By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Every clash of the eternal rivals of Serbian basketball tells a different story. The last one ended with Crvena Zvezda beating Partizan 90-74 in front of the packed Aleksandar Nikolic hall. Another Belgrade derby that didn’t disappoint.
A great fight between two very good teams, led by experienced coaches such as the three-time champion of Spain Dusko Ivanovic, and the most decorated European coach Zeljko Obradovic.
It was an even battle until the final few minutes when the hosts took off to a double-digit lead and grabbed their fifth straight win under the new head coach. Ivanovic made a huge impact and won every game since taking over Crvena Zvezda – just two weeks ago.
Thanks to Nemanja Nedovic and Luca Vildoza’s show on the court, luckily, the unfortunate events involving fans throwing objects and the game interruption for almost half an hour, were overshadowed.
“We were preparing for them, but they still did a good job. Especially in that one-on-one game“, coach Obradovic said, and Danilo Andjusic added in the aftermath: “We weren’t good enough defensively, and we let some easy points to Nedovic and Vildoza“.
After Nikola Ivanovic got injured, the hell broke loose. Referees run to the locker room and stopped the game for the portion of the fiercest Crvena Zvezda‘s fans to be evacuated, but after that, it was all about basketball. And the fans continued supporting their team, giving great energy to Ivanovic’s players, showing again why they are Zvezda’s secret weapon.
As Luka Mitrovic mentioned after the game, they feel they can beat any team with the fans backing them up.
“New coach always brings fresh energy. Especially the experienced ones like Dusko Ivanovic. Our confidence rose after all those victories, as you could see. We started believing in each other, that we can take down any team in this hall. Maybe we missed that at the beginning of the season. Things are finally coming along. We’ll continue working in silence. Nobody won, and neither lost a championship in November. There’s a long road ahead of us, and there is no place for the euphoria to kick in“, the 29-year-old center playing his seventh season in a red and white jersey said after the game.
The atmosphere particularly impressed the rookie in the derbies, tireless John Holland.
“It was crazy. It’s unfortunate that I only got to experience it for a quarter, but even with some of the fans gone the energy was unbelievable. I’m looking forward to it, playing over there also. It should be fun. It was a great experience“.
Another eventful derby ended with Crvena Zvezda winning at home, but Partizan will soon have a chance to tie the score, when they will host their arch-rival in Round 12 of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague on December 8, at Stark Arena
Photo: ABA League