BC Partizan NiS Beograd was toppled by Union Olimpija Ljubljana, 74-68, in what was arguably the most critical game in Round 18 of the ABA League. This is the fourth loss for Partizan this season. The upset allowed Union Olimpija to improve their record to 8-10, leaving them with an outside shot at making the playoffs. They are currently in seventh place in the standings and trail Igokea (9-9) by only one game. A win over a Top 4 team, such as Partizan can provide them with the much needed momentum to go on a stretch run. At 14-4 Partizan still holds second place in the league standings, however the gap between them and league-leading Crvena Zvezda (18-0) has widened. Red Star continued on their undefeated run this round, by handily dispatching with Krka Novo Mesto, 79-62. At this rate, it appears that Red Star is locking down the top seed at this early stage. Partizan is four games behind them and it will take a confluence of luck and poor games from Crvena Zvezda in order for any team in the league to challenge them for that top spot.
Turning the ball over too many times in this game would end up being Partizan’s undoing. They turned the ball over 15 times, compared to just nine by Union Olimpija. Credit has to go to Union Olimpija’s Devin Oliver, who came up big in this game with an impressive double-double performance, scoring 18 points while pulling down 10 rebounds. His activity in the paint was a valuable piece to his team’s win. Brand Jefferson would get hot from the downtown, as he nailed 4-of-12 shots from beyond the three-point arc for Union Olimpija. He’d end the night with a game-high 20 points.
The loss marks the end to Partizan’s eight-game winning streak and they will now need to regroup, get passed this loss, and get back on a winning track. They are still one of the more dangerous teams in the ABA League, and are one of the serious contenders to deliver an upset over favorites Crvena Zvezda in the post-season.
Here is are the other results from Round 18 of the ABA League 2016-17 regular season:
Cedevita vs. Mega Leks, 89-85
FMP vs. Mornar Bar, 92-85
Karpos Sokoli vs. Cibona, 76-70
Buducnost vs. Igokea, 75-60
MZT Skopje vs. Zadar, 92-65