Obradovic: “We have to find a way to defend Tavares”

The fifth and decisive game of a tie in which almost everything has happened has arrived. The WiZink Center will receive tomorrow a Partizán that won the first two games of the series on the Madrid track after not having added any victory before, in all its history, in Madrid. With 2-2 after 0-2 and without local victories, with the controversies and sanctions, the place for the Final Four (where Barcelona awaits) will be resolved in the 40 minutes of the fifth game.

The Partizan lost the two tricks on its court, the imposing Stark Arena in Belgrade, and now they have to make history if they want to qualify: an away team has never won a fifth game since this format was played. Of course, Real Madrid is also looking for something that has not happened before, to be the first to come back from 2-0 down.

Although playing out of each, Partizan can hang on to the return of Kevin Punter, who missed the previous two games through suspension. Already the presence of Zeljko Obradovic, surely the best European coach in history. And a coach with enough battles on his resume to take this decisive duel as calmly as possible: “The spirits are like the other times we had to play in Madrid. It’s Game 5, and there’s no Game 6… So that’s the thing, someone is going to the Final Four. A lot has happened in this tie, and now comes the decisive match. We want to give our best. We have learned the lesson of the two that we lost in Belgrade and we have tried to correct what we did wrong in training. To start with, we have to find a way to defend Tavares, not let Madrid get in the way and have a better pace against their zone defenders”.

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Obradovic appreciates the return of Punter: “He is the captain and the leader of the team. His presence is going to be very important.. Win the fifth away? Statistics are there until someone breaks them. There is also another that says that no one has lost a 2-0 lead so far. Look how we have lost the previous ones. A possession, a rebound, a defense can be decisive. There are many factors that can be the key in a basketball game, so we have to be prepared for everything”.

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