2018-19Regular SeasonRound 30
April 05, 2019 CET: 19:45

Sloukas lets Fenerbahce stay perfect at home

Kostas Sloukas beat the final buzzer with a triple to give Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul an exciting 78-75 win over visiting Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv in the last regular season game for both teams on Friday. The shot meant that Fenerbahce finished 25-5, the best record yet under the new format, and completed a perfect 15-0 run at home, another first. Maccabi, which new on Thursday night that it had been eliminated from the playoffs race, finished with a 14-16 record in 10th place. Sloukas paced the winners with 22 points, while Luigi Datome had 17 and Marko Guduric 13. Tarik Black had 23 points on 10-for-12 two-point shooting for Maccabi. Scottie Wilbekin scored 13 more and Deni Avdija 10. It was a back-and-forth battle that Maccabi owned for much of the second half after going on a 0-10 run out of intermission, but Fenerbahce inched its way back until Sloukas could decide it despite first falling down on the final play.

With the Fenerbahce centers Jan Vesey and Joffrey Lauvergne both out of action, Maccabi went inside early and often to Black, who powered his team to leads as high as 8-14. Triples by Datome and Sloukas helped Fenerbahce end the first quarter all square, 20-20. The same Fenerbahce duo scored the first 5 points of the second quarter before the lead went back and forth and Deni Avdija made his presence felt with 2 triples among 8 points to keep Maccabi within 34-33. Datome and Black took over the scoring from there as the score returned to even, 41-41, at the half. Black, Scottie Wilbekin and Johnny O'Bryant fueled a 0-10 run to a 41-51 lead after the break for Maccabi. Fenerbahce closed the gap to 49-55 on free throws by Datome. Fenerbahce went cold from outside and let Maccabi take 2 offensive rebounds to score on the last possession of the third quarter for a 51-59 advantage. A transition triple by Sloukas opened the final quarter, then Datome, Nicolo Melli and Marko Guduric joined the fun as Fenerbahce closed within 60-61. Michael Roll's second consecutive baskets gave Maccabi fresh air, but Guduric drilled from the corner at 63-63. Mehli Mahmutoglu took the honor of putting Fenerbahce ahead, hitting 3 free throws on an unsportsmanlike foul by O'Bryant and a technical on Maccabi coach Ioannis Sfairopoulos. Mahmutoglu then drilled a jumper for 5 points in 7 seconds total. When Guduric added free throws, it was 70-63. But Maccabi wouldn't say die. Black came back for 4 quick points before John DiBartolomeo drilled a game-tying triple and a free throw for a new lead, 70-71, with 2 minutes left. Sloukas drove for a go-ahead layup that Black answered with the same. Sloukas did it again, and after both O'Bryant hit Melli split free throws, it was 75-74 with 30 seconds left. Pargo also hit 1 of 2 to tie, leaving the last possession for Fenerbahce. Sloukas slipped with the ball, but got it back and measured from deep over Avdija, sending the Ulker Sports and Event Hall crowd into euphoria to end a stellar regular season on the right foot before the playoffs.

More Fenerbahce firsts

In addition to becoming the earliest EuroLeague Playoffs qualifier ever back on February 8, Fenerbahce added feathers to its cap by becoming the first undefeated team at home after a 30-game regular season and securing the best record after a regular season, 25-5. Fenerbahce's 15-0 record at home was one better than Real Madrid's 14-1 in the 2016-17 season and CSKA Moscow's same home mark last season, when it finished 24-6, the previous best overall finish.

The kids are alright

In a game with no consequences for either team, a couple of 21st century teens got some extra minutes. Tarik Biberovic of Fenerbahce and Deni Avdija of Maccabi, both 18 and born in the same month of January, 2001, hit the floor early. Avdija got the best of the numbers, posting 10 points and 5 rebounds in 18 minutes, but had to watch Sloukas hit the game-winner over him. Biberovic downed a single free throw in 10 minutes of first-half play but got a handshake and pat on the head from the best in the business, his coach Zeljko Obradovic, as he came off the floor.

Kalinic milestones

In the absence of two centers, Fenerbahce's forwards had to do a lot of inside work. Luigi Datome played center a lot, while Nikola Kalinic took a career-high 11 rebounds, 3 more than his previous best, in 30 minutes. He also scored 5 points to put him over 1,000 for his EuroLeague career.

Next round

Fenerbahce takes its first-place standing into the playoffs by hosting Zalgiris Kaunas in Game 1 on Tuesday, April 16. Maccabi, which recovered from a 5-10 start to stay in the race until the next-to-last night of the season, will be back next season to try to complete its mission.

Kostas Sloukas - Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul - EB18
Friday, April 5, 2019
Attendance: 10432
By Quarter1234
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul20211027
Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv20211816
End of Quarter1234
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul20415178
Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv20415975
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 GREEN, ERICK 8:18 7 2/3 1/1                       6
4 MELLI, NICOLO 27:46 3 1/2 0/1 1/2 1 4 5     3 1   2 2 3
5 HERSEK, BARIS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
10 MAHMUTOGLU, MELIH 14:11 5 1/2 0/1 3/3   1 1           2 1 3
12 KALINIC, NIKOLA 30:02 5 1/8 0/2 3/4 2 9 11 2 3 1   1 2 6 13
13 BIBEROVIC, TARIK 9:58 1 0/1 0/2 1/2 1 2 3           1 1  
16 SLOUKAS, KOSTAS 31:34 22 3/4 4/6 4/4   4 4 5   2     4 2 24
23 GUDURIC, MARKO 28:23 13 3/4 1/2 4/4   4 4 1   1 1   4 3 15
32 GULER, SINAN 0:08                              
35 MUHAMMED, ALI 8:18 3 0/1 1/5   1   1           1 1 -1
44 DUVERIOGLU, AHMET 15:51 2 1/2   0/2   2 2 1     1   1 2 4
70 DATOME, LUIGI 25:31 17 3/3 3/5 2/2   5 5 1   1 1   5 4 20
Team             3 3     2         1
Totals 200:00 78 15/30 10/25 18/23 5 34 39 10 3 10 4 1 22 22 88
        50% 40% 78.3%
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 WILBEKIN, SCOTTIE 30:19 13 2/3 1/7 6/7 1 1 2 3         2 5 13
2 PARGO, JEREMY 21:12 4 1/7 0/3 2/3 1   1 4   1   1 3 3 -3
3 O'BRYANT, JOHNNY 16:59 6 2/4 0/3 2/3 1 5 6 2       1 4 2 5
4 CALOIARO, ANGELO 28:21 6 3/6     3 4 7   3 1   2 1 1 10
5 ROLL, MICHAEL 12:14 4 2/4 0/1   2 1 3 1         2 2 5
7 KANE, DEANDRE DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
8 AVDIJA, DENI 18:28 10 2/6 2/4   1 4 5           3   6
9 TYUS, ALEX 13:58   0/1     1 3 4     1 1   1 1 3
12 DIBARTOLOMEO, JOHN 21:42 9 1/3 2/7 1/2 2 1 3 2 1 1     3 2 5
15 COHEN, JAKE 4:56   0/1                         -1
28 BLACK, TARIK 25:54 23 10/12   3/5 2 5 7     2     2 6 28
50 ZOOSMAN, YOVEL 5:57                         1   -1
Team           2 1 3     1         2
Totals 200:00 75 23/47 5/25 14/20 16 25 41 12 4 7 1 4 22 22 72
        48.9% 20% 70%

Head Coaches

Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul
"It's obvious that except maybe in the beginning of the third quarter, the team reacted in a very positive way. Maccabi came here to play a good game, and they played a good game. So it doesn't matter that it was not an important game for them or for us. We played, both teams, as if it were a very important game and I believe that it's the right way. Thanks to our people for one more great night of support here, like during all of the season, and we hope we will continue to have this atmosphere in playoff time...The best is to forget everything that we played until now and prepare ourselves to play against Zalgiris."
Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv
"I think one more time we showed to everybody that we fight all the games and we try to do our best from the moment that I came to the team. It was very hard, what we tried to do, because the handicap in the beginning was really big. When I arrived to the team, the record was already 1-6. I arrived one day before playing Efes away and Fener at home. So with one practice, we played two difficult games that we lost. So on the 22nd of November, our record was 1-8, and we were the last team in the standings. From that moment, after we practiced one week, we started to win some games and we turned things around. And I think at the end, we didn't qualify, but let's say we have a bitter and a sweet taste in our mouths. Bitter because we didn't qualify, but sweet because we changed all the things around in the EuroLeague, and we fought in all the games. One of the biggest examples is today's game that – although we didn't have a great motive to play this game; we were disappointed yesterday night after the results -- but you see how we fought until the end and we lost to the first team in the standing on the buzzer. At the end of the day, I'm very proud how our players fought in all the periods so far, and from now on we need to focus on our league, the Israeli League, to play the rest of the games of the regular season and then to be ready for the playoffs and the final four. I want to thank all of our fans, that they support us all this period. It's very important that when we fought on the court we were listening to their voice from the stands and I want to say that we need them for the Israeli League. I want to wish good luck to Fenerbahce and to their coach."


Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul
"First of all, we didn't finish the season. Now the season starts. Today was a game without, let's say, numbers: win or lose, we were first. But I think we showed character, we found motivation, and we beat a really good team. First of all, I'm very happy that my teammates support me and trust me with the last shot. Maybe you score it sometimes. Other times maybe not. But the most important thing is we showed character. We didn't play very good today, but it's important that we won and finished the regular season in the right way."
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul
"It was good today. To play tough, to play focused, to compete is not something that you can switch on and switch off like a button. Today was not important for us because we knew that we were going to be first. It was good, then, the attitude that we had to fight until the end like we always do. We are very confident and very happy for the work we put in so far. Now we have to start from zero. The playoffs are a very high level of basketball, so we have to keep working very hard. The most important part of the season is coming and the level is going to rise up for sure."
Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv
"It was a hard-fought game. I was proud of everyone on the team for how we came here and performed, regardless of the situation. We came here and gave it our all. Playing in the EuroLeague has been amazing. Great talent here, great group of guys in this locker room. We had a lot of fun traveling around, performing in Europe at a high level. These guys did a great job of making me look good, probably better than I truly am. And I'm just elated at how we bounced back from the way the season started, and how we responded to that situation. It showed a lot of perseverance and character in us."
No results found.