The Partizan basketball players meet Juventud in the third round of the Eurocup. These two clubs met several times in history, and the most important for Serbian basketball books was in 1992. Many stories have been told about this match in the fact of black and white basketball players, who later they wrote the pages of Yugoslav and Serbian history in golden letters, climbing to the roof of Europe, but this is found in special circumstances. That of April ’92. Zeljko Obradovic was sitting on the bench of Partizan, who returned to the place of his first success after almost three decades, when he lifted his first of nine European Cups.
How did it all start with that 91/92 championship?
After the departure of the generation of Divac, Paspalj, Grbović, Savović and others, Partizan created a new team before the aforementioned season, quite young, whose new rising stars were Aleksandar Đorđević and Predrag Danilović. The average age of Partizan players was 21.7. We can’t help but draw a parallel with the current one, in which the whites and blacks also have a practically new team, with only a few players who were here last season, and the average age is a bit higher. , 23.9, that is. still a young team.
Zeljko Obradovic, whose main adviser was a former Partizan player and coach, European basketball expert Professor Aleksandar Nikolic, came on the Partizan bench directly from the national team and the black and white jersey. From the start of the European round, it seemed like everything was against Partizan, I think that’s how the winners matured. While Yugoslavia was destroyed and disintegrated, lives were saved and what was saved was saved, as the “steamer” had its battlefield far away from Belgrade, in the Madrid suburb of Fuenlabrada, which, as and as a result, it will evoke the most cherished memories for all basketball fans. That’s how this team played their home game in Spain, where they were welcomed more than warmly, just “at home”.
In the group stage, Partizan played with Estudiantes, Juventud, Phillips, Bayer Leverkusen, Mechelen, Aris and the Dutchman Dan Helder. He finished fourth in the group with nine wins and five losses. Finally, Belgrade, even if it’s the only game. In the quarterfinals, the opponent was Knor of Bologna, now Virtus. Partizan went further after 2: 1 in the series. In the semifinals, Phillips, now Armani, fell in the final four, and the final was reserved for Juventud, who first beat Estudiantes with 91:69.
The meeting of these two teams next, will be the most important in the history of the two.
The final was played on April 16, 1992 in the “Abdi Ipekci” hall, which went down in history in 2017, with all the successes that happened in it. This duel was perfect for the final. A real drama was seen that night in Istanbul. Partizan had a 40:36 lead at half-time, but then the initiative began to be picked up by Badalona’s side, who led 70:68 just 10 seconds before the end of game. So we look at everything we can to equate some kind of heroism. At the age of 25, Sasa Djordjevic took responsibility into his own hands. He ran the field after a Juventud goal and from the line for three points without thinking about a three for the last 71:70. Then Nikita’s celebrity for so many years continued: “Time is up, time is up. Don’t get me wrong I’ve been silent for a moment. I haven’t experienced this in my career. Djordjevic has achieved something phenomenal.” . In this match he scored 24 points, while Danilović finished 25. The team led by both of them, but also by Nakić, Stevanović, Dragutinović, Rebrač, Šilobad, Koprivica, Lončar and Šarić, won the then European Cup. , that is to say that it is today that we know it as the Euroleague.
In the text of this competition, at the end it says:
“That Djordjevic trio on the night of Istanbul in 1992 not only launched their careers to the stars, but at the same time helped the Euroleague to promote the final tournament that basketball fans and fans in the world looks from year to year.“, which probably speaks volumes about the importance of this title and the role of Aleksandar Djordjevic not only in Partizan, but also in Europe.
While Yugoslavia was wiped off the world map, Partizan wrote history. The trophy was won by the team that played 16 matches before the Final Four in Spain, and the only one in Belgrade. The title was won in the most difficult conditions for a basketball club. But that’s how the winners come about.
Partizan and Juventud will play again Tuesday in the group stage of a European competition, they also met last season, but this time in “Pionir” they will be witnessing more in the same place where they were in 1992, which it becomes entangled in memory. of each of us to this day.
Partizan – Juventud 71:70 (40:30)
PARTY: Danilovic 25, Djordjevic 23, Stevanovic 6, Nakic 5, Koprivica 4, Silobad 4, Dragutinovic 2, Loncar 2, Rebraca. Coach: Zeljko Obradovic.
YOUTH: Presley 20, Thomas Giofreza 18, Villacampa 13, Rafael Giofreza 8, Morales 6, Thompson 5, Pardo, Ruf. Coach: Lolo Sainc.