Ural Great is no longer the only undefeated team in Group D. Great defense by Partizan was the key Wednesday to an 85-80 overtime victory in Belgrade and now both teams have 2-1 records. The victory came despite Ural coming back from 16 points behind in the final 8 minutes to send it to overtime. The final decision came after 45 minutes in dramatic fashion as Vlado Scepanovic made two 3-pointers in the last two minutes.
It had seemed that it will be an easy victory for Partizan. Ural was sleepy during first two periods, shooting a poor 34 percent (10-26 two-pointers, 0-3 threes). Young Partizan center Jovo Stanojevic was great battling with Mikhail Mikhailov and guard Milos Vujanic was much quicker than his opponent, Vasilij Karassev. Partizan led 44-31 at the half.
Second half Ural started double-teaming Vujanic but Karassev made his fifth personal foul 14 minutes before the end. In that moment it seemed that there would be no doubt about the winner. After 2 minutes of the last quarter, Partizan led 66-52 - and the dramma began. Mikhailov, Sergei Panov and Valeri Dainenko led Ural on a 15-0 run. Partizan played 7 minutes without a point and Ural led 67-66 in the last minute of the game. After free throws both teams ended tied at 70-70.
In overtime, Partizan started with five fouled out players (Vujanic, Canak, Glintic, Stanojevic and Materic), but the Russian champions had no idea how to beat tight defense of Partizan youngsters. Scepanovic took the responsability in these moments and made two three-pointers. Mikhailov and Panov were too tired for another miracle like the one they have made in the regular time.
Jovo Stanojevic was leading scorer for Partizan with 19 points and 9 rebounds. Vujanic added 15 points, Ostojic 14 and Scepanovic 13. Ural Great had its best man in Mikhailov who made double-double (15 points and 14 rebounds). Dainenko added 16 points and Panov 14. Partizan was supported with 4,253 fans in Pionir Arena in Belgrade.
Wednesday, October 24, 2001