Partizan NIS Belgrade has gone from struggling early season form that plunged the club into crisis to find a new lease of life. The Serbian giant took out current Adriatic League champions Cibona Zagreb away from home on Saturday to continue its rejuvenation. Partizan recorded its ninth consecutive Adriatic League win and consolidated fourth place in the standings with a 15-7 record.
The game was widely billed as a derby game between two of the consistent performers in the history of the competition, historic rivals on the court. As it turned out, it was all too easy for Partizan NIS Belgrade in the cauldron of Cibona’s Dražen Petrović Arena in the Croatian capital. The visitors claimed the victory by a sizeable 64-81.
The first period was close and proved to be the only quarter in which Cibona managed to keep pace. The first ten minutes came to a close with the scoreboard reading 21-25. However, Partizan soon hit a groove in both attack and defence and went big in the second stanza to drain 25 points. At the other end of the court the visitors were in a mean mood and stopped Cibona at 7 points to lead 28-50 through the long break. The Serbian contingent eased its assault on the bucket in the third period and looked to consolidate, a task that was complete when the Belgrade club edged the frame 13-18 to make it 41-68 through thirty minutes. In the fourth stanza Cibona finally found some spirit in offence and put on a mini rally to win the final act 23-13. Ultimately though, it was Partizan’s game and it was won with aplomb.
Sasha Pavlovic plundered 17 points in the winning effort, while Dragan Milosavlevic scored 13 points and added 5 assists. Nikola Milutinov also notched 13 points, while he also took 8 rebounds off the glass.
Ante Zizic scored 17 for the losing team, followed by Marko Jagodic and Dominik Mavra with 13 points apiece.