Partizan NIS Belgrade flashed its 7DAYS EuroCup contender credentials again on Tuesday as it marched to a 4-0 start by beating Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar. The home side dug in and won 80-71 despite Lokomotiv's third-quarter and fourth-quarter comebacks. Head coach Andrea Trinchieri congratulated his players for the energy they showed in the second half while Lokomotiv's coach, Luca Banchi, accepted that his team could not match Partizan's aggression and physicality as the game wore on.
"It wasn't a perfect game, but it was a perfect effort," said Trinchieri about his side's display. Partizan set its own EuroCup club record for blocks in a single game with 9. The previous high was 5. Just eight times before in EuroCup history had a team blocked more shots. William Mosley was the team's most effective denier with 3 blocsk. When its shooters went missing, Partizan's defense saw it through.
Rashawn Thomas has played two games now for his new side and scored in double digits in both. He scored 11 in his debut against Umana Reyer Venice and topped that again with an awesome fourth-quarter display to land 16 on Tuesday. He admitted that it wasn't his best performance, but said the team and the coach kept him motivated enough to contribute. And that contribution helped Partizan over the line and to protect its perfect record.
The game was erratic with Partizan exploding into the lead before a couple of threes late in the second quarter gave Lokomotiv a window of opportunity. The third quarter was all Lokomotiv and it took a six-point lead in that quarter. Partizan had two options. It could either roll over or dig in. It chose the latter and went on an 8-0 scoring run to open up its biggest lead of the night to start the fourth quarter. The visitors attempted another comeback, but Partizan was flying and Thomas had found his range to put any thoughts of a second comeback firmly to bed.
Partizan won one, three and six games, respectively, in its last three seasons in the EuroCup. With four wins from four so far, along with the kind of passion the team and its fans displayed on Tuesday night in Belgrade, Partizan is well on its way to enjoying its best EuroCup season yet.