SPORTS

Defending unbeaten records

European basketball champions Panathinaikos and Aris, both undefeated after two rounds of Euroleague play, take on Partizan Belgrade and Cibona, respectively, tonight. Playing in Belgrade, the Panathinaikos squad had to endure a longer-than-expected journey yesterday due to adverse weather conditions in neighboring Serbia. The Greek club’s arrival in Belgrade was delayed by more than five hours after its charter flight was turned back as it approached its destination. «Unfortunately, it’s something we could do nothing about, and it was tiring for our players. We need to get to the hotel and get as much rest as we can because we have a training session tonight,» Panathinaikos coach Zelimir Obradovic told reporters upon arrival a little after midday yesterday. «It’s going to be a difficult game as Partizan looks strong this season,» the coach said of his team’s opponent, victorious in its opening two Euroleague Group C games this season and impressive in domestic competition. «Our opponent is currently playing with drive and most of its players have gained Euroleague experience,» said Panathinaikos center Dejan Tomasevic, whose career includes a three-year tenure at Partizan in the late 90s. «Playing against the European champions, Partizan will be particularly motivated, and the club has a strong home base. So, we’re going to have to play intensely for all 40 minutes. We’re going to this with a big win over Olympiakos in the Greek league and have to continue with the same amount of passion,» he continued. Also playing tonight, Thessaloniki team Aris, on a 2-0 record, hosts Cibona, which has one win and one loss in Group B. Playing at home, Aris defeated Unicaja and followed up with a win against Le Mans in France. Olympiakos, Greece’s third Euroleague representative, on a 1-1 record in Group A, plays Virtus Bologna in Piraeus tomorrow.