Partizan outlasts Venice in intense battle
Partizan NIS Belgrade claimed a battling road win to kickstart its campaign in Group B, defeating Umana Reyer Venice 63-66. The Serbian team took charge towards the end of the first quarter and led the rest of the way, holding off several strong surges from Reyer to edge over the winning line. Debutant Rashawn Thomas was the star man, registering a double-double of 11 points and 13 rebounds, while Marcus Paige offered a deep threat with 4 triples in his game-high total of 14 points and Ognjen Jaramaz delivered a solid all-round display by combining 12 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. William Mosley contributed 10 points and 6 boards. Reyer was paced by Michael Bramos with 12 points and 9 rebounds, the only home team player to score in double figures.
The opening stages were closely contested with defenses on top, and the lead swapped hands regularly as Jaramaz scored 5 points to give Partizan an 8-9 edge. William Mosley produced a block at one end and a dunk at the other to keep the visiting team ahead, before Paige and Jaramaz scored from deep to make it 11-19 after ten minutes. Another Paige triple made it a double-digit game, and a pair of jumpers by Thomas protected the advantage as both offenses continued to struggle. But then Ariel Filloy sparked a Reyer rally, scoring three consecutive baskets in an 8-0 run, making it 26-30 at the break. Another Paige triple reignited Partizan early in the third, and Reyer were then restricted to just 4 points in 5 minutes. Stefan Bircevic restored the double-digit lead from deep, but Reyer kept fighting and a buzzer beater at the end of the third from Andrea De Nicolao followed by a triple from Jeremy Chappell at the start of the fourth pulled it back to 47-48. Nemanja Gordic and Paige answered from deep to make Partizan comfortable again, before a pair of baskets from Austin Daye kept Reyer hoping. A put-back slam from Mosley and a driving layup by Gordic made it 53-61 inside the final three minutes. Still Reyer refused to lie down as Michael Bramos scored from long-range and then inside in the last minute, but Bramos missed a triple on the buzzer as Partizan held on.
Three-point woes…except Paige
Partizan’s Marcus Paige had a decent night from deep, but everyone else was…well, pretty terrible. Paige converted 4 of his 9 three-point attempts, while the other 23 players combined for a measly 8 of 40 from beyond the arc.
Free throw misses damage Reyer
In a close game, Reyer will be frustrated that it missed so many free throws, making only 6 of 13 foul shots. That was mostly down to Gaspar Vidmar, who only made 1 of his 6 free throw attempts. Partizan also struggled from the foul line, only shooting 13-of-23.
Thomas dazzles on debut
Rashawn Thomas made a swift return to Venice, having lost out in the Italian championship finals with his old club Dinamo Sassari at the end of last season. This narrow win allowed Partizan’s summer signing to enjoy a far happier return to the Floating City, and his EuroCup debut was highly promising as he bagged 11 points, 13 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 1 blocked shot and 6 fouls drawn.
Round 2 will see Partizan play its first home game with the visit of Tofas Bursa, while Reyer goes on the road to take on Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar.
Tuesday, October 1, 2019