Valencia beats Partizan, clinches Top 16 berth
Valencia Basket sealed its ticket to the 7DAYS EuroCup Top 16 by downing Partizan NIS Belgrade 61-69 in the Serbian capital on Wednesday. Valencia improved to 6-2 in Group C and mathematically advanced to the next round while Partizan dropped to 2-6. Sam Van Rossom led the winners with 20 points. Bojan Dubljevic added 12 and 12 rebounds for a double-double while Will Thomas had 11 points for Valencia. Vanja Marinkovic led Partizan with 15 points and Jock Landale had 14.
Fernando San Emeterio and Dubljevic fueled an early 0-8 run that gave Valencia a 2-8 lead. A three-pointer by Van Rossom soon made Partizan call timeout at 4-13. Landale stepped up for Partizan and consecutive three-point plays by Marcus Paige and Djordje Gagic got the hosts a bit closer, 16-19. Guillem Vives struck from downtown and a layup by Gagic fixed the score at 18-22 after 10 minutes. Back-to-back triples by Marinkovic brought Partizan within 24-26 early in the second quarter. A jump hook by Gagic completed the hosts' comeback, 30-28. Van Rossom and Dubljevic each hit one from beyond the arc but consecutive layups by Rade Zagorac and free throws by Stefan Jankovic restored a 36-34 Partizan lead at halftime. Van Rossom struck again from downtown to provide another lead change, 38-39, right after the break. Van Rossom kept pacing Valencia, getting help from Matt Thomas and Will Thomas for a 48-52 score after 30 minutes. Marinkovic had 7 points in a 9-0 run that forced Valencia to call timeout at 57-52. Alberto Abalde followed a triple with a layup off a steal to tie it at 57-57. Dubljevic joined the three-point shootout in a 0-12 that a red hot Abalde capped with a jumper for a 57-64. Van Rossom sealed the outcome with his sixth triple in the final minute.
Van Rossom fired in 6 three-point shots during the game to keep Valencia ahead most of the way. He sealed the win with his bomb from downtown in crunch time and also added 5 rebounds and 5 assists, finishing the game with a PIR of 25.
Partizan led 57-52 early in the fourth quarter but Valencia improved its defense and found a go-to guy in Abalde, who had 7 points in a 0-12 run that put the guests ahead for good.
As many as 8 Valencia players got at least one steal tonight, which speaks wonders about its team-oriented defense. Valencia finished the game with 11 steals and Partizan only had 3.
Did you notice?
Dubljevic pulled down 12 rebounds and got even closer to lead the all-time standings. Dubljevic ranks second with 564 and Vladimir Veremeenko leads the standings at 609. With Valencia in the Top 16, it looks like a matter of time before Dubljevic gets first place.
Both teams return to action on Tuesday, December 11. Valencia hosts Zenit St. Petersburg and Partizan visits LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne.
Wednesday, November 21, 2018