Partizan president says club won’t apply for EuroLeague wild card

By the Eurohoops team/

Partizan Belgrade president Ostoja Mijailovic has said that while the club will accept a possible invitation to participate in the next EuroLeague season, they will not actively pursue a wild card.

“Partizan will definitely not decide on this,” Mijailovic told Sporski Zurnal of the team that will play in the EuroLeague next season. “If they [EuroLeague] invite us, we will not refuse this invitation. But, as Partizan, we won’t ask for anything.

Mijailovic then spoke about the expulsion of Russian clubs from the 2021-22 Euroleague due to the war in Ukraine. “I have already said several times that I am very sorry for everything that is happening between Russia and Ukraine. We have very good relations with CSKA, with their management, we also have contacts with other clubs that are excluded. I think that’s pretty unfair to the clubs that have been the backbone of European basketball for decades. It’s bad, but we’re not powerful enough to be able to do anything.

Partizan may find a way to qualify for the 2022-23 EuroLeague by winning the ABA League since the champion of the competition has priority for an annual wild card. The Serbian side could have earned a ticket if successful in the EuroCup, but they were eliminated by Bursaspor in a knockout tie in the Round of 16.

“I spoke with Zeljko about it a few days ago,” Mijailovic said. “We will not abandon our young players. Maybe more experienced Americans, with NBA experience, would win games like this. But I’m sure that in the long run the young talents will give more to the team. Both in terms of results and finances. We had by far the youngest team in the EuroCup. Maybe, in a way, we paid the price for this youth.

Speaking of “prize”, Partizan’s failure to have a long EuroCup run will have a real cost. “If we had reached the final, I’m sure we would have received a million euros for those three games. [quarterfinal, semifinal, final]. Which would mean a lot for the club in the current situation. This represents about 15 or 13% of the budget. It’s definitely a blow for the club…we have to find a way to continue.