Fenerbahce Ulker topped Bennet Cantu in overtime 85-83
In an exciting battle that went down to the wire, Fenerbahce Ulker grabbed its third consecutive win in Turkish Airlines Euroleague regular season Group A by edging Bennet Cantu 85-83 in overtime in Istanbul, Turkey on Wednesday. Both teams are tied at 3-2 in the upper standing of this group's standings. Omer Onan led the winners with 18 points. Thabo Sefolosha added 14, Oguz Savas had 13, Bojan Bogdanovic and Roko Ukic each got 12 while Gasper Vidmar contributed 10 for Fenerbahce. Gianluca Basile and Nicolas Mazzarino led Cantu with 12 points apiece. Maarten Leunen and Denis Marconato had 11 apiece for the guests. Marconato and Leunen shined early to give Cantu a 17-19 lead after 10 minutes. A three-pointer by Leunen allowed the guests to keep a 32-35 margin at the break. James Gist and Onan fueled a 10-0 run that helped Fenerbahce to get a 56-52 lead at the end of the third quarter. Sefolosha took over in the fourth quarter for a 65-56 Fenerbahce lead but Cantu rallied in the final 4 minutes and a corner three-pointer by Nicolas Mazzarino sent the game to overtime, 73-73. A three-pointer by Manuchar Markoishvili got the guests within 82-80 with 12 points but Ukic sent 3-of-4 free throws in crunch time to make Fenerbahce put the victory on ice.
Both teams struggled to score in the early going until Sefolosha made free throws. Cantu could not find the way to the basket and picked up three early fouls but
a put-back basket by Marconato tied it at 2-2. Ukic and a very active Marconato traded layups but Sefolosha quickly put Fener back ahead, 6-4.
Leunen took over with a dunk and an off-balance three-point play by Marconato gave Cantu its first lead, 6-9. Savas sank a close shot but a long jumper by Leunen
and a free throw by Vladimir Micov made the guests get a five-point lead, 8-13. Mazzarino hit a running jumper that Onan bettered with a triple for an 11
-15 score. Giorgi Shermadini hit free throws and matched Vidmar's put-back jump hook with an easy dunk. Fenerbahce adjusted its defense and free throws by
Bogdanovic and Onan brought the hosts within 17-19 after 10 minutes.
Andrea Cinciarini buried a mid-range jumper early in the second quarter but a big dunk by Vidmar kept Fenerbahce within 19-21. David Lighty banked in a close shot but Bogdanovic improved that with a three-point play for a 22-23 score. Cantu called timeout but a driving layup by Onan put the hosts back ahead, 24-23. Cantu managed to regroup and play more intense at both ends, preventing Fener to run its offense through point forward Emir Preldzic. Markoishvili beat the shot clock with a six-meter jumper but a layup by Vidmar made Fenerbahce regain the lead, 26-25. Bogdanovic scored in transition but Lighty split free throws and added a wild driving layup to tie it at 28-28. Ukic scored again that Marko Scekic erased that with foul shots. Kaya Peker hit a fallaway jumper but Basile hit foul shorts and Leunen struck from downtown to put Cantu back ahead, 32-35, at halftime.
Preldzic took over with a huge basket in penetration immediately after the break but Markoishvili answered from downtown for a 34-38 Cantu lead. Vidmar shined with a big move in the low post but Marconato took revenge with his trademark baseline jumper and free throws by Micov made it a six-point game, 36-42. Ukic sank a second-chance jumper and added free throws to get Fenerbahce as close as 40-42. Cantu could not find good options in offense and Fenerbahce found a go-to guy in James Gist, who followed a put-back dunk with a high-flying alleyoop layup to make the guests call timeout at 44-42. Omar scored in penetration that capped a 10-0 run, as Basile buried a seven-meter bomb for a 46-45 Cantu deficit. Bogdanovic made foul shots that Lighty erased with a driving basket. Mazzarino buried a three-pointer and a baseline jumper by Shermadini restored a 49-52 Cantu edge. Savas scored down low off a Fenerbahce timeout and Curtis Jerrells tied it again, 52-52. Foul shots by Bogdanovic and Savas fixed the score at 56-52 after 30 minutes.
Mazzarino made foul shots early in the fourth quarter but Fenerbahce had raised its intensity at both ends. Savas fought hard in the paint for a layup but Lighty matched that with free throws. Sefolosha sank a mid-range jumper and soon added a three-point play that sent the crowd to their feet at 63-56. Cantu kept struggling score against the hosts' outstanding defense and Onan took over with a big basket in transition that broke the game open, 65-56, forcing the guests to call timeout. Shermadini tried to change things with a power layup and free throws by Leunen and Basile gave Cantu some hope, 65-61, with over 3 minutes to go. Basile insisted with more foul shots but Lighty missed the go-ahead shot from downtown. Sefolosha stepped up with a critical jumper but Micov bettered that with a layup-plus-foul for a 67-66 score with under 2 minutes to go. Onan drove to the basket for a critical three-point play and Savas matched Micov's free throws with a layup. A reverse put-back layup by Leunen brought Cantu within 72-70 with 22 seconds to go. Bogdanovic split free throws and a corner three-pointer by Mazzarino tied it, 73-73, with 10 seconds left. Fenerbahce had the chance to win the game in regulation but Ukic missed a floating shot at the buzzer.
Onan and Mazzarino traded free throws early in the extra period and Savas made just 1-of-2 attempts for a 76-75 score. Cantu picked up a 24-second violation and Marconato missed a mid-range shot and a wild tip-in by Sefolosha - and the free throw that came with it - came Fener a four-point lead, 79-75. Marconato made free throws to make it a two-point game, 79-77, with 1:34 left. Savas shined with a left-handed layup in the low post and free throws by Ukic seemed to seal the outcome, 83-77, with 19 seconds left. Markoishvili buried a running triple, however, but Ukic drew a foul and made more free throws to allow all Fenerbahce fans to celebrate a critical, exciting win, as Basile's three-pointer beyond midcourt was too little, too late for the guests.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011