Fenerbahce Ulker stunned Olympiacos 70-84
Fenerbahce Ulker sent a message that echoed all around the competition and registered its first win in Top 16 Group H by downing Olympiacos 70-84 in Greece on Thursday. Fenerbahce hosts Power Electronics Valencia next week in a big battle between undefeated teams while Olympiacos visits Zalgiris in already a critical game for both teams. Marko Tomas paced the winners with 19 points. Roko Ukic added 17 while Omer Onan had 14 for FB Ulker. Theo Papaloukas led Olympiacos with 15 points. Vassilis Spanoulis added 14 while Zoran Erceg had 10 for the Reds. It was a very balanced game for 33 minutes, as Olympiacos led 18-16 at the end of the first qyarter but a layup by Spanoulis tied it at 33-33 at halftime. The game was as many as 11 lead changes in the second half but Onan, Sarunas Jasikevicius and Ukic fueled a game-breaking 0-12 run that sealed the outcome, 65-76. The Reds kept trying but Fener managed to get its biggest lead right at the buzzer.
Ioannis Bourousis got Olympiacos going with a put-back jump hook, as Fenerbahce tried to get its big men involved early. Tomas shined with a wild driving layup that Kostas Papanikolaou bettered with a three-pointer for a 5-2 Olympiacos lead. Ukic sank a floating jumper and soon added a fast break basket to give Fener its first lead, 5-6. FB Ulker had locked the defensive board and the Reds' offense collapsed. Meanwhile, Tomas and Ukic struck from downtown for a 5-12 score. Erceg, a surprise starter to guard Kaya Peker, hit free throws and Bourousis added a tip-in to give the Reds some fresh air at 9-12. Bourousis split free throws, as Olympiacos had improved its defense off a timeout. Milos Teodosic took over with a turnaround three-pointer but a jumper by Jasikevicius restored a 13-14 Fener lead. A free throw by Papanikolaou and a running jumper by Teodosic provided another lead change, 16-14. Foul shots by Oguz Savas and a put-back layup by Erceg fixed the score at 18-16 after 10 minutes.
Olympiacos tried Yotam Halperin to guard Jasikevicius early in the second quarter. Papaloukas shined with a fast break dunk, as Fener faced foul trouble when Darjus Lavrinovic picked up his third. Spanoulis sank a fallaway jumper for a six-point Olympiacos lead, 22-16. Emir Preldzic struck from downtown and Onan improved Halperin's driving layup with a three-point play to bring the guests within 24-22. The game had turned into a physical battle and the Reds struggled to score for more than 3 minutes. Meanwhile, Ukic split foul shots and Lavrinovic took over with a four-point play for a 24-27 Fener edge. Tarence Kinsey nailed a stop-and-pop jumper that capped a 0-10 run. Papaloukas and Savas traded free throws but a fast break layup by Tomas forced Olympiacos to stop the game at 26-33. Matt Nielsen sank foul shots, igniting a 7-0 run in which a put-back basket by Rasho Nesterovic and a fast break layup by Spanoulis tied it at 33-33 as both teams headed back to the locker rooms.
Erceg split free throws immediately after the break but Tomas quickly answered from downtown for a 34-36 Fener lead. Bourousis stepped up with a power layup that a very active Tomas bettered with a three-point play. Fener had managed to avoid second-chance points but a technical foul on Peker - his fourth - allowed Teodosic to keep the Reds within 38-39. Ukic took over with a coast-to-coast layup but an open triple by Erceg got Olympiacos as close as 41-42. Spanoulis scored in penetration but Savas and Tomas restored a 43-45 Fener edge. Erceg and Savas traded foul shots but Papaloukas buried a three-pointer for a 48-47 Olympiacos lead. Tomas stayed on fire with a follow-up layup and erased Spanoulis' mid-range jumper with free throws. Olympiacos improved its intensity in defense and Halperin downed a corner triple to make FB Ulker call timeout at 53-51. Spanoulis joined the three-point shootout and added free throws but Sean May and Ukic kept the guests within 58-55 after 30 minutes.
Onan downed a step-back triple early in the fourth quarter but Papaloukas answered from downtown for a 61-58 score. Sean May found space for an uncontested dunk that Loukas Mavrokefalidis erased with an easy basket. Ukic shined with his trademark floating jumper and a jumper by an unstoppable May put Fener back ahead, 63-64. Mavrokefalidis sank a six-meter jumper, as Olympiacos tried Michalis Pelekanos to guard Preldzic. May hit free throws and Onan nailed a big triple off a scream for a four-point Fenerbahce lead, 65-69, forcing the Reds to call timeout. Onan split free throws, as the Reds tried to get Bourousis involved in the low post. Jasikevicius buried a critical three-pointer to boost the guests' lead to 65-73 with 3 minutes left. Olympiacos kept struggling to score right when it mattered and Ukic capped a game-breaking 0-12 run with a free throw, 65-76. Olympiacos had been scoreless for more than 5 minutes and even when Papaloukas stepped up with a driving layup, Fener managed to keep full control of the game and cruise to a very important road win.
Thursday, January 20, 2011