Fenerbahce Ulker finished perhaps the toughest group in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Regular Season with six consecutive victories, scoring at least 80 points in each of those, including a thrilling 89-91 overtime road win at FC Barcelona. Throughout the regular season Andrew Goudelock has given Fenerbahce the luxury of steady offense, while do-it-all forward Nemanja Bjelica has risen to new heights of versatility. Jan Vesely was back in his stride in the paint and the backcourt tandem of Ricky Hickman and Bogdan Bogdanovic displayed better chemistry as the regular season progressed and victories piled up.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR: Fenerbahce has made it to the Top 16 for the fifth straight season, and in each of those it has squared off with Olympiacos Piraeus. Yearly rendezvous built a new rivalry, one that was only been elevated to new heights last season whn long-time Panathinaikos coach Zeljko Obradovic arrived to the Fener’s bench. It was a special event and a high-quality clash in the opening week of the Top 16 last year when the Reds won 95-82. However, a lot more could be on the line this season when Fenerbahce makes its annual trip to Piraeus and the Peace & Friendship Stadium in Top 16 Round 10.
GOING FORWARD: Riding a six-game winning streak, Fenerbahce Ulker arrives to the Top 16 with great momentum. As newcomers Goudelock, Bogdanovic, Hickman, Vesely and Semih Erden play key roles and carry one of the top scoring offenses in the competition and Bjelica continues playing some of the best basketball of his career, Fenerbahce has lots of room to get better, too. All that energy, athleticism and talent in the hands of head coach Zeljko Obradovic, the winningest coach in Euroleague history, could take a very ambitious Fenerbahce Ulker squad as far in the competition as it has ever been.