Bogdanovic stars again as Fenerbahce takes command
Fenerbahce Istanbul took firm control of its playoffs series with Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens by claiming a 75-80 victory at the Olympic Sports Center to go up 2-0 before next week’s return to Istanbul. Once again, Game 1 MVP Bogdan Bogdanovic was the hero for Fenerbahce, recording a performance index rating of 35 for the second consecutive game by combining 25 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists and a blocked shot. He received ample assistance from Ekpe Udoh, who added 22 points on 11-of-14 two-point shooting and 9 rebounds, while Bobby Dixon added 14 points including three triples. Panathinaikos was led by 22 points and 4 assists from Mike James, with big men Chris Singleton and Ioannis Bourousis adding 14 and 13 points respectively. It was a close contest all the way, but Fenerbahce’s defense had the final say by restricting the home team to 9 points in the final eight minutes.
Bogdanovic started the encounter as he had finished the first, scoring the game’s first points, but Panathinaikos quickly unloaded a barrage of long-range shooting to take a 16-6 lead. Fenerbahce responded with an electric burst, with three-pointers from Bogdanovic and Pero Antic featuring in a 0-14 run. Singleton scored four consecutive points to stop the rot, but Bogdanovic had the final word of the opening quarter with a driving layup to make it 20-22. The opening stages of the second quarter featured several rapid lead changes, and it was tied at 32-32 before James scored 7 straight points for the home team, including a highlight reel slam, but Bogdanovic came back with a pair of triples before another three, this time from Kalinic, made it 43-45 at half-time.
Big men Udoh and Bourousis traded baskets at the start of the third and KC Rivers drained a three-pointer to put
Panathinaikos back in front, but not for long as Dixon sank a pair of triples for the visitors. Two more three-pointers, from Sloukas and Dixon, extended the lead to 54-61, the largest advantage either team had enjoyed since early in the first quarter. Panathinaikos stalled on offense, but Bourousis provided a spark with a huge put-back slam, and the third quarter finished with Fenerbahce up by 4. Singleton started the final quarter with a triple, and strong defense combined with 6 consecutive points by James Gist sent Panathinaikos back ahead. The visitors had been held scoreless for nearly five minutes until Bogdanovic floated one in, and then Luigi Datome drove to restore Fenerbahce’s lead. Udoh scored again and Bogdanovic netted a deep three to make it a 6-point lead from a 0-9 run, which was ended by James’s long-range strike. A tip-in from Bourousis made it a 1-point game with less than a minute to play, but Rivers missed a three-pointer and Dixon’s free throws made it 75-78 with 17 seconds remaining. Panathinaikos turned it over, Sloukas netted the free throws and Fenerbahce raced off with the win.
Thursday, April 20, 2017