Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Strapped for cash, but Serbs nudge towards elite

Belgrade, Feb. 01, 2010 (Source: Blic) - Partizan are the talk of the town in European basketball circles once again. The Belgrade marvel have been producing performances that have upset the biggest guns across the continent for years. The latest team to take the blow on their own turf from unwavering and fanatically determined Partizan are Panathinaikos Athens, the reigning European club champions. Hardly anyone had anticipated how much Partizan had learned from their early Euroleague defeats this season and how coach Vujosevic had fine-tuned the team’s play. It all fell into place in Athens and the Serbian champions’ victim were none other than Euroleague title holders Panathinaikos “We’ve found ourselves amongst the Europe’s elite and we have adapted by working harder and improving our commitment in training. We have reached a high level and it’s showing in games. We are the same team after the win in Athens as the one before we set out on the trip, and it’s important we keep our feet firmly on the ground. Wins like this only commit us to keep up with this work we’ve been putting in,” said Vujosevic. The celebrated coach then emphasised the importance of appearing in Europe’s top-flight club competition each season.

- “What is really important is that every new squad inherits the right to appear in the Euroleague from the previous generation of players. Every fresh qualification into the Top 16 phase is a confirmation these lads are worthy successors and that they deserve to fill the shoes of those who’d made it all possible.” Partizan are receiving increased respect and the officials are not hiding the delight.- “ Partizan have once again earned some recognition across Europe. There have been terrific results in the past, such as the winning of the European Champions Cup. Now were acquiring new authority. It can’t be a replacement for big money and large budgets, but it’s a fact we are not being treated as we were five or six years ago. That is good news for both Partizan and the Serbian basketball in general.”

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