Coach Neven Spahija: "We played badly, especially in defense. Partizan destroyed us in all elements of the game."
By JPOST.COM STAFF
After barely winning its Euroleauge opener at home last week (106-101 over Malaga), Maccabi Tel Aviv lost its first game on the road this season, 103-91 to Partizan Belgrade.
In front of 6,000 Serbian fans, Maccabi again showed that there is still much work ahead, especially on the defensive side.
Simas Jasaitis led Maccabi's scorers with 27 points, followed by Jamie Arnold who scored 18 and Nicola Vujcic with 11. Maccabi's point guard Will Bynum finished with a mere 6 points. Pedrag Drobnjak scored 23 for Partizan.
Maccabi does not have much time to regroup as its archrivals Hapoel Jerusalem are coming to the Nokia Arena for Sunday's season opener of the local basketball league.
The Euroleague web site quoted Maccabi's coach Neven Spahija as saying, "We played badly, especially in defense. Partizan destroyed us in all elements of the game and I congratulate them. I am sure we will get better but it needs time because this team underwent a lot of changes last summer. The way we are looking now is far away from the team we'll be."
Partizan head coach Dusko Vujosevic couldn't have summed it up better: "I am very satisfied with the win and with our game. Maccabi is not as good as it was year or two ago... We managed to stop Nikola Vujcic, who is a scorer and the creator of Maccabi's play, and that was the key factor for our win."
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