Scavolini Pesaro tonight has seized an opportunity to get back in the Group D race with an impressive 68-80 win at Partizan Belgrade. Pionir had been a fortress until Scavolini arrived and Melvin Booker motored the Italians to a 3-3 record in the tightly packed group. Controlling the tempo and draining 5 of 7 three-pointers, Booker finished with 25 points and broke the Partizan defense from the outside in. Marko Tusek added 16 for the winners and Joseph Blair did the dirty work with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Center Jovo Stanojevic matched the effort inside with 17 points and 19 rebounds, but the anticipated duel between Partizan's ex-captain, Miroslav Beric, and his replacement, Vlado Scepanovic, did not come off. Scepanovic finished with 13 points and Beric 11, but both were in Booker's shadwo. Partizan is now in second place, tied with AEK at 4-2, while Ural sits atop the group at 5-1.
The crowd of 5,578 at Pionir Arena was surprised by Partizan head coach Dusan Vujosevic adding Peter Cornell and Vule Avdalovic in the starting five. He left on the bench Milos Vujanic and Jovo Stanojevic. It was quite enaugh of a shock for Scavolini to take an early 0-14 advantage and used it to finish off the quarter 11-21. With center Djuro Ostojic and small forward Predrag Materic in the lineup, Partizan was mutch better in the second period, but - Mel B again! With two 3-pointers and several rebounds by Joseph Blair, Scavolini went to the locker room with 32-39 advantage. The second half began with Partizan attacs and the game turned to 48-47 in favor of Belgrade team. That was all they would manage on a rainy Wednesday night, however. Lead by Booker, Scavolini outscored the opponent with 0-10 run. The excellent playmaker continued his show in the last period, scoring 2 more three-pointers and keeping his team's hope for the Top 16 alive.
Wednesday, November 14, 2001
Aleksandar Ostojic, Belgrade