Power Electronics KO’d Fenerbahce Ulker 82-68
Power Electronics Valencia made it to the Quarterfinal Playoffs! Valencia finished second in Top 16 Group H and earned the right to keep fighting for Turkish Airlines Euroleague glory by knocking off Fenerbahce Ulker 82-68 in front of a sea of orange fans at Fuente de San Luis on Thursday. Valencia needed a three-point win to advance due to its 75-73 road loss against Fener earlier in this group. Both teams finished Group G tied at 3-3 but Valencia went through and will face Real Madrid in the best-of-five Playoffs. Nando De Colo and Robertas Javtokas led the winners with 15 points apiece. Dusko Savanovic added 14 for Valencia. Emir Preldzic led Fener with 20 points. Roko Ukic added 13 while Darjus Lavrinovic and Oguz Savas each had 11 for the guests. A jumper by Sean May gave Fenerbahce a 20-24 lead early in the second quarter. Outstanding defense, an unstopable David Navarro and Savanovic allowed Valencia to get a seven-point lead, 39-32, at halftime. Back-to-back triples by Preldzic got Fenerbahce within 48-47 midway through the third quarter but De Colo and James Augustine restored a 59-52 Valencia edge after 30 minutes. Ukic and Lavrinovic managed to keep Fener within 72-66 with 2 minutes to go but Rafa Martinez buried back-to-back three-pointers to seal the outcome, 78-68, sending thousands of fans to their feet to celebrate a convincing, critical win.
Lavrinovic got Fenerbahce going with a reverse layup and Ukic scored in transition for a 0-4 lead. Javtokas got the crowd involved with a jump hook that Lavrinovic matched with an off-balance layup, as Fener tried to get its big men involved in the opening minutes. Valencia found a go-to guy in Savanovic, who nailed back-to-back three-pointers to give his team its fist lead, 8-6. Javtokas soon added a layup in transition, as Fener kept missing open shots. Ukic rescued the guests with a triple and Marko Tomas added a tip-in to restore a 10-11 Fenerbahce lead. De Colo joined the three-point shootout, as Fener brought Preldzic off the bench to have more resources in offense. Ukic made free throws and Preldzic added a fast break layup for a 13-15 score. Valencia lacked concentration at both ends but Omar Cook stepped up with a driving layup to tie the game, 15-15, at the end of a very intense first quarter.
The game turned into a physical battle early in the second quarter, with no open shots to be found at both ends until May took over with a dunk. Savanovic scored again but he didn't find much help around now. Preldzic provided a highlight with a layup-plus-foul but Javtokas matched that in the other end. Sarunas Jasikevicius shined with a floating jumper in transition and May added a four-meter shot for a 20-24 Fener lead. Savanovic scored in penetration and free throws by Navarro tied it at 24-24. Fener had entered the foul bonus and could not play defense with the same intensity. Savanovic sank foul shots and a three-pointer by Navarro boosted the hosts' lead to 29-25. Fener called timeout and Lavrinovic beat the shot clock with a baseline jumper. Cook answered from downtown and a three-point play by Cook - on May's fourth foul - sent the crowd to their feet, 35-28. Ukic downed an acrobatic shot but a layup by Serhiy Lishchuk and a big basket by Jeremy Richardson made it a nine-point game, 39-30. A layup by Tomas fixed the halftime score at 39-32.
Savas nailed a mid-range shot immediately after the break, as Fener regroup in defense to play with more intensity. Javtokas scored off a wild spin move in the low post but Savas matched it with a layup. Fener picked up three fouls in as many minutes, however, forcing the guests to change its strategy. Javtokas and Martinez made free throws to restore a nine-point Valencia lead, 45-36. Ukic took over with a rainbow jumper and Preldzic split foul shots for a 45-39 score. Richardson fired in a catch-and-shoot three-pointer but Savas scored in transition and Preldzic buried an open triple for a 48-44 Fener deficit. Preldzic struck again from downtown, forcing Valencia to call a much-needed timeout at 48-47. De Colo sank a mid-range shot and Augustine added a baseline jumper to give a 52-47 edge. Augustine kept pacing Valencia with a put-back layup and free throws by De Colo capped an 8-0 Valencia run. Jasikevicius and Preldzic stepped up with foul shots but Lishchuk and Cook kept the hosts way ahead, 59-52, after 30 minutes.
Cook send a behind-the-back assist to Augustine, who set the Fonteta on fire with a wild dunk early in the fourth quarter. Fenerbahce needed a quick comeback to keep its options alive and Ukic tried to ignite it with free throws. Valencia had started to miss open shots and a tip-in by Lavrinovic got Fener even closer, 61-56, with 7 minutes left. Augustine kept pacing Valencia with a put-back basket that Savas erased with a layup. Javtokas took over with a reverse layup and scored again for a 67-58 Valencia lead. Fener struggled to scoreright when it mattered and a seven-meter bomb by De Colo gave the hosts their first double-digit lead, 70-58. Savas tried to change things with a three-point play but De Colo provided a highlight with a wild turnaround jumper. Preldzic banked in a triple and a power layup by Lavrinovic turned the game into a thriller, 72-66, with 2 minutes left. Martinez struck twice from downtown to seal the outcome, 78-68, with a minute left, allowing all Valencia fans to celebrate that their team that reached the Euroleague Playoffs!
Thursday, March 3, 2011