Top 16 Round 2 - February 04, 2009 CET: 20:45 Local time: 20:45 - PIONIR

Records

Ave.   Ave.
0-0 Final Four 0-0
0-0 Playoffs 0-0
0-1 Top 16 0-1
5-5 Regular Season 6-4
5-6 Overall 6-5

Referees

Crew Chief
MARTIN, JOSE, Spain
Referee
SPIRIDONOS, LEONIDAS, Greece
Umpire
ZAMOJSKI, JAKUB, Poland

Team Stats

Ave.   Ave.
69.9 Points 80.8
34.7 Rebounds 34.8
13.2 O. Rebounds 10.6
21.5 D. Rebounds 24.2
12.3 Assists 11.4
5.6 Steals 9.1
3.9 Blocks 2.5
15.3 Turnovers 14.1
50.0 % 2PT 49.8 %
35.3 % 3PT 34.5 %
70.8 % FT 79.6 %
68.5 Index 82.3

Player Stats

Ave.   Ave.
12.3 / Tepic Points 16.3 / BECIROVIC, SANI
6.6 / Lasme Rebounds 6.1 / HUTSON, ANDRE
2.7 / Lasme OR 2.4 / Brezec
3.9 / Lasme DR 4.2 / HUTSON, ANDRE
3.5 / Tepic Assists 4.1 / BECIROVIC, SANI
1.0 / Lasme Steals 2.2 / Jaaber
1.6 / Lasme Blocks 0.9 / Gigli
2.6 / Tepic Turnovers 2.5 / BECIROVIC, SANI
78.9 % / Vesely 2PT 61.1 % / Gigli
66.7 % / Milosevic 3PT 50.0 % / Brezec
100.0 % / Milosevic FT 89.5 % / Giachetti
14.2 / Lasme Index 19.6 / BECIROVIC, SANI

THE TAKE

A game of great significance will take place in Group G on Wednesday when Partizan Belgrade hosts Lottomatica Roma in a clash between two teams coming off Week 1 losses. The Serbian champs fell apart in the second half in losing by 18 at Panathinaikos. Roma, meanwhile dropped a home decision against Unicaja as it shot far below its season averages from all ranges. Neither team can afford to start 0-2 with a home loss if it plans to reach the Quarterfinal Playoffs, raising the stakes for this Week 2 encounter. Last week’s defeat was only the second time this year Partizan lost by more than 5 points and the last time that happened, head coach Dusko Vujosevic’s troops bounced back by thrashing Panionios On Telecoms by 23 for its biggest win of the year. Lottomatica is now mired in a three-game losing streak and will be eager to turn things around with a quality road win. Partizan’s biggest strength is its aggressive play, which is among the reasons it leads the league in offensive rebounding. The frontline of Novica Velickovic, Stephane Lasme and Jan Vesely bolstered by 2.29-meter center Slavko Vranes presents a challenge for the more experienced Roma frontline, featuring centers Primoz Brezec and Angelo Gigli and power forward Andre Hutson. The differences are not as distinct among the guards, where alongside veteran Sani Besirovic, the trio of Ibby Jaaber, Brandon Jennings and Luigi Datome are no more experienced than Partizan’s Aleksandar Rasic, Milenko Tepic or Uros Tripkovic. The matchup at small forward will be interesting, with Roma’s Rodrigo De la Fuente facing Velickovic when Partizan plays bigger and Cedomir Vitkovac when the hosts use a small lineup. Another key for Partizan could be how it responds if Roma uses the speedy Jaaber and Jennings together, since Rasic is its only senior rotation player with the speed to guard them. All signs point to this game providing 40 minutes of exciting action with the result only being decided at the very end. The home-court advantage may give Partizan a slim edge, but the need for victory for both teams will add an element of pressure that could also effect the outcome.

GAME NOTES

Partizan
  • Guard Milenko Tepic has made at least one three-pointer in 16 consecutive Euroleague games. The streak dates back to the Top 16 last season.
  • Guard Uros Tripkovic has made at least one three-pointer in nine consecutive Euroleague games.
  • Forward Novica Velickovic has had modest success against Lottomatica in his career. He recorded his first Euroleague double-double against the club in a November 2007 victory and scored a Euroleague career-high 22 points in Roma in a 1-point loss later that season.
  • The magic number for Partizan has been 80 points. The Serbian champs have won 10 of the last 11 games in which they have scored at least 80.
Lottomatica Roma
  • Guard Sani Becirovic needs 5 more steals to reach 100 for his Euroleague Basketball career.
  • Guard Jacopo Giachetti scored in double figures last week for the first time since December 2007, a span of 11 games and a lengthy absence caused by a serious knee injury.
  • Giachetti made his Euroleague debut against Partizan in the first game of the 2006-07 season. He drew 5 fouls and shot a perfect 8 for 8 from the line for his best free-throw shooting game in the Euroleague.
  • Big man Angelo Gigli grabbed 5 offensive rebounds and 10 total rebounds – both Euroleague career-highs – in last week’s loss against Unicaja.
  • Guard Ibby Jaaber has recorded at least 1 steal in each of his last seven Euroleague games and is averaging a league-best 4 steals over his last four games.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Euroleague.net

Quotes Head Coaches

VUJOSEVIC, DUSKO
Partizan
"We have the obligation to play at the highest level because of our fans and because of the jersey we are wearing. Our goal is not to play Top 16 without ambitions, we want to fight for the quaterfinals. At the moment we have all the players but Zarko Rakocevic missed almost a month and he is not ready to give his maximum. Anyway, we shall try to beat Lottomatica because home wins are the right road to the next Euroleague phase. I know it will not be easy because the team from Rome lost at home last week and they desperately need a win to stay connected."
GENTILE, NANDO
Lottomatica Roma
"It will be a vey difficult game for us. We lost at home with Unicaja and it would be great to win in Belgrade, but we are aware that playing in Pionir Arena it is not easy for everybody. We won on Sunday in the Italian League with Fortitudo and after the loss with Unicaja this gave us more confidence, but we know in Belgrade it will be different. It will be important to try to keep the concentration high in an very difficult atmosphere. We should try to manage the rhythm of the game and be aggressive since the beginning."

Players

BOZIC, PETAR
Partizan
"This is going to be one of our most important games in the Top 16. We have to use our main weapon, and that is aggressiveness. That is the only way to win and we are aware of that. There is no pressure on us. Lottomatica is a much better team than their starting score in the Top 16 shows. We all appreciate Sani Becirovic, Ibrahim Jaaber, Andre Hutson and other players a lot but we have our advantages, too. There is only one thing I can promise: we shall give our best. I expect a true basketball festival in Belgrade."
BECIROVIC, SANI
Lottomatica Roma
"Belgrade is a very tough court, where fans and the audience can really make the difference. It will be a real hell, very noisy, and it will be difficult to stay focused on the game. But we must try to control the game for the entire 40 minutes, even if it won't be easy. We don't let the audience control the game."
Novica Velickovic - PartizanPartizan registered its first win in Top 16 Group G by downing Lottomatica Roma 84-76 in front of a sellout crowd and a wild basketball atmosphere at Pionir Arena in Belgrade, Serbia on Wednesday. Partizan now ties with Unicaja for second place in Group G with a 1-1 record. Meanwhile, Lottomatica dropped to 0-2 and needs to start winning right away to keep its Quarterfinal Playoffs dreams alive. Uros Tripkovic paced the winners with 20 points on 6-for-8 three-pointers. Novica Velikovic posted a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Stephane Lasme had 13 points for Partizan. Primoz Brezec led Lottomatica with 19 points on 8-for-9 two-point shooting. Sani Becirovic added 17 on 13-for-14 free throw shooting, Andre Hutson had 13 while Ibby Jaaber got 11 for the guests. An outstanding Velickovic and a wild dunk-and-foul by Lasme allowed Partizan to get a double-digit lead, 27-16, after 10 minutes. Tripkovic buried 4 three-pointers late in the second quarter to keep Partizan way ahead, 50-42, at halftime. Partizan kept a safe lead throughout the second half and another triple by Tripkovic sealed the outcome, 74-59, with seven minutes to go. Lottomatica did not recover and Partizan cruised to a key home win.

Primoz Brezec - Lottomatica RomaVelickovic got Partizan going with a three-pointer, as Lottomatica struggled to score in the opening two minutes. Brezec, however, scored over Slavko Vranes in the low post while a fast break layup by Jaaber gave the guests their first lead, 3-4. Brandon Jennings capped a 0-6 run with an easy layup before Velickovic rescued the hosts with an acrobatic basket. Brezec sank a turnaround jumper, but Milenko Tepic fed Velickovic for an open triple that tied it at 8-8. Brezec kept pacing Roma with a long jumper, which Vranes matched with a dunk. Cedomir Vitkovac struck from downtown to put Partizan back ahead, 13-10. Velickovic scored again, as both teams had entered the foul bonus already. Becirovic and Vitkovac traded free throws after a Lottomatica timeout, while a driving layup by Velickovic kept Partizan ahead 19-12. Becirovic hit more foul shots, but Tripkovic stepped up with a three-pointer and Lasme followed a basket with an outstanding dunk-and-foul to make it 27-16 after 10 minutes.

Brezec scored in the paint right at the start of the second quarter as Lottomatica was more aggressive at both ends now. Partizan dominated the boards through an outstanding Lasme while a turnaround jumper by Tepic scored a 29-18 margin. Brezec shined with a backdoor layup and soon added a tip-in to bring Roma some hope at 29-22. Hutson took over with a power layup and free throws by Gigi Datome capped a 0-8 Lottomatica run. Vranes and Brezec exchanged foul shots before a put-back dunk by Jan Vesely gave Partizan some fresh air at 33-28. Jaaber took over with a reverse layup, but Tripkovic immediately answered from downtown. An unstoppable Brezec scored again. Then Velickovic and Jaaber traded triples. Tripkovic stayed red hot with another three-pointer before free throws by Becirovic kept the guests within 42-37. Tepic took over with a fast break layup that Angelo Gigli matched with a power dunk. Tripkovic buried his third triple and beat the buzzer with a turnaround shot from downtown to fix the halftime score at 50-42.

Uros Tripkovic - PartizanTepic scored in penetration immediately after the break, but Jaaber sank a three-pointer to keep Lottomatica within 52-45. Aleksandar Rasic shined with a driving layup before scored again for a 56-45 Partizan lead. Hutson banked in a mid-range jumper,but the guests only managed to trade baskets at full speed now. Velickovic provided a highlight with a coast-to-coast layup that Vesely followed with a dunk to break the game open, 60-47. Roma called timeout after which Roberto Gabini stepped up with a corner triple and Becirovic sank free throws to give the guests some hope at 62-52. Lasme made foul shots and Vitkovac added a reverse layup, but Brezec and Becirovic kept the guests within 66-56. Partizan had started to use long possessions to keep the game clock running. Even with that, a free throw by Becirovic brought Roma within single digits. Velickovic took over with a wild put-back dunk that boosted the hosts' lead to 68-57 after 30 minutes.

Vesely made a free throw early in the fourth quarter as Lottomatica needed to speed up the game tempo to ignite a comeback. Lasme scored in transition while the hosts' defense held Roma scoreless for two minutes. Hutson sank free throws, but Tripkovic buried his sixth triple to seal the outcome, 74-59, with seven minutes to go. Lottomatica kept trying, however, as Brezec tried to get his team as close as possible. Vitkovac shined with an off-balance layup that Hutson matched with a six-meter jumper. Both teams fought for points differential and tiebreak purposes now. Partizan kept powering the offensive boards, but Hutson and Jennings brought Roma within 76-66. Lasme followed a layup with free throws as Brezec fouled out with three minutes to go. Nothing changed until the final buzzer, as all Partizan fans had plenty of time to celebrated a well-deserved win.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Euroleague.net
Referees: MARTIN, JOSE (ESP), SPIRIDONOS, LEONIDAS (GRE), ZAMOJSKI, JAKUB (POL)
Attendance: 6925
By Quarter1234
Partizan27231816
Lottomatica Roma16261519
End of Quarter1234
Partizan27506884
Lottomatica Roma16425776
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
5 TEPIC, MILENKO 28:40 9 4/7   1/2 1 1 2 4 1 1     2 3 12
8 MILOSEVIC, STRAHINJA DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
10 RASIC, ALEKSANDAR 22:45 4 1/1 0/3 2/2   1 1 4 1 5     2 4 4
11 TRIPKOVIC, UROS 25:38 20 0/1 6/8 2/2   2 2     1     1 1 18
12 VELICKOVIC, NOVICA 30:48 19 5/8 3/4   1 9 10 3 1 2 2   3 3 29
13 LASME, STEPHANE 20:59 13 4/5   5/7   5 5     3 1   4 6 15
14 ALEKSIC, VUKASIN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
15 VITKOVAC, CEDOMIR 21:43 7 2/2 1/3     1 1           1 1 6
20 BOZIC, PETAR 6:17 2   0/1 2/2       1   1     5 1 -3
22 RAKOCEVIC, ZARKO 6:52         2 1 3     1     2    
24 VESELY, JAN 14:57 6 2/2   2/8   1 1   1 2 1   4 4 1
33 VRANES, SLAVKO 21:21 4 1/2   2/2   6 6 1   2     5 1 4
Team             1 1               1
Totals 200:00 84 19/28 10/19 16/25 4 28 32 13 4 18 4 0 29 24 87
67.9% 52.6% 64%
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: GENTILE, NANDO
Lottomatica Roma
# 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
5 GIACHETTI, JACOPO 4:25                   1     2 1 -2
6 GIGLI, ANGELO 18:51 2 1/2     2 1 3           2   2
7 BECIROVIC, SANI 25:07 17 2/3 0/2 13/14   1 1 2 2 4     1 12 25
8 TONOLLI, ALESSANDRO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
9 HUTSON, ANDRE 23:18 13 4/11   5/7 2 4 6     1   2 4 6 9
11 JENNINGS, BRANDON 26:58 6 3/7 0/3     1 1 2 3       4   1
12 BREZEC, PRIMOZ 27:50 19 8/9 0/1 3/4 3 2 5 2 1     1 5 2 20
13 DATOME, LUIGI 12:54 2 0/2 0/2 2/2 1 1 2 1           3 4
14 DE LA FUENTE, RODRIGO 25:13 3 0/1 1/2   1 3 4   1 1     1 2 6
21 JAABER, IBRAHIM 25:23 11 2/6 2/4 1/4   2 2 5 1 1   1 3 3 8
22 GABINI, ROBERTO 10:01 3   1/1             1     2    
Team             3 3           1   2
Totals 200:00 76 20/41 4/15 24/31 9 18 27 12 8 9 0 4 25 29 75
48.8% 26.7% 77.4%
This game is not yet played

Head Coaches

VUJOSEVIC, DUSKO
Partizan
"I am extremely satisfied with a victory that keeps us in the battle for the quarterfinals. That is our big hope and wish no matter what other teams have advantages. We knew that Lottomatica would be high motivated after they lost to Unicaja in Rome, but we managed to control the game all the way. We had some empty minutes on offense. But we played good defense, which is our mark."
GENTILE, NANDO
Lottomatica Roma
"We knew it was going to be a hard game against a good Partizan team. I think we let them have too many easy points in the first period. But we did not give up and we kept fighting until the end. Our goal was to reach Top 16 and we made it. We will play more games at the highest level respecting the Euroleague."

Players

VELICKOVIC, NOVICA
Partizan
"Lottomatica had to play much better to beat us. We gave our maximum playing with concentration until the end. I think we have the quality for the quarterfinals. The key was our defense and team play. Like in every other game, we played like a team."
LASME, STEPHANE
Partizan
"We were so good in defense. That was the reason we won tonight. Our defense gave us a lot of fast breaks and open shots."
BECIROVIC, SANI
Lottomatica Roma
"We knew this game was to be or not to be. For us and for Partizan too. We let them open the game in style and they controlled it all the way. I think we still have chances to reach the quarterfinals, but we must beat Panathinaikos next week."
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