Two historical teams meet again for the first time since 2007. In 1992, Partizan downed Joventut 71-70 in the 1992 EuroLeague Championship Game on a game-winning shot by Sasha Djordjevic. Both teams have landed experienced players to be even better this season. Joventut brought in four new players, including two-time EuroCup champion Pau Ribas and experienced center Ante Tomic. Partizan kept most of its core players, adding versatile forward Nemanja Dangubic and well-rounded playmaker Codi Miller-McIntyre.
Stopping Tomic is a priority for Partizan, as he can be deadly around the baskets. An old-school center with great passing skills, Tomic can use his array of post moved near the basket, highlighted by his trademark jump hook which allowed him to lead the EuroLeague's all-time two-point shots standings (1,137 made). Partizan need to play physical against him, and relies on William Mosley to do so. An accomplished defender, Mosley rejected 1.4 shots on average and has the energy and willingness needed to fight against a top-class center like Tomic.
Keys to victory: Joventut Badalona
Setting the right game tempo will be critical in this game. Joventut relies on homegrown talented Neno Dimitrijevic, Ferran Bassas and Ribas to play at the right rhythm, looking for five-on-five offenses to feed Tomic and Vladimir Brodziansky down low. Stopping Rade Zagorac will be a priority but Joventut relies in perimeter players like Xabi Lopez-Arostegui, Shawn Dawson and Joel Parra to go against him. If Joventut makes the most our of its size advantage in the paint, it will have a better chance to beat a strong opponent.
Keys to victory: Partizan NIS Belgrade
Partizan is really deep at point guard, as Miller-McIntyre joins a deep backcourt featuring Nemanja Gordic and Marcus Paige. Being able to grab the defensive rebound and run the floor is important for a physical team like Partizan, in which Zagorac, Dangubic and Ognjen Jaramaz can be really dangerous in transition. Rashawn Thomas is a mismatch at power forward, and he must use his athleticism and quickness against Conor Morgan and Brodziansky. Partizan has a deep team and needs to play with high intensity for 40 minutes to steal a road win in Badalona.