Velickovic captures MVP of the Week honor
BELGRADE (Basketball Champions League) - When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Novica Velickovic had an abundance of toughness on Wednesday night to help Partizan claim arguably their biggest triumph of the season in the Basketball Champions League.
The 30-year-old Serbia international had 20 points - 7 in the decisive fourth quarter - and made a solid all-round contribution as Partizan prevailed against Group E leaders Besiktas Sompo Japan, 86-71, at the Pionir Arena in Belgrade.
The contest with high-flying Besiktas was knotted at 64-64 at the start of the last quarter when Velickovic came up with two huge baskets.
He open the scoring to put Partizan ahead, only for compatriot Vladimir Stimac to reply at the other end for Besiktas and tie the game again at 66-66. Nearly a minute later, though, and another two points from Velickovic put Partizan in front for good.
Velickovic is on a roll. In an 86-82 Gameday 8 triumph over MHP Risen Ludwigsburg, the veteran forward poured in a season-high 21 points and corralled 10 rebounds.
His club is reaping the benefits of his leadership and excellent play. Victories the last two weeks have improved the team's record to 5-4 and left it in fourth place in a very competitive Group E.