Efes double their wins (vid)

Efes Pilsen doubled their Euroleague Top16 wins, in one of the hardest arenas to play anywhere in Europe, and is now a prime favourite to make it to the play-offs stage.

In a packed with 18000 Partizan fans arena both teams started off the game having defense more in mind. Efes was in the lead at the beginning until Gist drained a threepointers form the corner to make it 12-10. Efes Pilsen tried to take back the lead and even pull away but the Belgrade club finished the quarter in front, 21-19.

Efes was determined in the second quarter and took the lead due to some easy baskets 21-24. Vesely put Partizan in the lead again, with a dunk this time, 28-26. But then Efes tightened up their defense and finding solutions in offense by many players and not only did they take the lead but expanded it to up to seven points, for the first time in the game, 32-39. Rakocevic continue raging in offense and the Turkish club kept their lead for the half time, 34-40.

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Rakocevic kept shooting, and scoring., in the second half and overcoming the shock of a highlight block on him by Gist, continued to do so, to make the score 37-45. Efes Pilsen started pulling away but Partizan was quick to come back with Jerrells and Vesely helping out, 43-48. Then it was time for Tunceri to step up, as he has been doing a lot this season, and thanks to his coolness from the charity strip the visiting team kept their lead at the end of this quarter, 52-59.

Murray expanded Efes lead to eleven, 54-65, right before Partizan pulled whatever strength they had left to make a comeback. With the arena buzzing by 18000 chanting fas the Partizans slowly, but steadily, grinded the points difference, first to 60-65, then 66-68, and eventually 69-70, with one minute remaining for time. Efes players kept missing free throws but grabbed the offensive rebounds and maintained their lead. Partizan tried to come back scoring some fast baskets, but every time they fouled the wrong guy, Tunceri that is, who kept netting them all. With all that and Partizan missing two threepointers in their last attack Efes escaped unharmed from Beograd Arena and are now 2-0 wins.

Partizan: Jerrells 15, Kecman 9, Klobucar, Lucic, Milosavljevic 8, Katic 6, Jawai 10, Bozic, Gist 19, Vesely 9 

Efes Pilsen: Wisniewski 2, Rakocevic 23, Roberts 9, Tunceri 13, Thornton 5, Gonlum 14, Raduljica, Vujcic, Nachbar, Murray 6, Guler 4

Full boxscore here

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