ABA League – Round 19: FMP is defeated by Partizan in a derby game

NovicaVelickovic There was no lack of interesting games this round. The round ended with derby games, favorites losing the games and games ending by tiny margin.The most interesting game of round 19 was a derby match between two teams from Serbia/BC-Partizan-NiS-Beograd/170. The game took place in Beograd where second ranked Partizan outleveled visiting FMP (7-12) 97-70. It ended at the same time the three-game winning streak of FMP. The game without a history. Partizan led from the first minutes and controlled entire game increasing their lead in each quarter. They made 18-of-22 free shots (81.8 percent) during the game. It was a great evening for forward Novica Velickovic (205-86, agency: BeoBasket) who led his team to a victory scoring 17 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists. Guard Branislav Ratkovica (192-85, agency: BeoBasket) helped adding 21 points (made all of his seven free throws). Partizan’s coach felt very confident that he used entire bench which allowed the starters a little rest for the next games. At the losing side point guard Filip Covic (178-89) responded with 15 points and 8 assists (made all of his eight free throws). Partizan maintains second place with 15-4 record having just eight point less than leader Crvena Zvezda. FMP at the other side keeps the eighth position with 12 games lost. They share it with Mornar Bar and Karpos Sokoli. Partizan are looking forward to face Buducnost (#3) in Podgorica in the next round, which may be the game of the day. FMP will play at home against Cibona (#5) and is hoping to prove to their supporters that the loss was just an accident. Very important is a road loss of third ranked Croatian Cedevita (13-6) against thirteenth ranked Slovenian Krka (6-13) on Sunday night. Visiting Cedevita was defeated by Krka in a tough game in Novo Mesto 86-90. It ended at the same time the three-game winning streak of Cedevita. It was an exceptional evening for Serbian Marko Lukovic (207-92, agency: BeoBasket) who led the winners and scored 24 points and 7 rebounds. Matic Rebec accounted for 17 points and 9 assists. American point guard Ryan Boatright (183-92, college: Connecticut) came up with 22 points and 4 assists for Cedevita in the defeat. Both coaches used bench players in such tough game. Krka moved-up to eleventh place, which they share with Zadar and Mega Leks. Defending Croatian champion Cedevita keeps the third position with six games lost. They share it with Buducnost. Krka will play against KK Zadar (#13) on the road in the next round. Cedevita will play against Igokea (#6) and hopes to get back on the winning track. Very important is a road loss of third ranked Buducnost (13-6) against eleventh ranked Mornar Bar (7-12) on Sunday night. Visiting Buducnost was defeated by Mornar Bar in a tough game in Bar 71-78. It ended at the same time the three-game winning streak of Buducnost. Antabia Waller fired 33 points (!!!) for the winners. Boris Savovic produced 14 points for lost side. Both coaches tested many bench players and allowed the starting five to rest. Mornar Bar moved-up to eighth place, which they share with Karpos Sokoli and FMP. Defending Montenegrin champion Buducnost keeps the third position with six games lost. They share it with Cedevita. Mornar Bar will meet league’s leader Crvena Zvezda in the next round and it will be quite challenging to get another victory. Buducnost will play against the league’s second-placed Partizan having rather not much hope for a victory.Adriatic League top team – Serbian Crvena Zvezda (19-0) managed to deliver another win. This time they beat sixth ranked Bosnian Igokea (9-10) in Aleksandrovac 77-68. Worth to mention a great performance of Marko Simonovic who helped to win the game recording 22 points and 5 rebounds (on 9-of-11 shooting from the field). Both coaches allowed to play bench players saving starting five for next games. Undefeated Crvena Zvezda have an impressive series of seventeen victories in a row. Defending Serbian champion maintains first place with 19-0 record. Igokea lost third consecutive game. Defending Bosnian champion keeps the sixth position with ten games lost. Crvena Zvezda’s next round opponent will be Mornar Bar (#8) at home and are hoping to win another game. Igokea will play against Cedevita in Zagreb and it may be a tough game between close rivals. Important game to mention about took place in Skopje. Eleventh ranked Karpos Sokoli (7-12) saved a 3-point victory at home edging 14th ranked MZT Skopje (5-14) 77-74 on Friday evening. It was a great evening for Bojan Trajkovski who led his team to a victory with a double-double by scoring 17 points and 12 rebounds. Both coaches allowed to play bench players in such tough game. Karpos Sokoli moved-up to eighth place, which they share with Mornar Bar and FMP. Defending FYR Macedonian champion MZT Skopje stay at the bottom position with 14 games lost. Karpos Sokoli will face higher ranked Un.Olimpija (#7) in Ljubljana in the next round and it will be quite challenging to get another victory. MZT Skopje will play at home against Mega Leks (#11) and hope to win that game. In the last two games of round 19 Zadar lost to Mega Leks on the opponent’s court 75-92. Cibona unfortunately lost to Un.Olimpija in a home game 68-79. The most impressive stats of the last round was 16 points and 5 rebounds by Radosav Spasojevic of Mega Leks.Krka – Cedevita 90-86Very important is a road loss of third ranked Croatian Cedevita (13-6) against thirteenth ranked Slovenian Krka (6-13) on Sunday night. Visiting Cedevita was defeated by Krka in a tough game in Novo Mesto 86-90. It ended at the same time the three-game winning streak of Cedevita. It looked good early as Cedevita took a 8-point lead at the end of first quarter. But then Krka had a 31-17 second period charge getting the lead and Cedevita was not able to take back game control losing it eventually 86-90. Krka players were unselfish on offense dishing 27 assists. It was an exceptional evening for Serbian Marko Lukovic (207-92, agency: …

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