After victories over SC Derby, Borce and FMP, the people of Ljubljana achieved their fourth consecutive victory in the regular season of the regional league. Partizan is not shining this season – in the Euroleague they have only four wins after nine games – and they did not convince in Ljubljana, where they have not celebrated for five seasons.
Dragons coach Simone Pianigiani could not count on Karel Matković, who was missing due to back pain, and Justin Cobbs played again for the dragons after his injury.
Halftime for basketball gourmands
Cedevita Olimpija took the lead with 8:4, and the visitors equalized (10:10). Olimpija led at the end 15:14, then Partizan took the lead, they led by 7 points (17:24), and at the end of the first quarter, the Belgrade giant led by +5 (22:27). Partizan led by 9 points in the second quarter (23:32; 25:34; 28:37). The people of Ljubljana then played better in defense, they started to score, with a partial result of 9:0 – Jaka Blažič scored two consecutive three-pointers, and Luka Ščuk one – they equalized (37:37). The tied game continued, Klemen Prepelič scored the sixth three-pointer for Ljubljana (46:43). The first half was interesting, after an even game, Cedevita Olimpija went to the break with a point advantage (51:50).
Dragons reliable from the free throw line
The third quarter was equal from start to finish, none of the teams managed to “unstick”. Entering the last quarter, Olimpija led by two points (73:71). Dewayne Stewart opened the last part of the game with a three-pointer for Olympia’s +5 (76:71). Stewart then made a nice pass to Shawn Jones, who scored (80:77). Jones then laid for +5 dragons (82:77). An upbeat Jaka Blažič finished the Ljubljana counterattack with a successful layup and also scored a free throw (85:81). The two teams were tied at 87:87. Blažič was accurate in making free throws in a tense playoff (91:87). Zach LeDay missed a three-pointer for Partizan, Olimpija started a new attack. Klemen Prepelič scored two free throws (93:87). Partizan responded with a partial score of 0:4 (93:91). The victory of Cedevita Olympia was confirmed by Stewart with a basket (95:91).
Jaka Blažič finished the game with 29 points and a statistical index of 32. He shot 6:8 for two points, 3:7 for threes, and had six rebounds. Klemen Prepelič added 18 points (4:8 three-pointers) and 11 assists, 17 points were collected by Shawn Jones (9 rebounds).
Jaka Blažič said after the match: “Definitely one of the best performances of the season. We proved to ourselves with the game that we can play against the best teams. We lacked that this season. The return of Justin Cobbs seemed to help us a lot, especially in the key moments to we stayed calm, not too rash. Nice journey ahead. We want the curve to go up, not to stop. We have to become consistent in good performances and win some games in the EuroCup.”
CEDEVITA OLYMPIA – PARTISAN
95:91 (22:27, 29:23, 22:21, 22:20)
5527; Blažič 29 (6/8 for two, 3/7 for three), Prepelič 18, Jones 17, Stewart 12, Cobbs 9, Sow 7, Ščuka 3; Kaminsky 20, LeDay 17, Dozier 14, Nunnally and Caboclo 10 each, Ponitka 7.
MEGA – KRKA
72:77 (21:13, 21:19, 19:27, 11:18)
Plavšić and Topić each 16; Stergar 25, Špan 16, Macura 14, Cousins 6.
SPLIT – ZADAR 75:82
SC DERBY – CIBONA 93:101
IGOKEA – THE FUTURE 88:74
THE FIGHTER – FMP 96:75
RED STAR – SAILOR 95:75