Fenerbahce Ulker dances to perfect record and Top 16 berth
Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul led from start to finish in beating visiting Budivelnik Kiev 84-68 to remain unbeaten and become the first club to advance to the Top 16 this season. Fenerbahce improved to 6-0 atop of Group A, while Budivelnik remained in a share of fifth place with a 1-5 record. Bojan Bogdanovic scored 20 points in less than 23 minutes to pace the winners, who pulled away late in the second quarter with a 14-0 run for a 52-35 halftime lead. The margin was never in question in the second half. Luka Zoric scored 15 points while Gasper Vidmar collected 12 points plus 8 rebounds in victory. For the visitors, Dainius Salenga made 4 of 5 threes and finished with 16 points. Ricky Minard scored 14, Janis Strelnieks 11, and Dajuan Summers netted 10 in defeat.
First quarter: Hosts dominate inside, get early lead
A couple of easy layups from Vidmar, assisted by Kenan Sipahi, opened the game, before Minard banked a shot to get Budivelnik on the scoreboard, too. Melih Mahmutoglu and Vidmar scored more from inside for the hosts, but Minard sank a jumper and Darjus Lavrinovic hit from long range to make it 8-7. Bogdanovic opened his tally with a driving layup, and after Salenga made a floater, Zoric answered with a layup to continue the hosts' domination in the paint. Minard made a runner to keep Budivelnik within 1 point, but Bogdanovic made a short turnaround jumper, followed by a fastbreak dunk for 16-11, forcing the visitors to call a timeout. Preldzic extended the lead with a fastbreak layup, and after Michailis Anisimov drove to the hoop for the visitors, Bogdanovic banked in a shot, then hit back-to-back long jumpers for 24-17. But Summers and Minard each scored a basket-plus-foul, cutting it to 27-23 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Fener pulls away with a 14-0 run
Zoric opened the second quarter with consecutive layups, after assists from Kleiza and Preldzic. After Minard hit a jumper, Zoric made a pair of mid-range jumpers for 35-25. Budivelnik answered through a baseline jumper from Summers and a corner triple from Salenga. After Bo McCalebb slashed for a layup-plus-foul, Salenga hit another one behind the arc to make it 38-33. However, Fenerbahce replied with a run. A big dunk from Vidmar sparked things, and a triple from Omer Onan extended it to 45-33. Bjelica added a driving layup, Onan hit another three and Bogdanovic capped a 14-0 run with an easy layup, as the hosts took 52-35 into halftime.
Third quarter: Obradovic’s men stay in control
Salenga opened the third quarter with a three-pointer, and Lavrinovic added a layup. Bogdanovic scored from close range for Fenerbahce before Salenga made a layup to make it 54-42. But Onan answered with a driving layup, and after Vidmar made another big two-handed slam, Bogdanovic stole the ball and ran for an easy fastbreak dunk and a 60-42 advantage. After a short timeout, Salenga hit his fourth triple and Summers dunked for the visitors, but Bjelica scored twice from close range to keep Fenerbahce way in front. Anisimov’s put-back cut it to 64-49, but a tip-in from Zoric, and a banked shot from Kleiza extended the hosts’ lead to 19. Budivelnik made an attempt with zone defense, and kept Fenerbahce scoreless for the remainder of the quarter, and a fastbreak layup from Janis Strelnieks made it 68-51 after three quarters.
Fourth quarter: Fener comfortably closes out the game
Unlike the previous three, the fourth quarter started slowly. In the first three minutes Zoric hit a mid-range shot, and Preldzic made a layup to make it 72-53. Strelnieks hit a jumper on the other end, then added a triple and another jumper, closing within 74-61. The hosts’ offense stalled, as they failed to produce a field goal for more than five minutes. Oleksandr Tishchenko made a layup, and after Vidmer snapped Fener’s drought with a dunk, Summers nailed a corner triple to get within 77-66. But that was as close as the visitors came, as more baskets from Vidmar and Bjelica extended the margin, and Mahmutoglu rounded out the scoring with a triple just before the buzzer.
Friday, November 22, 2013