By Simon Dresden
Just a handful of youngsters have made it into the next stage (Top 16) of Euroleague competition. We will continue to take a look at those who did with their respective teams, in our weekly report.
Partizan took full advantage of Efes’ short rotation and weak frontcourt. Especially Nikola Pekovic, who was at his best wreaking havoc for 22 points on 9/12 shooting and was not to be contained, doing all this as a non-starter. Well it worked out and so the coach may be right to bring him off the bench.
Milenko Tepic did a wonderful job of containing the opposing point guard and producing with 11 points 3 rebounds, 3 dimes and 2 steals. Not a bad output and the win that Partizan got out of it is even more precious since it may even give the young bunch a chance to move on into the next round of this competition.
Semih Erden was steady as usual but nothing more. He produced 8 points and 5 rebounds while getting fewer than usual minutes because of foul trouble.
Uros Tripkovic did what he does best, shoot it from deep. He went 4/6 on threes in 20 minutes for 12 points, he was not much of a factor in any other area, but yes, he can really shoot.
As with most of Fenerbahce’s youngsters, even Omer Asik took a little dip in production. He is able to get more out of his 20 minutes than the 5 points, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks he put up this time around. But maybe we are spoiled by his consistency.
Emir Preldzic bounced back nicely after last week’s hangover game. He had even production across the board with 5 points, 3 rebounds and 3 dimes while logging heavy duty minutes in a close battle.
Martynas Gecevicius again executed his role to perfection. He is always a threat to feed of double teams or collapsing defenses with his shooting stroke. He played 11 minutes and connected on one of his 2 shots.
Milos Teodosic is back to his usual minutes but his shot is somehow letting him down. He played 22 minutes and had 6 points nonetheless
Omri Casspi got to see the floor in a close battle for a good 11 minutes and contributed 4 points against powerhouse Real. That is a good start to gaining back some confidence and PT.
Novica Velickovic trailed off with just 12 minutes of action and only 4 points and 3 boards. Maybe there is something bothering him, because he obviously can do so much more.
Gasper Vidmar seems to be in a big time funk lately. Again he started but couldn’t produce as one would expect. 7 minutes, 2 points and 1 board is not the line you expect from a starting center.
Oguz Savas also seemed to be bothered by something as he had an off night not only in minutes played but production: 2 points and 1 rebound just isn’t getting it done.
Sergio Llull logged a minute and a half, but no production, who can blame him.
This week it was Artem Zabelin who rode the pine to represent the CSKA youngsters.
Paulao Prestes was with the team but didn’t get to hit the court.
Baris Hersek was back on the bench.
Same procedure as always for Albert Moncasi, DNP.