Partizan's defense suffocates Trento
Partizan NIS Belgrade made a statement in the first game of the Top 16 by holding off visiting Dolomiti Energia Trento 71-43 at Hala Sportova Ranko Zeravica on Wednesday night. The hosts amassed a double-digit lead, 15-5, early in the first quarter and held the visitors to only 14 points in the second and third quarters combined to cruise to an overwhelming win. Partizan was led by William Mosley, who collected 12 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks for a PIR of 22, while Joshua Perkins had a remarkable debut in the 7Days Eurocup by tallying 11 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists. JaCorey Williams was the only Trento player able to score in double figures with 15 points, to which he added 8 rebounds.
Both teams had slow starts, as nobody managed to score in the first 2 minutes. Codi Miller-McIntyre got the hosts going providing all of his team's points in a 6-0 run. Consecutive three-pointers by Paige and Nemanja Dangubic extended the lead to 15-5 midway through the first quarter. Perkins helped Partizan keep a 20-10 edge soon after, as Zagorac scored twice to close the first quarter with the hosts in front, 24-16. Perkins showed up again to hit a three that set a 27-16 advantage early in the second, as Trento struggled to find its offensive rhythm. Andrea Mezzanote got a couple of buckets inside to make it 29-20, but those were the only points for the visitors in the quarter. The hosts did not perform much better offensively, though, but Perkins managed to break Trento’s defense with a layup and a deep three to send the game to the locker room with the home team in full control, 35-20.
Williams tried to reactivate Trento after the break, but he found no help from any of his teammates as Partizan only needed a jumper by Miller-McIntyre and a three by Dangubic to keep a comfortable 40-24 lead. Mosley took over then with three alley-oop dunks in a row and a pair of free throws to make it even bigger, 49-28, after 28 minutes. Free throws by Nikola Jankovic, Eric Mika and Perkins capped a 10-2 run to close the third quarter with a robust 24-point margin for Partizan. Mezzanote and Gary Browne hit from deep early in the fourth quarter and Williams followed with a three-point play to make it 57-41, but it proved insufficient to spark a reaction. Rashawn Thomas and Dangubic scored inside, whole Paige showed up from behind the arc to extend the distance to 66-43 soon after, putting the game on ice.
The hosts took the lead from the very beginning, but it was right after the first quarter when they broke the game by putting on an extraordinary defensive effort. Partizan held its opponent to just 4 points in the second quarter and to only 10 in the third. The result was Trento’s lowest scoring mark ever in the competition.
Not bad for a rookie
Joshua Perkins made his debut in the 7Days EuroCup and had a strong impact in the game. He used the first ball he got to toss a spectacular assist to William Mosley for an alley-oop dunk and finished as Partizan's second-best performer with 11 points, 5 boards and 6 assists for a PIR of 18… in just 18 minutes!
In addition to that welcoming alley-oop dunk, William Mosley found no resistance to destroy the rim several times, ruling under the boards all game long. He strung together three more alley-oop dunks in the third quarter to bury Trento after halftime, also adding 4 blocks to prove his dominance above the rim.
Both teams return to EuroCup action next week. Partizan travels to France to face Bolougne Metropolitans 92 on Tuesday, January 19. A day later, Dolomiti Energia Trento hosts Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar.
Wednesday, January 13, 2021