Jordan Farmar will be hoping to bid farewell to Maccabi Tel Aviv with a victory
on Thursday night when the yellow-and-blue visits Partizan Belgrade in
With the NBA lockout coming to an end last weekend,
Farmar was already expected to return to the US earlier this week, but he
eventually agreed to play for Maccabi one last time to try and help the team to
what would be a crucial win in Serbia.
The departure of the New Jersey
Nets guard will leave a massive void at Maccabi, with Farmar leading the team in
points, rebounds, assists, steals and minutes in the Euroleague this
However, Tel Aviv will put aside the search for Farmar’s
replacement for two hours on Thursday, hoping to see another sensational
performance from the superb guard before he leaves for good.
excited,” Farmar said ahead of the team’s flight for Belgrade on Wednesday.
“I’ve heard Partizan is a fun place to play. We’ve been winding down and saying
our goodbyes to everybody for the last few days, and now we still have to handle
business, to help Maccabi advance to the Top 16 and finish on the right
“I think it will be a good thing to get a big win on the road and
go home with that.”
A win for Maccabi will officially book its place in
the Top 16, and it will be especially crucial to Tel Aviv’s hopes of finishing
top of its group and receiving a favorable draw in the next
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Maccabi beat Olimpia Milano 85- 76 for its fifth straight
Euroleague win last week, but it will vividly remember how hard it had to work
before edging Partizan 70-66 for a victory which began the
Partizan won three straight continental games, including against
Real Madrid at home, before losing at Efes Istanbul last week and it to will be
parting with an NBA player on Thursday.
Nikola Pekovic (15.2 ppg, 4.8
rpg) will return to the Minnesota Timberwolves next week and is hoping to leave
on a winning note.
“I feel like a part of the Partizan family and I am so
sad because this is my last game in a black and white jersey,” he said. “My goal
was to help young players, not to force myself. I shall try to help the team
beat Maccabi which is one of best Euroleague teams this season.
manage to win that game I shall leave Partizan knowing that I did a good
One of the young players Pekovic is talking about is Milan Macvan,
who joined Belgrade on loan from Maccabi.
The 22-year-old Macvan has been
outstanding so far this season, leading his team with 15.3 points and 7.8
“Maccabi is a team built for the Final Four but we are going to
build our own game and try to control the rhythm,” Partizan coach Vlade
Jovanovic said. “It would be bad if we follow Maccabi’s rhythm because they wish
to play a fast-paced game. We are not in a position to threaten them but we can
promise fight and concentration.
Our starting playmaker Acie Law is
injured and even if he will play he shall be far from his
Nevertheless, Maccabi coach David Blatt is expecting another tough
game in Belgrade.
“I think the atmosphere makes Partizan a great place to
play in, even though it’s very tough and supportive of the home team,” Blatt
said. “Farmar came to Maccabi with a fantastic attitude, and he’ll leave us with
a very good feeling.
I think everyone learned to appreciate him and to
love him, because he’s someone who gave with all his heart.
nothing to regret because we always knew this day would come. We were very
successful with him, and I hope that one day he’ll come back and help us achieve
Despite the fact Maccabi has failed to score more than 70
points in games in which Farmar has not played, Blatt is taking his time in
bringing in a replacement.
“We have many options,” he said.
will be players from teams which will not progress in European competition and
there will be NBA free-agents after the training camps end. We have our hand on
the pulse and we’ll take our time before deciding who to bring
Farmar is confident Maccabi will manage without him after he makes
his final appearance in yellow- and-blue on Thursday. “Maccabi has a very
talented group of guys, and a good group of guys, and I think that’s the most
important thing,” he said.
“I’m not worried about them. I think they’ll
be fine. There are a lot of good basketball players on this team, and they’ll
figure out a way without me.”
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