Belgrade, Nov 21 : Serbian Partizan secured a place in the basketball Eurocup Top 16 by beating the Lithuanian Rytas Vilnius 86-81 in the 8th round of the competition here.
After an even opening of the match in front of 8,000 people at Belgrade Arena on Wednesday in which home team's Rade Zagorac stood out, the guests managed to briefly take the lead. But three-pointers of Uros Trifunovic and Rashawn Thomas put Partizan in front at the end of the first quarter.
The home team opened the second quarter with a 7-0 series, but their lead melted at the mid-quarter. After a three pointer of Nemanja Gordic and a streak of successful free throws, Partizan was leading by 6 points at the half-time break. In the third period, Thomas again expanded the lead thanks with his 3-pointers precise field goals to double digit lead, and in the last, backed by Zagorac, continued to add points for maximum 18-point advantage over Rytas Vilnius at 75-57.
Rytas Vilnius managed to bring the gap under 5 points, but time ran out.
Zagorac scored 17 points, followed by Thomas with 16 points and Ognjen Jaramaz with 14 points. Eimantas Bendzius scored 15 points for the Lithuanian team. With two more rounds to go in the group stage, its already clear that the leader Venice (6-2) and runner-up Partizan (6-2) will play in the next stage.
The Serbian team will play the next matches against Lokomotiva Krasnodar in Russia, and against Limoges in Belgrade. Rytas Vilnius will play against Tofas Bursa at home, and away against Venice. (UNI-XINHUA)