Fenerbahce Ulker registered its first win in Top 16 Group H by edging Cibona 55-65 at the Drazen Petrovic Basketball Center in Zagreb, Croatia on Thursday night. Both teams are now tied for third place in Group H, each with a 1-2 record, just one win away from Montepaschi Siena and CSKA Moscow, who are 2-1. Mirsad Turkcan led the winners with 20 points and 12 rebounds for his 46th Euroleague career double-double. He had 11 points in the final six minutes to help FB Ulker seal the outcome down the stretch. Gordan Giricek added 12 points against his former team, while Marques Green had 10 for Fener. Alan Anderson and Niksa Prkacin each had 12 points for Cibona. Earl Calloway added 11 and Vedran Vukusic 10 for the hosts. Anderson led a 10-2 opening run for Cibona but Turkcan and a three-pointer by Omer Onan allowed Fener to tie the game, 12-12, early in the second quarter. Cibona answered with a 9-0 run that Vedran Princ capped with a layup, enough for the hosts to keep a 27-22 halftime edge. A reverse layup by Marin Rozic kept Cibona ahead, 43-41, at the end of the third quarter. The fourth period featured 6 ties before Turkcan led a 0-11 run that allowed FB Ulker cruise to a well-deserved win.
FB Ulker struggled to find open shots in the opening minutes while Anderson got Cibona going with a fast break dunk. The guests remained scoreless for the opening three minutes and head coach Bogdan Tanjevic called a much-needed timeout to readjust his team's offense. Anderson kept pacing Cibona with a driving layup, but a tip-in by Semih Erden kept Fener within 4-2. Anderson made free throws, while Fenerbahce tried to get its frontcourt involved without much success. Calloway shined with a fast break layup and fed Jared Homan for an easy basket, good for a 10-2 Cibona lead. FB Ulker did not panic, however, as Gasper Vidmar dunked it and a three-pointer by Green brought the guests back to life. Turkcan had a huge block on Calloway, but Prkacin stepped up with his trademark jump hook. Turkcan came through with a driving layup to make it 12-9 at the end of the first quarter.
Cibona stayed true to its game plan early in the second quarter, with a patient offense looking for the extra pass. Meanwhile, FB Ulker tried to change the game rhythm with Onan, Devin Smith and Emir Preldzic together on court. Onan tied the game with a bomb from downtown, but a fast break dunk by Calloway restored a 14-12 Cibona edge. Vukusic nailed a three-pointer that made Fener call timeout at 17-12. Homan scored down low and a driving layup by Princ boosted the hosts' margin after a 9-0 run. The guests had committed 4 consecutive turnovers before Damir Mrsic Kaan scored in penetration. Anderson picked up a loose ball and put it in, but a jumper by Green kept Fener within 23-16. Rozic shined with a floating layup and free throws by Prkacin made it a double-digit game, 27-16. Oguz Savas and Rasim Basak took over with back-to-back baskets and Green beat the buzzer with a driving layup to bring FB Ulker within 27-22 at halftime.
Green sank a jumper immediately after the break to cap a 0-8 FB Ulker run. Calloway took over with an outstanding driving layup, as Fenerbahce committed several turnovers early in the third quarter. Anderson shined with a stop-and-pop jumper, good for a 31-24 Cibona lead. Turkcan sank his trademark fallaway shot and Vidmar banked in a free throw - Fener's first in this game – to get within 4. Turkcan buried a corner triple while free throws by Giricek completed the guests' comeback, 31-32. Cibona called timeout, but Onan buried a three-pointer to cap a 0-11 Fener run. Prkacin rescued the crowd with a dunk that Giricek matched with a driving layup. Cibona found a go-to guy in Vukusic, who fired one in from downtown to tie it at 36-36. Erden and Prkacin traded free throws, but a three-point play by Calloway and a reverse layup by Rozic allowed Cibona to regain a 43-41 edge after 30 minutes.
Fenerbahce improved its defense early in the fourth quarter and a long jumper by Giricek tied it again at 43-43. Turkcan scored in the low post, but Prkacin shined with another hook shot. Erden made free throws that Anderson erased with an outstanding dunk in traffic. Giricek kept pacing FB Ulker with a driving layup and free throws, but Calloway scored in penetration. A close basket by Prkacin provided a 51-51 tie. Erden hit a turnaround jumper that Vukusic matched with a driving basket. Erden fed Turkcan for an easy layup, good for a 53-55 Fener edge with four minutes to go. Turkcan stepped up with a power layup and a turnaround jumper to practically seal the outcome, 53-59, with under two minutes remaining. Calloway missed an uncontested layup but Turkcan hit a triple that hit the rim, went up and fell down. Cibona never recovered, as FB Ulker returned home with a good-as-gold road win.
Thursday, February 12, 2009