Predrag Drobnjak's dunk capped a 12-2 run in the second overtime to give Partizan a thrilling 101-92 win over rival Cibona Zagreb at Pionir Arena on Wednesday night in Belgrade, Serbia. 6,000 fans cheered on the home side for the 50-minute encounter, which was the first double-overtime game in the Euroleague this season. The game saw five Partizan players foul out and four more from Cibona. Drobnjak finished with 20 points and 9 rebounds, while playing 41 minutes. Vonteego Cummings was on the court for 44 as he amassed 14 points and 7 assists. Center Kosta Perovic dominated inside with 23 points, 9 rebounds, 4 steals and 4 blocks before fouling out. Luka Bogdanovic added 11 points and Novica Velickovic had 10. Davor Kus was the last man standing for Cibona, scoring the team's final 8 points. He finished with 17 points after drawing 11 fouls and going 11-for-12 from the line. Brent Wright also drew 11 fouls and finished with 17 points and 10 boards. Jamal McCullough added 12 and Luksa Andric had 10.
The game began with both teams playing nervous basketball. It took two minutes before Goran Vrbanc netted the first basket for the visitors. Drobnjak answered with a three-point play, before Wright did the same at other end of the floor. Cibona took an 9-13 lead with some strong defense, but the visitors could not stop Perovic, who scored 6 straight points as Cibona held a 15-17 advantage after 10 minutes.
McCullough pushed Cibona forward in the second period and when Andric scored twice off the offensive glass, the visitors led 18-23. Cummings answered with the first three-pointer of the game to keep the game close. Drobnjak had problems guasrding Andric and was replaced by Velickovic, who tied the score at 25-25 midway through the quarter. Dusan Kecman capped a 9-2 run for Partizan that gave the hosts a 27-25 lead. The teams were trading points in a low scoring game. Perovic scored 7 straight for Partizan, but McCullough stepped up for Cibona as the teams headed to the locker rooms tied 39-39.
Perovic opened fire in second half, quickly drawing fouls from Marton Bader and Kecman for a 45-41 Partizan lead. When Milenko Tepic missed twice from the line, Perovic grabbed the offensive rebound and was fouled. He hit one and on the other end blocked Wright, leading to a Drobnjak fastbreak basket and a Partizan 7-0 run. Kus finaly scored for Cibona, but Uros Tripkovic answered with a bomb forcing Cibona to call timeout down 51-43. Cummings made it a double-digit margin from the line as Cibona began to fall back. But Perovic went due a rest and the visitors made a fast 0-9 run with 4 points from Marin Rozic. Partizan woke up in the last minute of third period to keep a 59-55 lead after 30 minutes.
Cibona went scoreless more than two minutes in the final period and Partizan took advantage to lead 64-55. Finaly McCullough netted Cibona's triple of the game, but Bogdanovic scored 5 straight points. However Wright and Bader scored at the other side and closed the gap to 66-62 with four minutes left. Cibona made a 2-8 run and the game came into dramatic final minutes. Marijan Mance cut hosts' lead to 70-69, Kecman and Tripkovic missed, and Kus turned the score into 70-71 in the last minute of the game. Drobnjak's layup was met by Mance's jumper. Drobnjak came through again with 12 seconds left to put Partizan up 75-73. After a timeout, Kus tied from the line and Partizan had the last ball in regulation. Perovic missed a layup the 75-75 score meant overtime.
Cummings opened the overtime scoring from the line. McCullough answered with triple and Perovic tied it again from the free-throw line. Jurica Zuza gave the guests a 2-point advantage, but Perovic tied it again as players began to drop like flies due to foul problems. Zuza and Tepic traded baskets in the last minute of overtime and Zuza netted one more to tie again at 83-83 and bring on another five minutes of action.
Perovic fouled out in the first minute of the second overtime, but Tepic and Cummings gave Partizan an 87-84 lead and the hosts switched to zone to try to protect it. Kus scored, but Tepic and Drobnjak hit back with 4 points aa the arena prepared to celebrate. Bogdanovic added 2 from the line, Velickovic sealed the victory with 4 points and Drobnjak punctuated the result with a slam dunk.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006