Adriatic League, Partizan win marred by violence

Adriatic LeagueAnother week of Adriatic League action is underway this weekend with three games having played out so far. On Friday Union Olimpija Ljubljana maintained its solid early season for with a win, while on Saturday Buducnost kept troubling the top of the standings with another victory, while Partizan Belgrade continued to blow out the cobwebs of a woeful start to the campaign.

Union Olimpija Ljubljana vs. Igokea Aleksandrovac, 72-70
Igokea run Union Olimpija close on the road but ultimately fell by two points to slip to another defeat, their sixth overall for a 2-6 record in this season’s Adriatic League. Union Olimpija meanwhile are still looking solid and occupy fifth place (for the time being at least) with a 5-3 record.

The teams traded baskets through the first quarter as the lead changed hands and neither set of players could forge a lead. The opening ten minutes ended with the scoreboard locked at 16 apiece. Iogkea found a new pace in the second quarter to pick up the scoring, nailing 22 points through the frame with 17 point coming in reply. At the long break the visitors had opened a 33-38 lead. In the third quarter the away team pressed home its advantage by putting another 22 points on the board. Union Olimpija was reeling and only mustered 16 points through Q3 to look uncertain at 49-60 through three quarters. The hosts finally found their touch in the closing act as they struck 24 points and held Igokea to just 10, capping a game winning charge with victory.

Marko Marinovic led the winning team with 19 points, while Blaz Mahkovic offered 15 points and Gregor Hrovat 11 points.

Nikola Dragovic led the losing effort with 15 points and was followed by Johnathan Jones with 14, and Dusko Bunic and Djordje Drenovac with 12 each.

Levski Sofia vs. Partizan NIS Belgrade, 66-98
There have been signs over recent weeks that Partizan Belgrade is recovering from the frankly torrid form the club was in at the start of the season. The Serbian powerhouse tore apart Levski on the road in a game that perhaps signalled that Partizan will go onto better things this season, or at least a higher position in the Adriatic League. The club now sits on a 4-4 record in the standings, while Bulgarian team Levski Sofia stays rooted to the foot of the table with just a single win (1-7).

The visitors managed to carve a solid lead at the end of the first quarter, sitting pretty on a 14-21 score line. The Serbian contingent extended the lead through a winning 16-19 second quarter run, enough for a halftime score that read 30-40. The double digit lead at the midway point gave Partizan plenty to build off and in the third quarter they let loose, winning the period 23-28 to lead 53-68 after 30 minutes. A defensive and offensive blitz in the fourth quarter let the Belgrade giant put some gloss on the score with a 13-30 fourth quarter flurry.

Nikola Milutinov paced Partizan with 21 points and 10 board for a double-double. Djorde Gagic nearly matched Milutinov with 20 points, while Edo Muric took 13 points and pulled 7 off the glass.

Pavlin Ivanov set the tone for Levski with 20 points, although no one followed his lead into double figure scoring.

While it was a big win for Partizan the game was marred by trouble. Violence erupted in the stands of the Universiada Hall as fans clashed, eventually 100 of them spilling onto the court and stopping play. The incident happened at the end of the first quarter and meant that the players were off court for an hour before play resumed.

Zadar vs. Buducnost Voli Podgorica, 61-73
Buducnost travelled to Croatia and swept aside Zadar to remain one of the teams to beat, the club now resting in second place in the ABA with a 7-1 record. Zadar continues to find the going tough this season and the club now hold possession of a poor 2-6 record.

The travelling Montenegrins signalled their intentions early on with a barnstorming first quarter that meant the visitors led the way with a 13-22 cushion through Q1. In the second stint Zadar hit back in style with a 21-14 run that cut the deficit and made it anybody’s game as the teams headed into the locker room (34-36). A low scoring third ushered in the second half as the buckets dried up and the teams went tight. Budunost managed to edge the dull quarter 8-11, extending to a five point lead at the final split (42-47). The visitors went big in the last act with a 19-26 winning run that ended Zadar’s resistance.

Suad Sehovic was once again the standout player for Buducnost with 17 points, while he also claimed 7 rebound. Bojan Subotic was also on hand with 13 points and Aleksa Popovic stopped at 12 points.

Josip Sobin collected a game high 26 points for the losing team and he doubled up by adding 13 boards to his stats.

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