Caja Laboral edged Fenerbahce Ulker 90-85
In one of the most intense games so far in this 2011-12 Turkish Airlines Euroleague season, Caja Laboral improved its chances to reach the Top 16 and got in a better situation to win Group A by downing Fenerbahce Ulker 90-85 in overtime in Vitoria, Spain on Thursday. Laboral improved to 4-2 and now has a 2-0 record against Fener, that dropped to 3-3. Fernando San Emeterio paced the winners with 25 points and 8 rebounds. Milko Bjelica added 16 points, Brad Oleson had 13, Mirza Teletovic got 12 while Pablo Prigioni contributed 11 for Laboral. Bojan Bogdanovic led Fener with 19 points. Oguz Savas added 14 while Curtis Jerrells and Thabo Sefolosha each had 13 for the guests. Laboral led 16-14 after 10 minutes and back-to-back three-pointers by Bogdanovic and Sefolosha allowed Fener to get a 38-42 margin at halftime. Fener improved its lead to 57-63 early in the fourth quarter but a rain of three-pointers by Prigioni, Milko Bjelica and Brad Oleson allowed Laboral to get a 73-69 edge. Free throws by Jerrells and Sefolosha allowed Fener to force overtime, 73-73, as Teletovic missed from downtown at the end of the regulation. AN outstanding San Emeterio and a wild three-point play by Milko Bjelica helped Laboral to seal the outcome, 83-77, with less than 2 minutes to go.
Nemanja Bjelica got Laboral going with a turnaround jumper and Kevin Seraphin beat the shot clock buzzer with a jump hook for a 4-0 lead. Gasper Vidmar scored down low and Omer Onan split free throws, as the hosts struggled to get Teletovic involved. Prigioni struck from downtown but a driving layup by Roko Ukic kept Fener within 7-5. Nemanja Bjelica shined with an off-balance driving basket, as Laboral entered the foul bonus midway through the first quarter. The hosts had troubles to score without Teletovic and San Emeterio on the floor but its outstanding man-to-man defense shut down Fener's options. Seraphin and James Gist traded baskets but a three-pointer by Milko Bjelica boosted Laboral's lead to 14-8. Savas scored off a wild spin move in the low post, as Fener improved its defense off a timeout. Seraphin stepped up with a dunk that Savas matched with free throws for a 16-12 score. An easy basket by Bogdanovic brought Fener within 16-14 after 10 minutes.
San Emeterio nailed a three-pointer early in the second quarter, as Fener now tried Emir Preldzic at point guards. Jerrells banked in a mid-range jumper that San Emeterio matched with a floating jumper for a 21-16 Laboral lead. Bogdanovic answered from downtown off a timeout but Teletovic copied him right after that and a jumper by Milko Bjelica made it a seven-point game, 26-19. Savas buried a jumper but he didn't find much help around until Bogdanovic stepped up with a close basket. Teletovic sank a catch-and-shoot triple that but Jerrells hit free throws and Bogdanovic dunked it for a 29-27 Fener deficit. Brad Oleson joined the three-point shootout but a second-chance basket by Bogdanovic and a reverse layup by Savas made the hosts call timeout at 32-31. Prigoni and Oleson rescued laboral with back-to-back triples but Sefolosha singlehandedly kept Fener within 38-36. Bogdanovic struck from downtown to give Fener its first lead of the game, 38-39. Sefolosha beat the buzzer with an off-balance three-pointer off the glass for a 38-42 score at halftime.
Sefolosha kept pacing Fener with a jumper immediately after the break but Oleson erased it with a jumper. Bogdanovic buried another three-pointer to give the guests a 40-47 margin, as the hosts struggled to score against Fener's intense defense. Vidmar scored down low but San Emeterio finished a three-chance Laboral offense with a layup and soon added free throws to get Laboral closer, 44-49. Savas and Teletovic exchanged jumpers but a backdoor layup by Milko Bjelica made it a three-point game, 48-51. Jerrells briefly silenced the crowd with an acrobatic basket that San Emeterio erased with a layup in penetration. Preldzic hit a jumper, as Laboral coach Dusko Ivanovic brought Goran Dragic off the bench to play alongside Thomas Huertel on a twin-guard lineup. San Emeterio shined with a driving layup that brought his team within 52-55. A jump hook by a rock-solid Savas and a buzzer-beating three-pointer by Gist gave Fener a six-point lead, 54-60, after 30 minutes.
Nemanja Bjelica buried a big triple early in the fourth quarter but Onan answered from downtown to restore a 57-63 Fener lead. Laboral managed to lock the defensive board and San Emeterio joined the three-point shootout to send the crowd to their feet at 60-63. Prigioni beat the shot clock with his own three-pointer that tied the game, 63-63, making Fener call timeout. The guests kept struggling to score right when it mattered most and a layup by Milko Bjelica put Laboral back ahead, 65-63. Ukic shined with a big basket in penetration that Milko Bjelica bettered that with a three-pointer for a 68-65 score with under 3 minutes to go. Gist picked up a turnover and Oleson buried a corner triple that forced Fener to call timeout at 71-65. Ukic stepped up with a driving layup and free throws by Jerrells turned the game into a thriller, 71-69, with 1:22 left. Prigioni found space for an uncontested layup but Jerrells made two more from the foul line for a 73-71 score with 46.7 seconds to go. Sefolosha collected a steal, drew a foul and made free throws to tie the game, 73-73, with 24.2 seconds left. It all came down to the final shot but Teletovic missed from downtown at the regulation buzzer.
San Emeterio buried a three-pointer early in overtime, as Fener did not find the way to the basket for almost 2 minutes. Defense kept the guests alive, however, as a put-back layup by Vidmar made it a one-point game, 76-75. San Emeterio kept pacing Laboral with a one-handed floater in the lane that Bogdanovic matched with free throws. Oleson buried a jumper off the dribble, Bogdanovic missed the beyond the arc and an incredible layup-plus-foul by Milko Bjelica sealed the outcome, 83-77, in the next-to-last minute. Fener never recovered, allowing all Laboral fans to celebrate a critical road win!
Thursday, November 24, 2011