Bogdanovic’s late heroics put Fenerbahce in final
For the first time in club history, Fenerbahce Istanbul will play for the Euroleague crown. Fenerbahce outlasted Laboral Kutxa Vitoria Gasteiz 88-77 after overtime in a dramatic semifinal at the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four at Mercedes-Benz Arena in the German capital. Bogdan Bogdanovic led five Fenerbahce scorers in double figures with 18 points, half of which came in the extra period to decide the game. Fenerbahce will face CSKA Moscow in Sunday’s Euroleague Championship Game. Fenerbahce stormed out of the gate, scoring the first 13 points of the game, but Laboral answered with a 2-13 run and got right back in it. Fenerbahce pulled away twice more in the first half with help from Bogdanovic and Ekpe Udoh, but Ioannis Bourousis scored 11 points to get Laboral to 25-22, and Darius Adams scored 8 points in a 4-11 run that cut it to 41-40 at halftime. After the break, the teams traded blows until Bourousis got it going again, hitting one triple at the end of third, and one early in the fourth, giving Laboral Kutxa a 7-point advantage. However, Jan Vesely brought Fenerbahce back, and Kostas Sloukas tied it in the final minute. In overtime, Bogdanovic took control and booked his team’s ticket to the final. Luigi Datome added 15 points and 7 rebounds for the winners, while Udoh played a big role with 14 points and 4 blocks, Vesely also scored 14 and Sloukas tallied 13 points and 7 assists. Bourousis scored 22 and collected 10 rebounds to pace Laboral, which will finish its Euroleague campaign against Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar in Sunday’s Third-Place Game. Adams recorded 19 points and 7 assists, Kim Tillie scored 13 and Adam Hanga 10 in defeat.
First quarter: Fenerbahce starts strong, Laboral answers
Udoh opened the scoring with a mid-range jumper, and Datome hit a three-pointer from the right corner. Fenerbahce made a pair of defensive stands, and on its third possession, Udoh added another jumper. A corner three, from the left side by Pero Antic after exactly two minutes of play made it 10-0, and forced a Laboral timeout. A three-pointer from Bobby Dixon extended the margin to 13 points before Hanga drove the baseline for a dunk to open Laboral's account. Tillie added a short jumper. After Datome hit a tough jumper, Bourousis and Tilie scored inside on back-to-back possessions to cut it to 15-8. A steal from Hanga led to a fastbreak dunk from Tillie, and now it was Fenerbahce head coach Zeljko Obradovic calling a timeout. A transition three-pointer from Adams made it 15-13, but Bogdanovic answered with a three-pointer to snap a 0-9 run. Ricky Hickman's driving layup extended the margin, and after Jaka Blazic scored inside, Sloukas and Vesely connected on an alley-oop dunk that gave Fenerbahce a 23-15 lead.
Second quarter: Bourousis and Adams bring Laboral back
Bourousis opened the quarter with a three-pointer. Sloukas had a driving layup, but Bouruosis scored from close range and then added to his account with a tough off-balance corner jumper to get his team within 3. Antic threw an alley-oop pass for a monster Vesely one-handed slam, but Bourousis, who returned after briefly exiting the game, answered with his ninth consecutive point for Laboral. Another basket from Vesely, this time a layup after a dish from Bogdanovic, made it 30-24. Tillie and Bogdanovic traded three-point plays, before Adams hooked up with James in transition for an big alley-oop dunk, 35-29. Udoh made a bucket in a crowd, drawing a third personal from Bourousis, but Adams bettered it with triple. After free throws from Sloukas, Adams nailed another triple that cut the deficit to 39-35. Udoh was once again successful inside, but Adams assisted Blazic for a reverse layup-plus. Laboral made another defensive stop, while Adams continued running the show on the other end, driving for a layup and making it a 1-point game, 41-40 at halftime.
Third quarter: After five lead changes, game is tight
A fastbreak layup by Hanga gave Laboral its first lead of the game, but Antic answered with a wide-open triple for Fenerbahce to regain the lead right away. Antic added fouls shots, but Hanga nailed a three-pointer to make it 46-45. After Bogdanovic knocked down a pair of foul shots, Tillie hit a circus-shot jumper to bring Laboral with a single point. Datome nailed a fadeaway jumper, but James made a baseline shot to cut to 50-49. Neither team scored for almost two minutes before Adams drained a triple to put Laboral ahead again, and his reverse layup, after a drive past Vesely, put Laboral up 50-54. However, after a Fenerbahce timeout Vesely scored from close range and Datome from long range to give Fenerbahce a 55-54 edge, prompting a Laboral timeout. But, it was Bourousis who had the last say in the quarter, banking in a triple in the final seconds to put Laboral in front 55-57.
Fourth quarter: Fenerbahce rallies, Sloukas sends it to overtime
Bourousis scored inside to open the quarter, then followed with a three that gave Laboral a 55-62 lead. Udoh made a short a baseline jumper to snap a 0-8 run and then added a pair of free throws. Bourousis was unstoppable, driving to the basket for a layup, and James made a step-back jumper, giving Laboral a 59-66 advantage. But it was time for Vesely to make his presence felt, stringing together 6 points, including a tough turnaround baseline jumper and a pair of close-range baskets as he brought Fenerbahce within 65-66 with 4:51 to go. After a Laboral timeout, Adams drove for a layup high off the glass as defenses stepped up on both ends of the floor, and basket were few and far between. Tillie made a pair of foul shots, and Sloukas drove the lane for a layup to end Fenerbahce’s scoring drought of almost three minutes. Bourousis split free throws to make it a 4-point game, and that was the margin Laboral had entering the final 60 seconds. Datome hits a big three, and after split free throws from Adams, Sloukas drove for a layup to tie it at 72-72 with 25.7 seconds to go in regulation. After a Laboral timeout, Adams took the ball into his hands, but his three-point attempt rimmed out. Fenerbahce had 0.6 seconds for a final possession, but Dixon’s attempt was far off as the game went into overtime.
Overtime: Bogdanovic takes charge for Fenerbahce
Bogdanovic opened the extra session with a triple. Hanga countered with a driving layup, but Bogdanovic made a pair of free throws and Udoh scored inside to open a 79-74 lead. Bourousis missed 2 foul shots, before Bogdanovic banked in a runner and Sloukas hit couple free throws to make it 83-74. Davis Bertans made a put-back, but Laboral could not produce more offense. Bogdanovic’s put-back restored a 9-point margin with 67 second on the clock and a corner triple from Sloukas sealed the outcome.
Monday, May 23, 2016