Euroleague Weekly Review
Shorthanded Partizan teaches Panathinaikos a lesson.
by Erildas Budraitis
In this 11th edition of Euroleague Weekly Review, we will overlook the first Euroleague’s Top-16 tour, where there was a lot of drama and surprises.
Spain’s powerhouse, Regal Barcelona, despite a terrible performance from Ricky Rubio, grabbed the win over Maroussi Athens and won its 11th eleventh game in a row. After an amazing showing in the tour’s final game, Rubio scored just 3 points and made 3 turnovers in 20 minutes.
Other Euroleague favorites — CSKA Moscow, Real Madrid, Montepaschi Siena — won big games at home. Olympiakos Piraeus survived in an away match against Caja Laboral Vitoria. Of course, this is just a start of the Top 16, and it’s too early to make any conclusions.
But Partizan Belgrade, which had to play without their superstar Aleks Maric, made a statement, and managed to win against last year’s Euroleague champions, Panathinaikos Athens. Euroleague – where crazy things happen.
GAME OF THE WEEK
Partizan came from 9 points behind in the third quarter to win, 64-59, against the five-time Euroleague champion, Panathinaikos. Partizan started the Top 16 stage with an impressive win.
The Greens had the lead in the first three quarters, but in the fourth, Partizan showed excellent defense and held the opponents to only 7 points. Meanwhile, the Serbians started to play more aggressively, which allowed Partizan to grab a surprising victory.
“We had control of the game for 35 minutes and led by 9 points, but failed to increase our margin. Partizan did not give up, he grabbed critical offensive rebounds, and ended up winning,” Panathinaikos’ center Nikola Pekovic said, who finished the game with 7 points and 6 boards. Pekovic’s comment exactly illustrates how selfless Partizan played.
NBA prospect Jan Vesely led Partizan with 13 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Petar Bozic and former Memphis Grizzlie, Lawrence Roberts, both added 12 points.
For Panathinaikos ex-Rocket, Vassilis Spanoulis scored 14 points and dished out 5 assists. Dimitris Diamantidis added 11 points and 3 steals. Marcus Haislip, who played for the San Antonio Spurs during first part of the ’09-10 season, ended the game with 7 points in 14 minutes.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
During this Euroleague tour, we have this week’s MVP trio – Fernando San Emeterio, Robertas Javtokas and Ramunas Siskauskas. They all have 29 index ranking points.
San Emeterio, the Caja Laboral Vitoria guard, scored 20 points and dished out 7 assists in the game against CSKA Moscow. Robertas Javtokas, who plays for Chimki Moscow Region, finished the game with 17 points and 9 boards. Lithuanian Ramunas Siskauskas, the CSKA Moscow leader, scored 23 points and grabbed 4 boards.
Next week we will see which team, Olympiakos or Chimki, is better and how far Partizan “legend killers” Belgrade can go – can they beat league leader Regal Barcelona?