Split surprised Partizan and inflicted a painful defeat on them, with the famous Croatian coach once again being the center of attention. “Let’s say that we at Partizan are also in a grueling rhythm, we played three games since Monday.
I was the assistant coach at Bayern last year and I know what it’s like when the opponent you are facing is the favorite. It’s logical that Partizan didn’t have the energy and concentration from the beginning, they missed seven or eight open shots that they usually make.
We are all human, it’s not easy to come from the Euroleague and be 100% energized and focused. On the other hand, for my players, this is a basketball festival, they want to play against the best, real teams.
Especially in the first half, towards the end of the second quarter, some shots that are not ‘ours’ went in, but luck was on our side because it favors the brave. From the start, we played as we should against Partizan, we didn’t allow them easy points and we were aggressive on the backcourt line.
All in all, a very nice victory for us,” said Rimac. Interestingly, Slaven Rimac has already worked wonders in the Štark Arena, as the coach of Cibona, with whom he became the champion of the ABA league in 2014, defeating Red Star in the semifinals and Cedevita in the finals.
It was the last major surprise in the “Adriatic” when it comes to the title race, and since then, Rimac has coached Cedevita and worked at Bayern as an assistant from 2021 to 2023. While the Partizan fans booed Željko Obradović’s team, the players in yellow celebrated the victory on the court, for which the most credit goes to American point guard Shannon Shorter with 18 points, his compatriot, forward Luis Saliven with 15 points, Toni Perković with nine, Tonči Vuko with eight… (MONDO – M.Š)