Partizan’s Željko Obradović: “At this point of the season you need to have an outstanding wish to win and reach the final”

Photo: Ales Fevzer/ABA League

According to the well-known Serbian coach, his players have enough time to adequately prepare Game 3 against Cedevita Olimpija, which will be played on the 6th of June.

In Game 2 of the ABA League semifinals Belgrade’s Partizan suffered a defeat from Cedevita Olimpija in Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana, at the end of a match played in an incredible atmosphere and with an attendance of 9230 spectators.

Supported by more than 1000 fans who attended the game at Aren Stožice, Partizan started the match with the correct attitude. At the very beginning, the Serbian team took the lead thanks to some excellent shots by James Nunnally (7-12).

However, with the passing of time, the home team, coached by Miro Alilović, gained an advantage and finished the first half of the game with a 10-points lead (51-41).

In the third and fourth quarter of the game Cedevita Olimpija’s performance was impressive, thanks also to the fact that each player on the basketball court (including perhaps less known players such as Mirko Mulalić) provided an essential contribution towards the win.

The final result of the match: Cedevita Olimpija – KK Partizan 95 – 83 (29-26, 51-41, 73-60).

MVP of the match was Olimpija’s playmaker Yogi Ferrell with 21 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists, even though, as stated, each member of Ljubljana’s team made an essential contribution helping his team beating Partizan.

During the press conference at the end of the match, we posed the following question to Partizan’s head coach Željko Obradović.

Coach Obradović, congratulations for this season. How do your players feel in this moment, they seemed a bit tired. Could managing this situation become a match itself?

Željko Obradović: ‘Honestly, the team looks like that. We could talk about energy and the wish to play tonight. Yesterday we came at our gym at 8.30 and we arrived to Ljubljana by bus. Maybe this is somehow difficult for the players. This, however, does not provide sufficient arguments to think that my players are tired. It is playoff time. Any team at this point needs to have an outstanding wish to continue and reach the final. So, 1:1, the series now goes back to Belgrade. We have now seven days before Game 3, which is more than enough to adequately prepare the next game against Cedevita Olimpija’.


Game 3 between Partizan and Olimpija, which will determine the finalist against Crvena Zvezda, is scheduled for Tuesday, 6th of June (20:00).