Game of the Week: Symphony of perfection in black-and-white as Besiktas host Partizan
BESIKTAS SOMPO JAPAN vs. PARTIZAN BELGRADE (Group E) Wednesday at 18:00 CET
ISTANBUL (Basketball Champions League) – Besiktas and Partizan are two teams which have tasted European success, have legitimate ambitions to win every competition they play in this season and both are blessed with a passionate fanbase renowned all over the continent for their dedication. But really none of the above is the main focus when the two black-and-whites of Group E cross paths on Wednesday evening in Gameday 2 action.
Instead, the most interesting aspect of the Game of the Week in the Basketball Champions League is that something’s got to give as only one of these two opponents will continue to boast of an unblemished start to the season after Wednesday's clash.
Besiktas arrive at the clash as one of the three joint leaders of the Turkish BSL and have won all four of their official games so far this season between domestic league and Basketball Champions League. Partizan are currently riding a 7-game winning streak since the start of the campaign, with six of their wins coming in the ABA League.
At the weekend, Besiktas clinched an 84-73 win at neighbours Istnabul BBSK to staty at the top of the BSL standings. Vladimir Stimac, who had come up with a Gameday 1-high efficiency rating of 31 against Proximus Spirou last Wednesday, followed up on that superb display with a fantastic double-double of 22 points and 15 rebounds. The Serbian international center is of course a former player of Partizan arch-rivals Crvena Zvezda Belgrade, so the chances of him not looking to extend this great run of form into Wednesday's game are really slim.
Just like Besiktas, Partizan also did not have to travel far from home on Sunday, as they stifled FMP Belgrade 65-55 to stay at the top of the ABA League standings. Partizan held FMP to just six points in the entire third quarter in a fantastic defensive display and point guard Willam Hatcher poured in 20 points and dished out five assists to lead the effort on the offensive end.
Th credentials and current form of the two clubs alone are more than sufficient ingredients for a mouth-watering Game of the Week, but there is an added extra on the sidelines to which neutral basketball fans are looking forward to. The captain steering the new Besiktas project is coach Ufuk Sarica, while Aleksandar Dzikic has been at the helm of Partizan since last season. The tactical battle between these two brilliant up-and-coming European coaches will be a spectacle to behold in itself.