Fenerbahce Ulker finishes Euroleague season with home win
In the always-heated Istanbul derby, Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul finished its 2013-14 Turkish Airlines Euroleague season in style by downing Anadolu Efes Istanbul 84-67 at home in Top 16 Group E on Thursday. Fenerbahce finished Group E with a 6-8 record and Efes was eighth at 2-12 after losing its final nine games. Luka Zoric led the winners with 20 points. Oguz Savas added 18, Melih Mahmutoglu had 13, 17-year-old playmaker Berk Ugurlu scored 12 while Nemanja Bjelica contributed 10 for Fenerbahce, which outrebounded Efes 38-24. Dusko Savanovic led Efes with 21 points. Kostas Vasileiadis added 12 for the guests. Mahmutoglu, Bojan Bogdanovic and Zoric helped Fenerbahce take a double-digit lead, 21-10, after 10 minutes. Fenerbahce extended its margin to 45-31 at halftime and then again to 68-49 at the end of the third quarter, enough to keep full control of the game until the final buzzer.
First quarter: Team effort puts Fener way ahead
Efes started the game with a tall, unconventional lineup featuring Dusko Savanovic at point guard. Melih Mahmutoglu got Fenerbahce going with a layup-plus-foul. Milko Bjelica quickly answered with a put-back basket. Oguz Savas scored down low and a dunk by Bojan Bogdanovic gave the hosts a 7-2 lead. Milko Bjelica fed Savanovic for a layup, but Savas hit a jump hook and Mahmutoglu soon made it a 7-point game. Another slam by Bogdanovic caused Efes to call timeout at 13-4. Savanovic scored down low and Birkan Batuk copied him to keep the guests within 5. Bo McCalebb took over with a tip-in, which Kerem Gonlum matched with a wild power layup. Fenerbahce tried a different backcourt with youngster Berk Ugurlu and Mahmutoglu together on court. Ugurlu swished a five-meter jumper and Linas Kleiza added a reverse layup before a power basket by Luka Zoric made it a double-digit game, 21-10, after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Hosts pad double-digit lead
Zoric dunked early in the second quarter, but Savanovic answered with a baseline jumper. Ugurlu and Bjelica traded layups in transition and free throws by Zoric kept Fenerbahce way ahead, 27-14. Savanovic provided a highlight with an off-balance three-point play. Izzet Turkylmaz scored around the basket before a triple by Kostas Vasileiadis saw the hosts call timeout at 29-20. Zoric stepped up with a four-chance layup and Ugurlu scored off a steal. After Cedi Osman sank a corner three-pointer, Savanovic hit a six-meter jumper. A layup by Zoric gave the hosts a 35-25 edge. Nemanja Bjelica nailed a wide open three-pointer and Zoric added a reverse layup, but Gonlum singlehandedly kept Efes within 40-29. Savanovic fed Milko Bjelica for a layup. Savas scored around the basket and a bomb from downtown by Mahmutoglu fixed the halftime score at 45-31.
Third quarter: Savas, young Ugurlu help Fenerbahce roll
Vasileiadis struck from downtown right after the break. Bogdanovic split free throws and a fast break layup by Mahmutoglu restored a 48-34 Fenerbahce margin. Vasileiadis insisted with another three-pointer and Batuk erased Savas's jumper with a layup. Vasileiadis and Savanovic split free throws before Ugurlu took over with a driving layup in transition and Savas gave the hosts a 53-41 lead. Savas shined with a big basket in the low post. Savanovic hit a one-handed floater and another driving basket by an outstanding Ugurlu gave Fenerbahce a 57-43 margin. Savas nailed a mid-range jumper off a timeout and Savanovic made free throws, as Fenerbahce tried a taller lineup with Turkylmaz and Nemanja Bjelica together on court. Nemanja Bjelica dunked and a red-hot Savas bettered Milko Bjelica's layup with a three-point play. Batuk scored down low, but Zoric and Ugurlu made it 68-49.
Fourth quarter: Fener caps season with derby win
Emircan Kosut buried a three-pointer early in the fourth quarter. Zoric stepped up with a big basket in the low post, which Osman erased with a big slam. After Osman split free throws, Zoric banked in a jump hook. Free throws by Savanovic brought Efes a bit closer, 72-57. Zoric scored around the basket, but Savanovic scored again and Vasileiadis added free throws to give Efes some hope. Nemanja Bjelica answered from downtown, however, and soon added a running hook which sealed the outcome, 79-60, with less than three minutes remaining. Osman nailed a three-pointer, but Fenerbahce had already cruised to a well-deserved win. Savas rounded out his good game with free throws.
Thursday, April 10, 2014