1/5   2 5 7 3   1     3 1 8
10 BOROVNJAK, DEJAN 4:59 1 0/1   1/2   1 1             1 1
11 TRIPKOVIC, UROS 20:48 12 0/2 4/6 0/2 1 1 2     3     3   2
12 VELICKOVIC, NOVICA 12:26 4 1/3 0/2 2/2   3 3     1     3 2 1
14 PEKOVIC, NIKOLA 25:37 22 9/12   4/5   2 2           2 5 23
15 VITKOVAC, CEDOMIR 30:36 8 1/2 2/4   1 5 6 2         2 1 12
17 DJURKOVIC, MARKO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
20 BOZIC, PETAR 7:52 3   1/1     1 1 1         2 1 4
21 MILOSEVIC, STRAHINJA 2:44           1 1               1
33 VRANES, SLAVKO 14:23 4 2/4       1 1     2 1   4 1 -1
Team           1   1     1          
Totals 200:00 83 18/33 12/25 11/17 5 27 32 12 5 13 1 0 23 19 82
        54.5% 48% 64.7%
Head coach: VUJOSEVIC, DUSKO

Head Coaches

BLATT, DAVID
Efes Pilsen
"I have to say that we were not good enough to win tonight, especially when we compare our performance in the last two games. We found the rhythm and fought back late in the game, but it was too late to win. Partizan Igokea is a very good team and played very well tonight. We had to overcome our damaged rotation, which is not enough at the moment to handle such a tough challenge. You always expect to have all your remaining players to perform as good as they can but some of our players failed tonight. You have to challenge for all 40 minutes in a game like this to beat a strong team like Partizan."blatt
VUJOSEVIC, DUSKO
Partizan Igokea
"Everybody has their own calculations before this game, as we were planning to get the potential tie-breaker. Efes Pilsen was a little bit too nervous and tried too many outside shots tonight. They could be much more effective but we played much better and got what we need despite failing to follow our game plan in the first half. We now have a good chance to qualifiy to the Quarterfinal Playoffs. We will keep trying until the end."

Players

ABI, MUSTAFA
Efes Pilsen
"We were not good enough tonight as we could not able to compensate the missing players in our rotation. We showed our real face in the last quarter but it is not easy to come back from more than 20 points. Partizan played a great game. I want to congratulate them and wish them good luck in the last game."
PEKOVIC, NIKOLA
Partizan Igokea
"We knew that Efes Pilsen would take all the risks in this game, but we followed our game plan. We succeeded despite our lack of concentration in the last quarter. We are really very happy to beat a great team like Efes Pilsen for the second time. We will keep trying to reach the Quarterfinal Playoffs until the last moment."
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