Important game for both teams: Partizan hosting Olympiacos

Partizan Belgrade will host Olympiacos Piraeus in the Stark Arena tomorrow evening, in a game that counts for Round 32 of the current EuroLeague season.

With just 3 rounds left to play in the regular season, it will be a hugely important game for both sides as both desperately need a win to avoid the play-in (in the case of Olympiacos) or to qualify at least for a play-in game (Partizan).

It will be the third straight home game for the Serbian team. Last week they hosted Baskonia and Real Madrid in the Stark Arena. On Tuesday the Frank Kaminsky, Bruno Caboclo, and Kevin Punter trio led Partizan to an important win against the team from Vitoria-Gasteiz, but on Thursday Real Madrid proved to be too strong, even if Partizan fans broke another attendance record in a EuroLeague game. This time James Nunnally was the best player for Zeljko Obradovic’s team, but Mario Hezonja played an exceptional game for Los Blancos who won first place in the regular season.

With Thursday’s defeat, Partizan has a 14-17 record and is tied with Olimpia Milan, Valencia and Efes for the 10th place, the last play-in position. It will be a fascinating battle in the last three rounds between these teams to keep their seasons alive.

On the other side, Olympiacos also finished last week’s double-round with a 1-1 record. After suffering a defeat on Tuesday in Istanbul against Efes, the Greek team comfortably beat Asvel Lyon at home on Thursday. Alec Peters and Moustapha Fall were the best scorers in both games for Olympiacos, which is currently in 5th place with a 19-12 record, tied with Fenerbahce. While the red and whites are only one win behind 2nd placed arch-rivals Panathinaikos, they are also just one win ahead of Maccabi Tel Aviv who is 7th and will have to play a decisive play-in game to enter the playoffs. So the stakes are huge as with a good streak in the last three games Olympiacos could have home-court advantage in the quarterfinals or with a bad streak their playoff presence could be in danger.

Imre Halasz

Photo: EuroLeague