Regular Season Round 5 - November 26, 2008 CET: 20:45 Local time: 20:45 - PIONIR

Records

Ave.   Ave.
0-0 Final Four 0-0
0-0 Playoffs 0-0
0-0 Top 16 0-0
2-2 Regular Season 4-0
2-2 Overall 4-0

Referees

Crew Chief
ARTEAGA, JUAN CARLOS, Spain
Referee
GARCIA GONZALEZ, JUAN CARLOS, Spain
Umpire
CHAMBON, DAVID, France

Team Stats

Ave.   Ave.
72.3 Points 81.0
35.3 Rebounds 36.8
15.8 O. Rebounds 11.0
19.5 D. Rebounds 25.8
13.5 Assists 16.3
6.0 Steals 7.8
5.3 Blocks 5.0
13.3 Turnovers 12.5
52.4 % 2PT 52.9 %
34.0 % 3PT 48.3 %
68.7 % FT 70.0 %
77.5 Index 100.5

Player Stats

Ave.   Ave.
13.3 / Tepic Points 11.8 / LANGDON, TRAJAN
9.3 / Lasme Rebounds 7.0 / MORRIS, TERENCE
4.5 / Lasme OR 2.3 / Savrasenko
4.8 / Lasme DR 5.3 / MORRIS, TERENCE
4.8 / Tepic Assists 3.3 / Planinic
2.0 / Lasme Steals 1.5 / LANGDON, TRAJAN
2.0 / Lasme Blocks 3.0 / MORRIS, TERENCE
2.5 / Velickovic Turnovers 2.5 / Lorbek
61.1 % / RAKOCEVIC, ZARKO 2PT 70.8 % / Lorbek
50.0 % / Milosevic 3PT 57.9 % / LANGDON, TRAJAN
90.0 % / Rasic FT 100.0 % / Khryapa
20.0 / Lasme Index 17.3 / SISKAUSKAS, RAMUNAS

THE TAKE

A mouth-watering Group D clash awaits at Belgrade’s Pionir Arena on Wednesday where Partizan hosts CSKA Moscow. The Serbian champs will have only victory on their minds when the only team not to lose yet this season comes to town. Partizan head coach Dusko Vujosevic has had his troops well prepared for every game this season and they have all gone to the wire – being decided by 5 points or less. Partizan is only 2-2, but has won both of its games at home. In fact, Partizan has won seven straight Euroleague home games dating back to last season. But CSKA can boast eight consecutive Euroleague wins overall, including last season’s Euroleague title. Head coach Ettore Messina’s men have dominated as usual this season, winning three of their games by at least 20 points and holding their opponents to an average 59.5 points per game – by far the best in the league. CSKA also tops the Euroleague in three-point shooting with an incredible 48.3% success rate as well as assists and is second in rebounding. Reigning Euroleague MVP Ramunas Siskauskas is one of five players averaging double-figures in points – not counting injured veteran JR Holden – while a sixth, playmaker Zoran Planinic, is averaging 9.3. And now the champs will welcome back another start as team captain Matjaz Smodis could make his season debut after missing the start of the campaign with an ankle injury. But Partizan is not a team to be scared off by anyone else’s depth as every player on the roster has the confidence to play. Partizan’s dynamic duo thus far has been forwards Stephane Lasme and Novica Velickovic, who are among the best offensive rebounders in the league. Small forward Cedomir Vitkovac, giant center Slavko Vranes and reserve Zarko Rakocevic round out the tough Partizan frontcourt. CSKA boasts Terence Morris and Erazem Lorbek in the starting five with Aleksey Savrasenko, Smodis and Viktor Khryapa bringing their respective experience and athleticism off the bench. Morris also stretches defenses with his excellent three-point shooting. Trajan Langdon and Siskauskas join him as major perimeter threats, while Nikos Zisis and Planinic can both create and score. Milenko Tepic and Aleksandar Rasic lead the Partizan backcourt, with streaky shooter Uros Tripkovic providing key minutes in reserve. The game has all the makings of a true Euroleague thriller. CSKA has the more experienced squad, but Partizan’s younger team may be hungrier and can never be counted out at home. One interesting matchup to follow could be between the athletic Morris and Lasme inside, but the more important duel for determining the outcome may come down to Planinic versus Tepic in this promising Group D battle.

GAME QUOTES

Partizan
  • Center Slavko Vranes blocked 4 shots in his last game at Panionios On Telecoms brought him within 1 of reaching 50 for his career. He is one of only 10 players in Euroleague Basketball history to appear in at least 40 games and average more than one block per game. Vranes is currently the all-time leader in blocks per minute, leading Grygorii Khizhniak by the slimmest of fractions. Vranes’s 2 blocks per game this season is tied for third best in the competition.
  • The magic number for Partizan has been 80 points. The Serbian champs have won eight of the last nine games in which they have scored more at least 80. Partizan also boasts a seven-game home-court winning streak in the Euroleague dating back to January.
CSKA Moscow
  • Reigning Euroleague MVP Ramunas Siskauskas needs only 5 points this week to reach 1,000 in his Euroleague Basketball career. The odds are in his favor as Siskauskas has scored at least 5 points in 41 straight appearances. Siskauskas is also just 2 steals away from reaching 100 for his Euroleague Basketball career.
  • Center Aleksey Savrasenko is 4 offensive rebounds away from tying Gregor Fucka for fifth place on the Euroleague Basketball career chart in that category. Savrasenko enters this week’s game with 257 career offensive rebounds.
  • The best individual performance of Zoran Planinic’s career came in Belgrade against Partizan. Planinic scored a career-best 30 points on 5-for-5 three-point shooting for Cibona Zagreb in an 81-76 loss at Pionir Hall in November 2001.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Euroleague.net

Quotes Head Coaches

VUJOSEVIC, DUSKO
Partizan
"CSKA is a serious project. Each season they get better. That is a group of excellent players together with an excellent coach in Messina. We are aware that they are not coming to Belgrade just to win the game, but to prove they are Euroleague champs and that they are going to repeat. I expect that my team could play its best basketball against the best team in Europe. Our logistics are based on our devoted fans. It is not realistic to beat CSKA, but miracles happen."
MESSINA, ETTORE
CSKA Moscow
"Partizan is a young team, which is very well coached. In the first part of the season they showed a lot of energy and earned two wins. Despite the talks that after letting three key players go Partizan will go down, I think the team even raised its level. We respect them a lot and we understand how difficult is to play in Pionir Hall. So we should play a great game to be able to get the win."

Players

VELICKOVIC, NOVICA
Partizan
"CSKA Moscow won the Euroleague last season and this season it is one of the strongest teams in the competition. They are full of stars, even though they are missing J.R. Holden. Our task is to play at the highest level and to try to surprise this big CSKA team. The good news is that Cedomir Vitkovac recovered from a light injury and he will play on Wednesday."
SMODIS, MATJAZ
CSKA Moscow
"Of course, I am anxious to play again. I know that Belgrade is a tough place to play, but I am trying not to think about it. For me the most important thing is to be on the court and to help my team."
Nikos Zisis - CSKA MoscowMaking it halfway through the regular season undefeated proved a matter of good fortune for CSKA Moscow on Wednesday as it survived five game-winning shot attempts by host Partizan on the game's final possession before escaping Belgrade with a 62-63 win in Group D. The victory pushed CSKA to 5-0, at least two wins better than any other team in the group, while Partizan fell to 2-3 and a tie for either third or fourth place depending on Thursday results. The hosts came oh-so-close to a huge upset, however, taking several tries close to the basket in the final 35 seconds before the buzzer sounded without any of them falling. Erazem Lorbek's single free throw earlier in the final minute, his team's only point in almost 4 minutes of futile shots at a Partizan zone, proved the game-winner for CSKA. The Euroleague champs had another ensemble effort with Lorbek and Zoran Planinic posting 11 points each, while Nikos Zisis and Ramunas Siskauskas had 10 each. A highlight was the return of team captain Matjaz Smodis for his first Euroleague game of the season. Smodis finished with 9 points, including the put-back that was CSKA's last basket. Partizan got all kinds of contributions, too, with Milenko Tepic scoring 14 points and Novica Velickovic 10, while teenager Jan Veseley pulled 9 rebounds and Uros Tripkovic buried key shots to rally the hosts.

Partizan looked inside early, getting Aleksandar Rasic and Stephane Lasme to the line for free throws to go up 4-0. Planinic soon blew through the lane for a layup to spark CSKA, but Lasme and Slavko Vranes each got loose for dunks as Partizan stayed ahead 8-4. Lorbek answered with a mid-range jumper for CSKA, and after several empty possessions for each side, downed a similar shot to tie 8-8. Smodis came on for the first time all season but quickly got whistled for a foul from which Velickovic hit 1 of 2 free throws. Lorbek kept it going with lane jumpers that Tepic matched at the foul line. Planinic attacked inside twice around a Velikcovic basket and passed long to Viktor Khryapa for a dunk that put CSKA up 13-16. Strahinja Milosevic bolted inside and Velickovic banked a hook shot for Partizan, but in between them, Zisis scored a three-point layup-plus-free throw to let CSKA win the quarter, 17-19.

Milenko Tepic - PartizanSmodis got his first points of the Euroleague season on a big triple to open the second quarter, while Zarko Rakocevic gave Partizan's two-point answer. A Zisis free throw made it 19-23 for the visitors, but again the defenses took over, denying shots with physical, hustling play, highlighted by a nifty Lasme block. Almost 5 minutes without a basket ensued until Tepic ran off a screen and hit a jumper at 21-24. He remained the exception, however, as a series of challenged shots missed or were blocked, including another by Terence Morris. Planinic finally fed Siskauskas for an inside basket, ending CSKA's long drought. The shot also put Siskauskas over 1,000 points in his Euroleague career, but he wanted more, and got it with a triple on the break for a 21-29 lead that forced a Partizan timeout. The hosts played inside-out to get the triple back from Petar Bozic, but Zisis drove easily for a layup in response. Tepic made a flying tap-in at 36-31, before Planinic nailed a running layup-plus-free throw combination on Velickovic's third foul, restoring an eight-point lead, 26-34. A third-chance basket by Rakocevic and free throws by Lasme got Partizan back within 30-34 before the half ended.

Tepic faked three times before burying a triple to start the second half by raising the Partizan crowd to the roof. Partizan missed a chance to go ahead then and paid for it when first baskets by Langdon and Morris boosted CSKA ahead 33-38. Vranes came up big with a put-back dunk and Tepic ducked in for a layup as Partizan got within 37-38. Again Partizan missed a go-ahead shot, and again CSKA answered with twin baskets, these by Landgon and Zisis. When Lorbek finger-rolled over Lasme it was 37-44 and Partizan needed a timeout. The hosts needed something more, too, and it came when Bozic knocked down a second-chance triple at 40-44. CSKA got the better of an exchange of free throws to make it 41-48, and when Partizan looked for more help, Tripkovic completed a tough three-point play. Suddenly, Rasic was doing the same on the break and the score was 47-50. After more CSKA free throws, Milosevic came out of nowhere to put back an offensive rebound. Then on an out-of-bounds play with 1 second left, Tripkovic blasted a triple from the wing, tying it all up, 52-52, with a quarter remaining.

Velickovic supplied Partizan's first lead since the opening quarter with an inside basket to open the fourth. Langdon got those points back at the line and Lorbek hustled to put back a rebound, restoring CSKA's lead at 54-56. Another of the game's scoring lulls followed until Zisis drew Lasme's fifth foul and dropped both free throws at 54-58. After Tripkovic's next triple try rimmed out, Smodis hit free throws, too, but fouled Tepic, who scored and hit the extra free throw to make it 57-60 with 4 minutes left. Smodis battled and threw down an offensive rebound for a 57-62 scoreboard, and again Partizan went searching for heroics. After Velickovic hit 1 of 2 free throws, Tirpkovic beat the 24-second clock with an up-and-down fallaway jumper at 60-62. Now, Velickovic stole and went coast-to-coast for the game-tying basket with 2 minutes to play, 62-62. CSKA took a timeout and tried, but failed, to attack the Partizan zone. The hosts also missed a pair of close shots to bring the tie into the final minute. Langdon missed a triple, Morris rebounded, and Lorbek was fouled by Rasic as Planinic missed from deep. Lorbek made only the second of his free throws, however, for a 62-63 CSKA edge with 35 seconds left. Partizan used all of those 35 seconds, getting five shots at the basket after three offensive rebounds. None of them fell, however. CSKA was still undefeated, and Partizan's seven-game Euroleague home win streak was over.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Euroleague.net
Referees: ARTEAGA, JUAN CARLOS (ESP), GARCIA GONZALEZ, JUAN CARLOS (ESP), CHAMBON, DAVID (FRA)
Attendance: 6683
By Quarter1234
Partizan17132210
CSKA Moscow19151811
End of Quarter1234
Partizan17305262
CSKA Moscow19345263
Head coach: VUJOSEVIC, DUSKO
Partizan
# Player Min Pts 2FG
M-A
3FG
M-A
FT
M-A
Rebounds As St To Bl Fouls PIR
O D T Fv Ag Cm Rv
4 LUCIC, VLADIMIR DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
5 TEPIC, MILENKO 33:11 14 4/6 1/6 3/3 1 2 3 2 1 2       3 14
8 MILOSEVIC, STRAHINJA 11:01 4 2/2     1   1 2         4   3
10 RASIC, ALEKSANDAR 22:30 5 1/5 0/5 3/3 2   2 2 1 2   1 3 4 -1
11 TRIPKOVIC, UROS 20:29 8 2/5 1/4 1/1 1 1 2   1       3 1 3
12 VELICKOVIC, NOVICA 21:28 10 4/6 0/4 2/4 1 6 7 2 1 2   1 3 4 10
13 LASME, STEPHANE 20:43 6 1/3   4/4 4 3 7 1   2 1 1 5 4 9
14 ALEKSIC, VUKASIN 1:20                              
20 BOZIC, PETAR 6:00 6   2/3     2 2     2     3   2
22 RAKOCEVIC, ZARKO 18:16 4 2/4   0/1 4 2 6     2   1 2 3 5
24 VESELY, JAN 25:48 1 0/2 0/1 1/2 3 6 9   1 1     1 1 6
33 VRANES, SLAVKO 19:14 4 2/7   0/4 3 2 5 1   1   1 2 2 -1
Team           1   1     1          
Totals 200:00 62 18/40 4/23 14/22 21 24 45 10 5 15 1 5 26 22 50
45% 17.4% 63.6%
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
Head coach: MESSINA, ETTORE
CSKA Moscow
# Player Min Pts 2FG
M-A
3FG
M-A
FT
M-A
Rebounds As St To Bl Fouls PIR
O D T Fv Ag Cm Rv
6 ZISIS, NIKOS 26:10 10 3/4 0/2 4/5   4 4 3 2 1       4 18
7 KEYRU, VICTOR DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
8 SMODIS, MATJAZ 18:03 9 1/3 1/2 4/4 1 1 2   1       4 2 7
9 SISKAUSKAS, RAMUNAS 31:54 10 2/7 1/1 3/4   4 4 1   3 1   1 5 11
12 LORBEK, ERAZEM 19:06 11 5/9   1/2 3 2 5   2 1 1 1 3 4 13
14 SAVRASENKO, ALEKSEY 11:38                         1   -1
21 LANGDON, TRAJAN 21:01 6 2/5 0/2 2/2   2 2           4 4 3
24 KAUN, SASHA DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
31 KHRYAPA, VICTOR 14:18 4 1/1 0/1 2/2 1 1 2     1 1   3 1 3
34 PLANINIC, ZORAN 32:49 11 4/6 0/5 3/3   2 2 3 1       2 6 14
44 MORRIS, TERENCE 25:01 2 1/6 0/1   1 6 7     2 2   4   -1
Team           1   1               1
Totals 200:00 63 19/41 2/14 19/22 7 22 29 7 6 8 5 1 22 26 68
46.3% 14.3% 86.4%
This game is not yet played

Head Coaches

VUJOSEVIC, DUSKO
Partizan
"It would have been so nice if we had won. But CSKA deserved that win. Anyway, I am proud of my guys. Tonight this was serious and highest-quality basketball. We played equal with the Euroleague champs. One ball decided the winner, but it shows we are on the right way with that young team."
MESSINA, ETTORE
CSKA Moscow
"First of all, I told my players it is not so easy to win here in Belgrade. Partizan plays excellent this season and we were so bad in rebounding. But all my players played great defense and managed to win in front of real incredible supporters. It is also incredible that Partizan had three shots for a win in last three seconds. And at the end it is incredible that I have to say this: congratulations to my players. Sometimes I have to say this. I wish Partizan to see the Top 16. Many people are surprised how that young team plays, but I am not."

Players

VELICKOVIC, NOVICA
Partizan
"It is great to have shot for the win playing against the Euroleague champion. I am satisfied with our game tonight. We gave everything we had of ourselves and we played until the last atom of our strength. We tried to beat CSKA, but now we can only say that we had nice chance. Pity."
SMODIS, MATJAZ
CSKA Moscow
"We were lucky to win, but it could have been Partizan. The key was that we managed to match the intensity of the game that Partizan was forcing. They are younger and they played physical, but at the end we had to fight, too. And we showed our muscles. Congratulations to the audience. This is one of three best basketball places in Europe. There's great feeling and atmosphere."
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