Fenerbahce holds off ALBA for perfect ten
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul made it ten wins in a row by holding off ALBA Berlin 89-84 in a competitive and entertaining contest at the Ulker Sports and Events Hall. The opening exchanges were fast-paced and closely contested, with both teams having spells in the ascendancy in the first half, which finished 45-42. Nando De Colo inspired a 10-0 third quarter run to give Fenerbahce control, but ALBA kept fighting and it was 85-82 with 90 seconds remaining before a strong finish gave the host victory. De Colo led the way with 26 points and 8 assists. Dyshawn Pierre added 17 points, while Jan Vesely and Marko Guduric both scored 12. ALBA’s resistance was led by 19 points from Marcus Eriksson, and Ben Lammers combined 16 points, 4 rebounds and 3 blocked shots. Maodo Lo and Simone Fontecchio both scored 14, and Johannes Thiemann added 10 points. Fenerbahce improves to 15-10 while ALBA’s playoffs hopes are fading fast at 8-17 after four straight losses.
Lo scored the first 5 points with a long two and a three-pointer, before De Colo’s layup and one got Fener moving. Eriksson hit consecutive triples for a 5-11 ALBA lead and 6 more points from De Colo weren’t enough to hold off ALBA as Luke Sikma and Fontecchio scored inside. De Colo added a three-point play, Kyle O’Quinn netted a mid-range jumper and Guduric hit a three as the hosts pulled level, 20-20. O’Quinn scored again to give Fenerbahce its first lead as the first quarter finished 24-22. Lammers and Sikma made tough shots early in the second, but Vesely converted 4 free throws before baskets were rapidly traded as the score advanced to 34-34 midway through the quarter. Eriksson’s third triple sent ALBA back in front and Lammers added a transition basket to complete a 0-7 run, 34-39. An alley-oop from Vesely brought Fenerbahce back, before Vesely and Danilo Barthel netted inside for a 43-39 lead. De Colo added free throws to complete a 11-0 run, but Thiemann finished the first half with a triple to make it 45-42 at the interval.
Lammers opened the second half’s scoring with a dunk and Sikma’s layup made it 45-46, before a magical feed from Sikma allowed Fontecchio to dunk and complete a 0-6 run. Guduric and Barthel hit back for Fenerbahce either side of a Lo triple, and a threeball from Guduric tied it up, 53-53. Fontecchio’s mid-range strike restored ALBA’s lead, before De Colo’s three-point play and three-pointer secured a 59-55 lead. De Colo completed a personal 8-0 run before Pierre scored underneath, making it 63-55. Thiemann reignited ALBA with 5 points, but O’Quinn and Lorenzo Brown scored inside to make it 67-60 with ten minutes remaining. Jonas Mattisseck’s triple early in the fourth gave ALBA hope. Fontecchio and Lammers brought the visitors even closer, 69-67, but De Colo’s three-point play and layup gave Fenerbahce breathing room. Eriksson’s three-pointer was answered by two from Pierre, making it 80-72 with four minutes left. Pierre added 5 more points in a hurry for a double-digit lead, before Eriksson hit 5 more points and Fontecchio added a triple, pulling it back to 85-82. But Brown’s layup and Vesely’s dunk sealed the deal, as Fener keep on rolling.
Pierre pivotal in closing stages
Dyshawn Pierre played a key role in the crucial moments by scoring 11 points in the space of 90 seconds midway through the final period, establishing a double-digit lead which proved enough to secure victory. He finished with 17 points on 3-of-3 three-point shooting, plus 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 blocked shot.
Strong shooting at both ends
In a close game, there was nearly nothing between the two teams in shooting percentages. Fenerbahce made 27-of-45 two-point attempts (60%), 7-of-20 threes (35%) and 14-of-16 free throws (87.5%), while ALBA converted 21-of-34 from two-point range (61.8%), 11-of-30 triples (36.7%) and all 9 free throws.
Fener joins six-team club
Fenerbahce becomes the 22nd team in EuroLeague history to win 10 straight games, getting closer to the club record of 12 consecutive victories. Even more impressively, Fenerbahce is now only the sixth team to have two separate streaks of 10 wins or more.
Former star Alico honored
Fenerbahce continued its ‘Yellow Legacy’ campaign with a special pregame presentation to Ali Limoncuoglu. Known by his nickname Alico, the point guard won several titles with Fenerbahce between 1982 and 1993, including the club’s first Turkish Super League title in 1991.
Fenerbahce faces a big showdown with local rival Anadolu Efes Istanbul next Friday, while ALBA hosts Panathinaikos OPAP Athens the same night.
Friday, February 19, 2021