U18 Zalgiris Kaunas remained on course to defend its title at the Euroleague Basketball ADIDAS NEXT GENERATION TOURNAMENT Qualifying Tournament – Kaunas by racing past U18 Fenerbahce Istanbul 70-94 to complete Group A play undefeated at 3-0. Zalgiris scored the first 17 points of the game and never looked back with Isaiah Hartenstein leading the way with 20 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and 3 blocks. Gytis Masiulis added 16 points and 10 rebounds in the win while Arnas Velicka had 13 points and 9 assists and Dziugas Slavinskas chipped in 12 points and 7 rebounds. Fenerbahce was out-rebounded 53-37 in dropping to 0-3 in the group. Ahmet Can Duran did collect 25 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists and 5 steals and Emir Erol had 14 points with Cengizhan Ivedi chipping in 11 points in the loss.
Zalgiris dominated from the very beginning, especially Hartenstein, who scored 11 points as the host team opened the game with a 0-17 lead. After missing its first 8 shots and turning the ball over 3 times, Fenerbahce finally scored its first points at the 5:10 minute mark on a Erol three-pointer. Sonmezalp Eren added a basket to make it 5-17 before Zalgiris reeled off the next 7 points. Two Slavinskas free throws increased the gap to 7-28. And the lead was 10-28 after 10 minutes. Ivedi scored the first points of the second quarter but Fenerbahce could not stop Zalgiris’ offense, which got three-pointers from Ignas Sargiunas, Velicka and Slavinskas and 6 points from Masiulis as the advantage grew to 19-46. Duran did knock down a triple for Fenerbahce, which was able to score somewhat more consistently but still couldn’t cut into the deficit. The Turkish team trailed 27-52 at the break.
Hartenstein scored to open the second half and Volodymyr Markovetskyy made it 27-56. Halil Ocal and Ivedi both nailed three-pointers as Fenerbahce put together a 10-2 surge to make it 37-58 – and a Zalgiris timeout. The host side scored the next 5 points to re-establish a 26-point lead. And the gap was the same at 41-67 after 30 minutes. Erol started the scoring in the fourth quarter but Zalgiris didn’t let Fenerbahce get its hopes up as Sargiunas and Lukas Uleckas hit back-to-back three-pointers for a 43-73 advantage. Duran answered with 3 three-balls of his own but Zalgiris hit the next 9 points to extend the lead to 49-85 with 5 minutes to play. Fenerbahce did manage the next 8 points but the deficit was still 57-85 with 3 minutes left. The Turkish team did finish strong with a 13-2 run to get as close as 22 points.
Saturday, January 16, 2016
David Hein, Euroleague.net