Partizan snaps home drought, sinks Zenit
Partizan NIS Belgrade picked up its first win of the 7DAYS EuroCup campaign and first home win in the competition in almost three years by downing visiting Zenit St. Petersburg 89-82 on Tuesday night in the Serbian capital. Both teams now hold 1-1 records in Group C. Among Partizan’s six double-digit scorers, Rade Zagorac had a great all-round effort with 16 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds and 5 steals, and Jock Landale also scored 16 in victory. Jarrod Uthoff starred with 25 points on 5-for-5 three-point shooting and 10 rebounds for the depleted visitors, who were without Brandon Jennings and Sergey Karasev.
Zenit took an early lead, but Partizan quickly rallied. Vanja Marinkovic hit a transition triple to give the hosts a 26-24 edge early in the second quarter, but that was the only shot Partizan hit from long range in the first half. Uthoff fueled a quick 0-12 run with a pair of three-pointers, and the visitors went on to lead 39-46 at halftime. Two triples from Landale got Partizan going in the third before Zagorac took over on both ends of the floor. He scored 10 points while helping Partizan take a 63-55 lead, but Philip Scrubb and Uthoff stopped the bleeding and the game was tied at 65-65 after 30 minutes. Uthoff made his fifth triple in as many attempts to give Zenit a 72-73 edge, but Aleksej Nikolic and Bandja Sy hit back-to-back downtown shots to spark a 10-0 run that opened a 85-78 lead with 1:20 to go, before Partizan held on for victory.
Zenit seemed in control in the third quarter, up 42-51 when Rade Zagorac took over. It all started with his back-to-back steals that led to fast breaks, before Zagorac nailed back-to-back three-pointers. The young power forward scored 9 points and assisted on Jock Landale’s triple, having his hands in all but 2 points in a run that put Partizan up 56-55 and got the hosts believing in victory.
Movers and Shakers
There were great performers on both ends of the floor. Partizan had six scorers in double figures. Zagorac and Landale had 16 apiece, Djordje Gagic, Vanja Marinkovic and Bandja Sy each scored 12 points, and Aleksej Nikolic added 11. For Zenit, apart from Uthoff, Jalen Reynolds scored 16 points, Philip Scrubb netted 14, while Gal Mekel had 12 points and dished 10 assists.
Zenit was without Jennings and Karasev, but their new signing Gal Mekel stepped up remarkably, even in a loss. Mekel, whose signing was announced earlier in the day and did not have any five-on-five practices, got Zenit going offensively, dishing 6 assists in the first 12 minutes. He ended up playing 29 minutes and finished with 12 points and 10 assists.
Did You Notice?
It had been a while since Partizan’s last home win in the 7DAYs EuroCup. The last time it happened was December 10, 2014, when it downed another Russian side, Krasny Oktyabr Volgograd, 84-70. Partizan was on a five-game home losing streak, as it was winless on its home floor in the EuroCup last season.
In Round 3, both teams will be on the road. Partizan travels to face Valencia Basket, while Zenit goes to Italy to visit Dolomiti Energia Trento.
Tuesday, October 9, 2018