Excellent shooting in the first half, the premiere appearance for Milos Teodosić in the Belgrade Red and White, and passionate home support marked Zvezda’s victory against ASVEL (94:73).
The Euroleague opener began tonight at the Belgrade Arena, where both Zvezda and Partizan will be playing their European games for the remainder of the season.
As expected when playing matches in Belgrade, Zvezda was supported by a packed home crowd, including Novak Đoković and Boriša Simanić who got two standing ovations. Simanić, a former player for Red Star and a well-known face in the Serbian National team is successfully recovering after the life-threatening injury that resulted in the loss of a kidney during last month’s World Cup.
The Red and Whites have a lot to be proud of tonight. A total of 17 three-pointers and 11/13 on the free-throws were a beautiful sight. Lead by Napier (21p), Giedraitis (17p) and the young Simonović (14p), the squad of coach Duško Ivanović imposed themselves after the initial 10 minutes. The outcome was clear by the end of the first half.
Those fast shots truly counted. With the comfortable 21-point advantage leaving enough room for the enjoyment of the crowd, as well as featuring various options on the floor: “Having good players can only be an advantage for the coach. We made a team that is a collection of good players. We now need to make a good team… Everyone needs to find their place and give their all.” confirmed Ivanović, when asked about finding his five.
A great evening for everyone in Red and White is made better by an interesting detail: after the first match-day, Zvezda are placed first in the Euroleague. We have an exciting Autumn ahead.