Partizan vs Nanterre
The French are in for a hell of an atmosphere. This is one of the crucial game in their attempts to qualify for the next round. Everyone expects that Budivelnik, Partizan and Nanterre are going to fight for a place among the best 16 teams while Barcelona, Fenerbahce and CSKA are expected to secure the first three places. After Zvezda almost had a packed Arena, there’s been an increase in ticket demand among Partizan’s supporters. This match is not going to be played at Arena, but that’s why Pionir’s capacity is going to be increased by 800 seats. About 7000 people are expected so there’s no doubt that Partizan will have an enormous support.
– Nanterre are a very good team, with great chemistry and players who never give up. We expect a win in a hard fought match. I’m familiar with several of their players who have been playing together for more than three years. They don’t have a star in their team because the team is the star – Partizan’s Frenchman Leo Westermann said for Blic.rs.
– Nanterre are not a team with a big tradition and that’s why people tend to have wrong prejudice concerning them. This is their first season in Euroleague, but they have a very respectable team because they changed the competition level every year. Last year, they won the title after occupying the 8th place on the league table. They possess a winning mentality and 4 – 5 foreign players who play like a team. No one stands out – said Partizan’s coach Dusko Vujosevic.
This match is eagerly anticipated so Westermann wrote on Twitter: “Friday, hurry up! Come faster! I can’t wait!” Last week, after the loss against Krka, Partizan’s players played two quality matches. First, they put up a good fight against Barcelona. Vujosevic decided to attack with Lauvergne on power forward and back play. Afterwards, they crushed Zadar at Pionir. Now they’re playing two games in a row against their rivals, Nanterre and Budivelnik. These two games are of extreme importance, but the team is more mature than last year. Westermann is playing much better, Kinsey has brought in extra quality and Lauvergne is a beast on the defense and on the attack.
– It’s hard to play when winning is an imperative, and we’re in a situation just like that. The opponent possesses much more quality than the name suggests – claimed Vujosevic who won’t be able to count on Milutinov and Bertans again today.
Bogdan Bogdanovic, one of the most important players, has suffered a light injury against Zadar, but his appearance is not in doubt. He played against Ukraine in Slovenia on Eurobasket so he knows Sergij Gladyr well. Defending against him will be one of the crucial tasks on the road to victory and that task will almost certainly be given to Milosavljevic. Last week, against CSKA, Gladyr had a bad day at the office (1/7) and that’s another reason to be worried about. Bogdanovic will be assigned with shooting guard Meacham and Lauvergne probably with Will Daniels. Those are the quality players on the offense whom Partizan can counter with their quality players on the defense.
Nanterre have been playing well at the beginning of the season. No one expected the French team to start the season that well especially considering their Supercup loss against Paris and the fact that the team had basically been put together just before the championship started. However, the club management had obviously done a great job with the signings. Gladyr and Foster have adjusted well to the rest of the team and when Traore’s form finally peaks, Nanterre will be an even stronger team. They won four games in a row in French national championship and were on the verge of a real sensation against the giant from Moscow last Thursday, but they came a bit short.
Nanterre can definitely be satisfied with their start in the championships. They won four games in a row and three of those came in away matches. Furthermore, all their wins came against quality teams and that provides coach Pascal Donnadieu with a lot of optimism. His players have managed to gain match practice much faster than expected and started to play at a really high level. Three-pointers are this team’s great weapon and in their league win against Paris it was at 52% (13/25).
After playing their first Euroleague match in club’s history last week against CSKA, Nanterre is playing their first away game. It’ll be a very tough match because they’ll face a hell of an atmosphere at Pinoir and that’s going to be a real challenge for the French champions.
– It’s a great honor to be playing our first European away match against Partizan at the legendary Pionir arena. It’ll be a big challenge for us considering our lack of experience in this competition – said coach Donnadieu and Trenton Meachem was of a similar opinion:
– We’re really looking forward to be playing against another amazing opponent. Traveling around Europe and playing against the best teams is really a great experience. We know that Partizan’s fans are really fiery, but it’s going to be great to play in that kind of atmosphere.
Nanterre have shown a great attacking potential so far, especially in their national championship, but we’ll be seeing something completely different today. Partizan are great on the defense, this match is one of the most important ones in the battle to qualify for the next round and the French team is going to play in the atmosphere which most of their players haven’t encountered before. Partizan won’t let them to shoot three-pointers, they will keep the French under pressure and it’ll be interesting to see whether they’ll be able to handle this. Everything considered, we’re in for a real basketball war.
Last week Nanterre put in a surprisingly good resistance to CSKA but this is something completely different. It is one thing when inexperienced players have their fans backing them up and completely different when they are against them. Partizan supporters are renowned for their ability to create a fever-pitch atmosphere, which makes it hard for everyone to play here and let alone for a team with a handful of players with experience of playing in Europe. The majority of Nanterre players have never experienced what they are about to experience tonight and I expect them to be pretty impressed at the beginning of the game. In addition to all this, Partizan haven’t looked this good at the start of the season in years. They play a fantastic defense and they can find a solution for all threats Nanterre might pose. This is one of the crucial games in the battle for the second round. Every point can prove to be decisive and Vujosevic will not allow his team to relax should they generate a 10-plus advantage. According to the players’ statements, this is one of the games of the season, they are very impatient, which means that a highly motivated Partizan side playing in a packed Pionir arena should win this game with a double-figure difference.
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