Something probably tightened in the stomach of the Partizan players as they watched last night’s Euroleague final between Real Madrid and Olympiakos, knowing that they could very easily have been in that position instead of now fighting against the Studentski Centar in the quarterfinals of the ABA League. No one expected that the black and whites would need a 3rd game to overcome the eighth-placed team of the league part of the regional competition, but such a situation is now a reality. Tonight in Stark Arena, will be known who goes to the semi-finals, where Cedevita Olimpija is already patiently waiting.
The first and most important thing that Partizan has to do tonight is to show at least part of the form they had at the start of the playoffs against Real Madrid when they looked unstoppable, and now they are not even a shadow of the team that first lost in Belgrade to the Studentski Centar, and then was within reach of a complete disaster and the end of the season in the capital of Montenegro. If it hadn’t been for the cold-blooded James Nunnelly, who knows what would have happened.
The Studentski Centar can’t and must not represent an insurmountable obstacle for such a black and white team that has only one goal in the ABA league, and that is the title. The individual quality of Partizan is simply too great, both on the bench and on the floor. There is no position on the floor where black and white couldn’t gain an advantage, and everything starts with desire and effort. I expect from the start a high level performance in the Arena, where they will easily grab a double digit win.