|14 October 2013|
|Edo Muric was influential in Krka's victory over Partizan|
EuroChallenge participants Krka Novo Mesto stole the show in the ABA Adriatic league over the weekend with a 60-52 victory at home over reigning champions Partizan Belgrade.
Krka reached the half-time interval trailing their guests 25-24 but used an 11-0 run at the start of the second half to grab control over proceedings once and for all.
The Slovenian side led by six points at the end of the third period and Matej Rojc drilled a triple to give them their biggest lead of the game, 49-37, with less than eight minutes left to the final buzzer.
The 12-point cushion proved unassailable in such a low-scoring affair, as Partizan did not manage to pose any serious threat to Krka until the end.
Slovenian international Edo Muric paved the way for the winners with 17 points, eight rebounds and two steals, while point guard Malcolm Ray Armstead finished with 13 points, five rebounds and five assists.
French international Joffrey Lauvergne had a team-high 13 points for Partizan, who succumbed to their first defeat this season.
"In the last game against Cedevita we played very poorly and today we had to show some reaction," said Krka head coach Aleksandar Džikić after the win over the champions.
Krka had suffered an embarrassing 83-55 defeat at Cedevita Zagreb last Wednesday.
"With this victory, we have at least improved the impression somewhat.
"I'm mostly happy, but I know that we can play even better."
Partizan coach Dušan Vujošević tipped his hat to the Slovenian side.
"Krka deserved this victory, they wanted it more and usually the one that has the biggest desire achieves success," he said.
"I expected Krka to be highly motivated tonight, but apparently it surprised my players."
Krka now stand at 2-1 in the Adriatic league regular season standings, but the other EuroChallenge team that takes part in the competition, Szolnoki Olaj, suffered their second loss in three games on Sunday night.
Playing away at Cibona Zagreb, the Hungarians trailed their hosts 42-28 at half-time and never really managed to get into the game, eventually losing 87-63.
Willie Warren finished with a team-high 15 points and Cedric Oliver added 14 points for Szolnoki in a losing effort.
Krka play their opening game in the EuroChallenge at home against Ural Ekaterinburg on 5 November while Szolnoki take on Rilski Sportist on the same day.
WINNING START IN TURKEY
|Serkan Erdogan led all scorers in Gaziantep's triumphant start to the Turkish league new season |
Both Turkish clubs that take part in the EuroChallenge this season, Royal Hali Gaziantep and Tofas Bursa, registered victories at home on the opening day of the domestic Beko Ligi.
Gaziantep were dominant right from tip-off against Uşak Sportif on Saturday night, established a double-digit lead already in the first quarter and clinched a 92-71 in front of their home fans with ease.
The veteran shooting guard of Gaziantep, Serkan Erdoğan, a former Turkish international, led all scorers with 24 points on an amazing 10-for-11 from the floor.
One of the new additions to the hosts' roster, Dejan Borovnjak, added 23 points and nine rebounds, while Oliver Stevic contributed a double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Meanwhile in Bursa, Tofas got off to an equally impressive start and led TÜRK Telekom 27-16 at the end of the opening quarter.
Rather than cruising to victory like Gaziantep though, Tofas struggled offensively in the second quarter, scoring only 12 points, and found themselves on the wrong end of an eight-point gap at the third buzzer.
Marcus Denmon however came up with big baskets for the hosts in the clutch and scored 25 points, also adding five rebounds, to lead Tofas to an 83-80 comeback victory.
Croatian international Rok Stipcevic finished with 13 points and four rebounds and Slovenian international Jure Balazic chipped in with 12 points and six rebounds for the winners.
Gaziantep travel to reigning EuroChallenhe champions Krasnye Krylia on the opening day of the EuroChallenge Regular Season, while Tofas play host to Fortress Jaszberenyi in their first game in Group f of the competition.