Fenerbahce Ulker routs Panathinaikos to remain atop Group A
Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul bounced back from its first loss in the 2012-13 Turkish Airlines Euroleague by downing Panathinaikos Athens 73-64 at home in Group A on Thursday. Fenerbahce improved to 3-1 to stay atop the standings, while Panathinaikos dropped to 2-2. Bo McCalebb and Bojan Bogdanovic led the winners with 13 points apiece. Ilkan Karaman added 12 and 7 rebounds for Fenerbahce. Jonas Maciulis led Panathinaikos with 14 points. Dimitris Diamantidis added 12 and Roko Ukic had 11 against his former team. Free throws by McCalebb allowed Fenerbahce to take a 19-17 edge after 10 minutes. An outstanding Karaman and free throws by J.R. Bremer boosted the hosts' lead to 34-24 midway through the second quarter. Fenerbahce found a new go-to guy in Bogdanovic, who helped his team to a 42-29 halftime advantage. Nothing changed after that as Fenerbahce improved its margin to 58-41 at the end of the third quarter and coasted to victory.
First quarter: McCalebb, Sato give Fener the lead
Romain Sato got Fenerbahce going with a five-meter jumper and soon split free throws for a 3-0 lead. Dimitris Diamantidis stepped up with a big basket in transition, which J.R. Bremer – a surprise starter in place of McCalebb – bettered with a bomb from downtown. Diamantidis kept pacing the Greens with a three-pointer, but Emir Preldzic scored in penetration for an 8-5 Fenerbahce edge. Andy Panko and Preldzic traded backdoor layups and a three-point play by Jonas Maciulis tied it at 10-10. Panathinaikos brought Sofoklis Schortsanitis off the bench and started to run its offense through him. Karaman took over with a high-flying put-back basket and McCalebb followed that with a triple to give Fenerbahce a 15-10 lead. Panathinaikos could not find the way to the basket until Schortsanitis hit free throws. Sato did not miss from the foul line, but a driving layup by Diamantidis kept the Greens within 17-14. Roko Ukic struck from downtown to tie it, but free throws by McCalebb restored a 19-17 Fenerbahce edge after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Karaman, Bogdanovic take over
Ukic use his size advantage to score against McCalebb in the low post early in the second quarter. Omer Onan quickly scored at the other end, as the Greens tried to slow the game tempo by using longer possessions. McCalebb banked in a driving shot to give the hosts a four-point lead, 23-19. Kostas Tsartsaris scored in the paint off a timeout but Karaman improved that with a three-pointer, good for a 26-21 lead. Panathinaikos kept having troubles to score and Bojan Bogdanovic joined the three-point shootout to boost the hosts' lead to 29-21. Stephame Lasme tried to change things with a layup-plus-foul but a red hot Karaman matched that with a bomb from downtown. Free throws by Bremer soon made it a double-digit game, 34-24. Lasme hit two more foul shots and had a big block on Karaman in the other end. Karaman took revenge with free throws and another three-pointer by Bogdanovic broke the game open, 39-26. Schortsanitis split free throws but an unstoppable Bogdanovic buried another triple. An uncontested dunk by Hilton Armstrong fixed the halftime score at 42-29.
Third quarter: Batiste steps up, Fener keeps control
Both teams struggled to score after the break until bremer fed Mike Batiste for an alleyoop slam. Panathinaikos did not find the way to the basket and a layup by Batiste made the Greens call timeout at 46-29. Fenerbahce held the Greens scoreless for more than 3 minutes until Maciulis dunked it in transition, but he didn't find much help around. Batiste stayed on fire with his trademark jump hook and a close shot by Diamantidis brought the Greens within 48-33. David Andersen buried a turnaround jumper and the hosts kept excelling on defense, with Onan preventing Diamantidis from organizing his team's offense. Karaman scored down low and a tip-in by Omer Onan made it a 19-point game, 54-35. Schortsanitis made free throws but Sato matched those with a catch-and-shoot jumper. Maciulis stepped up with a corner three-pointer and soon split free throws to give the Greens some hope, 56-41. An electric driving layup by McCalebb fixed the score at 58-41 after 30 minutes.
Fourth quarter: hosts seal well-deserved win
Lasme tried to ignite the Greens' comeback with a layup early in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, Fenerbahce tried Preldzic at point forward to use longer possessions and run the game clock down. Bogdanovic split foul shots, as Panathinaikos tried a more experienced lineup with Diamantidis, Ukic and Kostas Tsartsaris together on court. Diamantidis buried a three-pointer to bring the guests a bit closer, 59-46, with 6 minutes to go. Panko scored down low, forcing Fenerbahce to call timeout at 60-48. Bremer send the crowd to their feet with a three-pointer but Panko scored again for a 63-50 score. Bogdanovic nailed his fourth three-pointer and even when Diamantidis delivered a wild no-look assist to Maciulis, everything was said and done already. Fenerbahce had plenty of time to celebrate a big win while Panathinaikos returns home knowing it will play four of its next five games in front of its own fans at O.A.K.A.
Thursday, November 1, 2012