As we wrap up the first day of European basketball in 2019, Serbian teams start the Eurocup Top 16 on different notes. Zvezda won against Limoges, while Partizan was beat by Rytas.
Crvena zvezda got on quite a ride against a very tenacious opponent. Limoges exploited of the obvious fluctuations in Zvezda’s performance, while keeping up with their offense intentions. It was a mix of individual impact and team cohesion that ended the rollercoaster ride on a high for the Serbian side.
Followed by chants and colorful balloons, the Red and Whites kept the lead at all times, despite obvious slip ups. During their first match in 2019, the ball was rolling to the sideline, or into Limoges’ half… Leaving the guests only a 2 point slack in the 4th quarter.
The flip side of this Eurocup coin are Zvezda’s 5 squad members that ended the match in double digits. Playing on a true European level were Billy Baron (13p) and Boriša Simanić (12p).
Surprisingly enough, their impact was joined by Filip Čović (12p), whose three pointers in the final quarter gave Zvezda an extra layer of certainty in a full house win.
On the other hand, Partizan returns from Lithuania after a close defeat (80:74). Belgrade’s Black and Whites were unable to push all the way through the second half; despite strong efforts from Zagorac (17p) and Landale (15p).
Rytas was creating more opportunities, even though statistically, the rivals didn’t seem so far apart in both the two and three-point percentages.
Unlike Partizan who got lost in the motions after a great second quarter, the Lithuanian side was focused enough to bag a fifth consecutive victory against their Belgrade guests.
Both Zvezda and Partizan will continue their first week of New Year by playing in the ABA league.
It’s a new year, and we’re back at it.
Other games played on Jan 2nd:
Unics- Zenit 68:67
Lokomotiva – Asvel 65:67
Cedevita – Andorra 81:87
Valencia – Unicaja 85:74
To be played on Jan 3rd:
Alba – Monaco
Ulm – Frankfurt.