Fenerbahce Ulker rallied from an eight-point deficit in the final 6 minutes to edge Brose Baskets Bamberg 79-77 in a Group C showdown in Istanbul, Turkey on Thursday. Fenerbahce improved to 3-2 and is on a three-game winning streak. Meanwhile, Bamberg dropped to 0-5 and missed a good chance to register its first win. Will Solomon paced the winners with 21 points, 8 assists and the game-winning free throws with 10 seconds remaining. Damir Kaan added 12 points, all in the fourth quarter while Mirsad Turkcan posted a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds for Fenerbahce. Ademola Okulaja had 20 points for Bamberg, Darren Fenn added 18, Predrag Suput 12 and Chris Ensminger 11. Fenerbahce led 9-2 early in the game but Bamberg got within 23-20 after 10 minutes while Fenn and an outstanding Okulaja allowed the guests to get a 32-36 edge. Fenn buried consecutive triples and Hamann also scored from downtown to give Bamberg its biggest lead, 55-63. Fenerbahce found a go-to guy in Mrsic, who buried 3 key triples down the stretch. It all came down to the final seconds, as Solomon hit a free throw for a 77-75 Fenerbahce edge. Fenn tied the game with 11 seconds to go but Solomon sealed his big game from the foul line.
Fenerbahce head coach Bogdan Tanjevic surprised everyone by starting little-used Rasim Basak, but it was Semih Erden who got Fenerbahce going with a two-handed dunk that Darren Fenn matched for Bamberg with a jump hook. Omer Onan banked in a fallaway jumper while Basak added a layup in a 7-0 Fenerbahce run that James White capped with a corner triple that was good for a 9-2 lead. Okulaja stepped up with a second-chance layup but Solomon answered from downtown to provoke Bamberg's first timeout 12-4. Okulaja kept pacing Bamberg with a mid-range jumper and free throws while Steffen Hamann added a fastbreak dunk to get the guests within 14-10. Okulaja's triple from the top capped a 0-7 run for Bamberg, but Onan copied him to give Fener some air at 17-13. Demond Greene joined the three-point shootout but Emir Preldzic shined with a driving layup and Onan added free throws to keep Fenerbahce's momentum going before a tip-in by Mirsad Turkcan allowed the hosts a 23-20 advantage after 10 minutes.
Ensminger stepped up with a reverse layup right at the start of the second quarter, as Bamberg involved all its players on offense now. Preldzic hit a mid-range jumper, before the hosts started missing shots, while Fenn stepped up for with a layup-plus-free throw that tied the game, 25-25, after 14 minutes. Ibrahim Kutluay came off a screen to bury his trademark three-pointer but Fenn still kept Brose close, 28-27. White's power layup was answered by Robert Garrett's jump shot, but the guests did not manage to take the lead until Greene and Ensminger found easy layups to make it 32-33. Fenerbahce's timeout did not lead to better shots as both teams went scoreless for 2 minutes before Okulaja launched the buzzer-beating triple that let Bamberg reach halftime ahead by 32-36.
Solomon buried a running jumper right after the break, and Gasper Vidmar found his first points on a power layup that tied the game, 36-36. Predrag Suput fed Fenn for an uncontested layup while Basak stepped up with a triple from the top for the hosts. The basket trading continued as Steffen Hamann scored coming off the baseline and Vidmar matched him with free throws. Solomon's driving layup give Fenerbahce a 43-40 edge, but Bamberg took it back with as Fenn banked in a close shot and Ensminger scored in the low post. Solomon proved unstoppable at the other end, however, while White joined him with free throws to keep Fenerbahce ahead, 47-44. Suput and Turkcan traded baskets before Fenn broke the game open with consecutive triples that put Bamberg in charge 49-52. Ensminger capped a 0-8 Bamberg run with foul shots but Solomon got Fenerbahce within 50-54 after 30 minutes.
Bamberg kept rolling as Hamann found another easy layup and Fenn banked in a close jumper at 50-58, but Damir Kaan answered from downtown and Turkcan buried a turnaround jumper to make Bamberg call timeout. Suput in the low post and Hamann from downtown restored Bamberg's eight-point edge at 55-63. Kaan saved Fenerbahce then with his second and third triples, to which Turkcan added another inside basket to an 0-8 run that tied it 63-63. Okulaja answered with a big triple for Bamberg, and after Solomon hit free throws, Suput shot-clock beater made it 65-68. Fenerbahce completed its rally, however, as Turkcan buried a long two-pointer and Solomon downed free throws for a new local lead, 69-68, with 3 minutes to go. A Bamberg turnover allowed Kaan to hit his fourth triple in the quarter, good for a 72-68 advantage. Okulaja made foul shots and fired in a corner triple, but Solomon's mid-range jumper left Fenerbahce up 76-73 with a minute remaining. Suput shined with an acrobatic layup with 26 seconds to go, after which Bamberg fouled Solomon, who made 1 of 2 free throws for a 77-75 lead. Fenn drew a foul with 11 seconds to go and hit both shots for a 77-77 tie. Solomon went back to the free throw line and did not miss this time, while Fenn could not say the same of his game-winning three-point try at the buzzer, which did not go down.
Thursday, November 22, 2007