In the final of the tournament dedicated to the 50th anniversary of Igokea, our team will face Partizan Belgrade...
Brothers for everyone
For the Army Team, games against grobari are always not only a battle, but also a pleasant meeting. After all, the clubs are famous for long-standing friendly ties at the level of fans, who always support each other with pleasure.
At the same time, as we learned on this trip, Partizan also has fraternal relations with Banja Luka. At the opening ceremony of the tournament, the President of the Republic of Srpska Milorad Dodik emphasized this separately when he welcomed all the guests. It is not surprising that the second game that was played outdoors in the presence of six thousand fans, was organized specifically for Belgrade team.
CSKA managed to feel the level of adoration of the local public and the relatively easy journey from the capital of Serbia yesterday, during its own game with Galatasaray. Somewhere during the last period, the hall suddenly burst into a storm of applause, which had nothing to do with what was happening on the floor. Reason: head coach Zeljko Obradovic, adored by black and white fans, appeared on the arena. Partizan played their game with Hapoel immediately after, and while the Muscovites were leaving the hall, the audience greeted every Belgrade basketball player who came out to warm up with thunderous applause.
There is no doubt that the National Tennis Center will be buzzing tomorrow. Partizan will receive much better support here than Igokea.
Friday's game was not easy for Obradovic's team. It was only in the second half of the fourth quarter when Partizan managed to break the resistance of Israelis. At some point, the fate of the final participant was not at all obvious.
However, do not underestimate the capabilities of Partizan. Firstly, the team gathered for the first time only on August 28 - ten days later than the Muscovites. Secondly, this was the opponents' first preseason game. Thirdly, the coaching staff does not yet have Alexa Avramovic at their disposal, he will play in the World Cup final tomorrow.
After an excellent last season, in which the Belgrade team was just one victory away from the Euroleague Final Four, the team, by and large, retained its identity. The main achievement was the extension of contracts with Kevin Punter and Zach Leday, key figures in the system. Yes, Matthias Lessort and Dante Exum left for other teams, but Partizan was very active in the transfer market and can boast of solid acquisitions. What can we say if the club almost signed one of the main stars of European basketball, Nikola Mirotic!
As a result, the Montenegrin chose Olimpia Milan for personal reasons, and Partizan invited another famous big man, Frank Kaminski, who has eight seasons and 430 games in the NBA behind his belt. Another newcomer from overseas is defender DJ Dozier, who has spent the last six years in the strongest league in the world. Also among the newcomers, fans are well aware of ex-Zenit player Mateusz Ponitka and Ognjen Jaramaz, who returned from Bayern.
What about CSKA?
The team's schedule remained logical and measured. There was enough time for both rest and training, which this time took place in Laktasi. By the way, on Sunday the red-blues will have to try out the fourth gym on this trip - the morning warm-up will take place at the Borik Palace, where the local handball team plays.
Partizan Belgrade, Serbia
Colors: black, white
Home Arena: Stark Arena (22,386)
President: Ostoja Mijalovic
Head coach: Zeljko Obradovic
- Euroleague champion (1992),
- 3-time winner of the Korac Cup (1978, 1979, 1989),
- 7-time champion of the Adriatic League (2007-11, 2013, 2023),
- 21-time national champion (Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro, Serbia),
- 16-time winner of the National Cup.