Fenerbahce smacks Baskonia for fourth straight win
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul led from tip to buzzer to record its fourth consecutive victory, 75-53, over Bitci Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz on Thursday at Ulker Sports and Event Hall. Nando De Colo led the way with 17 points, 7 assists and a career-high 6 steals for the hosts, who improved to 7-9 on the season. Achille Polonara added 15 points against his former club and Jan Vesely scored 13. Steven Enoch produced 14 points and 8 rebounds for Baskonia, which lost in Istanbul for the second time in the week and saw its record fall to 5-11.
Pierria Henry sandwiched a pair of threes around another from Melih Mahmutoglu on Fenerbahce’s first three possessions for a 9-2 lead, which prompted a Baskonia timeout after less than 2 minutes of action. An Enoch jumper was all the offense Baskonia had to show in the first 5 minutes. Devin Booker scored twice on the offensive glass to boost Fenerbahce’s lead to 15-2. Wade Baldwin IV netted free throws for the visitors and Enoch’s triple made it 17-7, after which Fenerbahce used its first timeout. Jayson Granger and Enoch kept the pressure on and a Matthew Costello triple drew the visitors within 19-14 after 10 minutes.
Fenerbahce regained its momentum at the start of the second quarter as the defense, led by 2 steals from De Colo, held Baskonia without a basket for 4-plus minutes while Polonara scored 5 in a 10-1 run to make it 29-15. Tadas Sedekerskis and Granger helped Baskonia trim the deficit to 31-23, which prompted a Fenerbahce timeout. A triple by Simone Fontecchio got Baskonia within 7. De Colo responded with 8 straight points – a basket-plus-foul, a layup and three from the corner – to put Fenerbahce up 15 and the teams went into halftime with 43-28 on the scoreboard.
Baskonia came out from the break better as Granger and Arturs Kurucs netted back-to-back threes. Polonara reacted with a score and a triple for Fenerbahce. A Sedekerskis slam made it 48-38 midway through the third quarter. Vesely threw down an alley-oop dunk and De Colo made a three as the lead reached 15 again. Wade Baldwin IV dunked over Polonara – and made the foul shot that came with it – to end the third quarter at 55-43.
Marko Guduric’s triple early in the fourth quarter extended the margin to 17. Despite a triple by Enoch, Baskonia was unable to threaten the hosts much. Costello was whistled for an unsportsmanlike foul on Vesely. After he made the resulting free throws, De Colo fed Guduric for a layup. De Colo then assisted Vesely twice before Polonara connected from downtown to push the difference into the 20s as Fenerbahce started celebrating the win long before the final buzzer.
De Colo roars again for Fenerbahce
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul guard Nando De Colo continued his magnificent recent form by posting a performance index rating of at least 25 for the third straight game. The former EuroLeague MVP accounted for 17 points, 7 assists and 6 steals to compile a PIR of 26. He made 5 of 9 two-pointers, 2 of 6 threes and his only free-throw attempt. De Colo also collected 1 rebound, committed just 1 turnover and drew 5 fouls. What set this game apart from the other 239 in his EuroLeague career were the steals. Not only was it his career-high, but his previous best was 4, which he accomplished on nine occasions, most recently in January last season.
By the numbers: Turnovers, poor shooting doom Baskonia
Bitci Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz’s struggles in Istanbul in Round 16 could be summed up by two numbers. The visitors committed 19 turnovers and made just 26.7% of their three-pointers. Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul collected 12 steals and cashed in on Baskonia’s turnovers to the tune of 21 points. Baskonia scored only 9 points from Fenerbahce’s 7 turnovers. Baskonia was held to 15 points or fewer in all four quarters, while Fenerbahce reached 19 in three quarters.
Vesely climbs on the all-time charts
Ahmet Duverioglu twisted his ankle on Thursday morning and Devin Booker went out in the second quarter with a calf injury, so Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul needed Jan Vesely for 36:18 in Thursday’s victory over Bitci Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz. In that time, he produced 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks for a performance index rating of 20. In doing so, Vesely moved into eighth place in EuroLeague history with 175 career blocks. He jumped past Stephane Lasme (174). Vesely also took his career PIR total to 3,731 to overtake Ante Tomic (3.723) for eighth in that stat, too.
Thursday, December 16, 2021