Joventut teaches Obradovic’s Partizan a lesson

Joventut Badalona achieved a victory against Zeljko Obradovic’s Partizán (92-84) on an unforgettable night at the Palau Olímpic that further strengthens its leadership at the head of Group A of the European Championship. The black-and-white went from being overwhelmed by the Serbs in the first quarter to turning the game around and completely annulling their rival with a great defense that caused the visitors 18 turnovers, 16 of 35 in triples and, above all, , a greater offensive contribution from their reserves, who scored 38 points. Derek Willis, with 19 points and 4 of 5 triples, was the best green and black while Birgander with 12 points and 7 rebounds and Brandon Paul and Pau Ribas with 7 triples between them were also among the most outstanding. La Penya beat Partizán without Ante Tomic scoring any points, something that remained an anecdote.

Partizan burst into the game like a cyclone, disarming the black-and-white in attack with Kurucs and Lessort carrying the offensive weight of their team and in the case of the French center, sending Ante Tomic to the bench after six minutes with two personal fouls. The Serbian pressure handcuffed Penya in attack and Obradovic’s men went up to a maximum advantage of 13 points (12-25, min. 10) with Kurucs, Lessort and Punter scoring 23 of their team’s 27 points in the first quarter (16-27).

La Penya understood in the second quarter that if he wanted to compete for the game he had to greatly increase his defensive intensity and he did so by causing up to nine Serb turnovers. Two consecutive three-pointers by Paul and Willis lifted Joventut who based on defense, especially that of Ventura over Punter, and success from the three-point line turned the score around with a 25-7 run and scored three points above (41-38, min. 19). Partizán was out of the game for seven magical minutes for Joventut in which Willis and Ribas stood out with their points and Ventura with his defense against Punter. A basket by LeDay -who scored 8 of his team’s 15 points in the second quarter- and another by Punter -14 points in the first half- allowed the Serbs to go into halftime with a one point lead (41-42).

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Partizan extended their lead at the start of the third period with a triple by Dangubic and a basket by LeDay (42-47, min. 12) but the story of the second quarter repeated itself. Three triples by Ribas, Willis and Bassas put Joventut ahead (53-49, min.25) and sank Partizán again. With bonuses in their favor from the fourth minute and Birgander scoring everything he could get his hands on, the black-and-white went up to a ten-point lead (67-57, min. 29), an advantage they maintained at the end of a quarter that it lasted 40 minutes (69-59).

Willis and Paul continued to score from three in the last quarter until they put the difference at 13 points (81-68, min.34). Partizan was overwhelmed by Joventut’s three-point accuracy and inexhaustible defensive intensity. Obradovic ended up sitting down and staring blankly at his former team’s recital after two impossible three-pointers at the buzzer by Guillem Vives and another by Albert Ventura left the game seen for judgment (90-75, min. 38).

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