Fenerbahce joins the playoff party
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul qualified for the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Playoffs by downing FC Bayern Munich 68-77 at Audi Dome on Tuesday. Fenerbahce improved to 20-12 and punched its ticket to the playoffs with its victory combined with CSKA Moscow's win against Zenit St Petersburg. Bayern, which would have reached the playoffs with a win, dropped to 19-13. Nando De Colo led the winners with 21 points, Marko Guduric added 18 while Jan Vesely had 15 for Fenerbahce. Wade Baldwin IV paced Bayern with 20 points, Paul Zipser added 12 and Vladimir Lucic 11. Fenerbahce led 15-18 after 10 minutes and kept a 34-35 edge at halftime. The guests found a go-to guy in Guduric, who joined forces with Vesely to boost Fenerbahce's lead to 44-53 after 30 minutes. Fenerbahce went on to control the game until the final buzzer.
Lucic got Bayern going with a three-pointer and a jumper. Melih Mahmutoglu and a red-hot Lucic traded triples and Zan Sisko scored off a steal for a 10-3 Bayern lead. Mahmutoglou and Vesely fueled a 0-6 run that Guduric capped with a driving layup. Jalen Reynolds dunked, but De Colo matched it with a jumper and Dyshawn Pierre added a jump hook that put Fenerbahce ahead, 12-13. Kyle O'Quinn scored in the paint, then D.J. Seeley and De Colo exchanged three-pointers for a 15-18 score after 10 minutes. O'Quinn scored again early in the second quarter. Zipser downed a jumper and Sisko Struck from beyond the arc to tie the game at 20-20. De Colo and Reynolds traded jumpers and Lucic pushed Bayern in front. De Colo struck from downtown, but Baldwin dunked and James hit a mid-range shot for a 28-25 edge. Lorenzo Brown took over with back-to-back layups in a 0-6 run that gave Fenerbahce a 28-31 edge. Baldwin rescued the hosts with a three-point play and Seeley added a three-pointer, but Vesely and Pierre kept the guests ahead, 34-35, at halftime.
Seeley bettered Vesely's layup with an off-balance three-point play for a 37-37 lead after the break. De Colo buried a jumper, Leon Radosevic and Vesely traded jump hooks and Guduric gave the visitors a 39-43 lead. Vesely downed a floater and Guduric followed a jumper with a three-pointer to boost Fenerbahce's margin to 42-50. Guduric kept pushing his team with a driving layup, but Baldwin brought Bayern within 44-53 after 30 minutes. Guduric and Zipser struck from beyond the arc early in the fourth quarter. Sisko improved De Colo's backdoor layup with a triple and fed Zipser for a layup that made it 52-58. Pierre scored in penetration and Guduric erased Zipser's three-pointer with his own shot from downtown. Baldwin and De Colo joined the three-point shootout and Vesely took over with a layup-plus-foul that seemed to seal the outcome, 58-70. Baldwin and Zipser managed to bring Bayern within 68-73 with 36.5 seconds left but the hosts didn't get closer.
Jan Vesely filled the stats sheet in many different ways and his relentless effort allowed Fenerbahce to dominate the game. He finished the game with 15 points on 5-of-8 two-point shooting and 5-of-5 on free throws plus 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks and 4 fouls drawn for a PIR of 25.
Leon Radosevic allowed Bayern to tie the game for the last time, 39-39. Jan Vesely stepped up with a jump hook and a floater and got help from Marko Guduric, who buried a couple of jumpers and a three-pointer before adding a driving layup to boost his team's lead to 42-53, after a 3-14 run. Fenerbahce never looked back after that.
Two-point shots and turnovers made the difference in the game. Fenerbahce made 22 of 36 shots inside the arc (61.1%) and only allowed Bayern to score on 15 of 38 two-pointers (39.5%). Fenerbahce committed only 10 turnovers and pressured Bayern into 14.
Did you know?
Fenerbahce has qualified for the playoffs for the sixth consecutive time. It made it to this stage from 2015 to 2019, reaching five consecutive Final Fours and lifting the trophy in 2017. Fenerbahce also made the playoffs in 2008, right after merging with Ulker.
Both teams return to EuroLeague action later on this week. Bayern hosts Zalgiris Kaunas on Thursday, April 1. A day later, Fenerbahce welcomes FC Barcelona.
Tuesday, March 30, 2021