Partizan Belgrade climbed to a 2-0 record after a 71-62 win over KK Hemofarm Stada in Group B of the Belgrade International Junior Tournament on Friday night in Belgrade, Serbia. With this win Partizan secured its spot in the semi-finals of the tournament, along with INSEP which won both games on the opening day. The two teams will face each other tomorrow to decide the group's winner. The tournament in Belgrade is the third of four qualifying competitions to decide four of the teams which will participate in the 2010 edition of the Nike International Junior Tournament during the Euroleague Final Four in Paris. Hemofarm fought hard for the win, but just like earlier today in its 100-96 loss to INSEP missed the final touch to make the difference. The score was close for the entire match and one run followed another as the lead changed hands time after time in an exciting and intense match. Aleksandar Radenkovic was the top scorer of Partizan with 15 points, Nikola Vujovic added 12 while Nikola Radicevic and Nemanja Besovic added 11 each. Luka Mirovic led Hemofarm with 15 points and 6 rebounds, along with Nemanja Knezevic who scored 15 as well. Petar Lambic added 12 and Luka Igrutinovic finished with 11.
Hemofarm enjoyed the better start and took an 11-7 lead, but saw Partizan answer quickly with a 2-11 run until the end of the first quarter. Mirotic found his rhythm and started to collect points but saw Besovic active at the other end, and to keep Partizan ahead 20-29. Before things got complicated Hemofarm stepped up its defense and now the run the finish the quarter was coming from its side, with an 11-3 answer, and just a 31-32 Partizan lead at the break. Hemofarm continued its run after the break as Lambic added another basket and set the score on 38-36, but Partizan was quick to answer. Besovic dominated on both ends with points, rebounds and blocks as Partizan wrote a 12-1 to take a 39-48 advantage, but that wasn't enough either. Now it was Hemofarm's turn to run and 9 unanswered points tied the score once more right before the third quarter buzzer. The close score remained in the final period with Besovic on one side and Knezevic on the other keeping the score in small margins. Stefan Bubanja brought his toughness to finish a fast break with a lay-up and force a Hemofarm timeout down 57-63 with 3 minutes to play in the game. Partizan managed to hang on to the lead, mainly thanks to 6 perfect attempts from the foul line and entered the last minutes with a 61-69 margin. Its aggressive defense held Hemofarm from making the big comeback,
Friday, February 12, 2010