2021-22Regular SeasonRound 22
January 20, 2022 CET: 18:45
Local time: 20:45 ULKER SPORTS AND EVENT HALL

Fenerbahce rallies in second half to beat Zalgiris

Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul erased a 17-point third-quarter deficit before defeating visiting Zalgiris Kaunas 73-67 at Ulker Sports and Event Hall on Thursday night. The hosts trailed for 37 minutes, but never gave up and capped their rally with a 14-2 run in the last 4 minutes to get the win and improve their record to 9-10. Marko Guduric led the way with 19 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals for a PIR of 27, his best this season. He found great help from teammates Shemus Hazel, who scored all of his 13 points in the second half, and Achille Polonara, who had 10 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists. Edgaras Ulanovas set the tone for the visitors with 16 points and 7 rebounds, Karolis Lukosiunas recorded career-highs in three-pointers made (5) and points (15) and Marek Blazevic signed off a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds for Zalgiris, which dropped to 3-15.

The hosts had a slow start in offense and were held scoreless for the first 4 minutes. As such, when Ahmet Duverioglu managed to score the first bucket for Fenerbahce, the visitors had already built a 2-9 lead behind points by Ulanovas, Mantas Kalnietis and Lukosiunas. Melih Mahmutoglu capped a fastbreak with a layup to help his team reduce the gap to 5, but those were the only points any team would score for a 4-minute span. Gururic broke the trend from downtown to make it a one-possession game, but Lukas Lekavicius and Josh Nebo contributed on the other side to push Zalgiris to 7-13 at the end of the first quarter.

Ulanovas opened fire once the game resumed to extend it to 7-15. Even though Tarik Biberovic found a three-point play to help his team, Zalgiris signed off a 0-6 run capped by a tip-in by Blazevic to raise the difference to double-digits, 10-21, midway through the second quarter. Dyshawn Pierre and Duvieroglu showed up to start the hosts’ scoring engine, as Polonara finished a fastbreak to bring the hosts within 20-25. Lekavicius kept the visitors calm with the first Zalgiris three-pointer, which Nebo followed with a pair of free throws to restore a safe margin at 20-30. Fenerbahce found some relief from Duvieroglu and Pierre, who scored a buzzer-beating court-to-court layup that kept Zalgiris in sight, 24-30, at halftime.

Lukosiunas connected from downtown right after the intermission, and Blazevic banked a tough inside basket first, then drilled a mid-range jumper to bring Zalgiris to a double-digit advantage at 24-37. Polonara ended Fenerbahce’s offensive drought with a layup, but Kalnietis and Lukosiunas drained back-to-back triples that ripped it to 26-43. Hazer came up with a three of his own and Booker provided a strong alley-oop dunk that woke up Fenerbahce. Guduric followed with a three-point play that kept the hosts in the game, 34-45, after 27 minutes. The Serbian guard continued rocking with 4 more points and an assist for Biberovic and Hazer made it even tighter, 44-48, soon after. Lukosiunas came to the rescue for Zalgiris, nailing a redeeming triple that allowed Zalgiris to enter the fourth quarter still ahead, 44-51.

Fenerbahce had a powerful start to the fourth thanks to Guduric and Hazer. The former nailed a three and the latter brought the fans to their feet with a monster off-the-steal dunk that got the hosts within 49-51. Zalgiris didn’t panic, though, as Lukosiunas, Niels Giffey and Ulanovas answered quickly with one triple each to cool it down, 51-60. But Fenerbahce had not said its last word. Hazer scored inside, Biberovic contributed a three-point play and Polonara hit twice from behind the arc to tie it at 62-62 and set the stands on fire with 4 minutes remaining. Guduric completed the rally and got Fenerbahce ahead for the first time with a free throw. Then Hazer added a corner three to send the game to crunch time with the hosts leading 66-64. Ulanovas seemed to bring Zalgiris to the winning track with a triple entering the last minute, but Guduric replied from the same distance on the next possession to make it 69-67 with 43 seconds remaining. Kalnietis tried to take over on the other side, but he missed a three and was called for an offensive foul later that granted Devin Booker the chance of sealing the comeback from the line.

Guduric made up for Fenerbahce’s absences

Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul faced this game plenty of absences, missing several players and also Coach Sasa Djordjevic, but found a true leader in Marko Guduric. The Serbian guard took over for his team and completed his best game of the season by scoring 19 points, grabbing 4 boards, dishing 5 assists and getting 3 steals for a PIR of 27. He doubled his scoring average this season, contributing 16 points after halftime and becoming the key player in Fenerbahce’s second-half rally. He brought his team on top for the first time in the game with a free throw with 4 minutes remaining, 63-62, and hit a decisive three-pointer to make it 69-67 with 43 seconds to go that helped the hosts confirm the outcome.

Tale of two halves for Fenerbahce

The hosts went through an offensive nightmare in the first half, as they were held to 7 points after 10 minutes and reached halftime trailing 24-30. They shot 10-of-32 from the field in the first half and found themselves down by 17 points, 26-43, midway through the third quarter. Despite that, Fenerbahce never gave up and turned everything upside down by outscoring its opponent 29-16 in the last period to cap a historic comeback. The winners managed to score 24 of those in the last 7 minutes of the game, the same amount they had in the first 20.

Lukosiunas shines in Zalgiris’s defeat

Despite averaging less than 4 minutes per game so far this season for Zalgiris Kaunas, Karolis Lukosiunas seized the opportunity he was granted against Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul to prove his quality. He started for the first time this season and became one of the best weapons for the Lithuanian champs. He was Zalgiris’s second-best scorer with 15 points, nailing 5 three-pointers on 13 attempts, which were his personal bests. He took 15 shots overall, doubling the total number of shots (7) he tried in his seven previous games.

Achille Polonara - Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul - EB21
Thursday, January 20, 2022
Euroleague.net
Referees: GARCIA, JUAN CARLOS; PATERNICO, CARMELO; KARDUM, LUKA
Attendance: 3813 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul7172029
Zalgiris Kaunas13172116
End of Quarter1234
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul7244473
Zalgiris Kaunas13305167
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 BIRSEN, METECAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
2 HAZER, SEHMUS 23:44 13 2/3 3/7 0/1   4 4   2 3     2 4 12
10 MAHMUTOGLU, MELIH 15:18 2 1/3 0/4             1     1   -6
13 BIBEROVIC, TARIK 20:09 9 2/4 1/2 2/2   3 3 2     1   3 3 12
20 HENRY, PIERRIA 18:48   0/2 0/1   1   1 2 1 1     1 1  
21 PIERRE, DYSHAWN 16:36 5 2/7   1/1 2 1 3 1 1 2   2 2 1  
23 GUDURIC, MARKO 25:25 19 3/5 3/6 4/6   4 4 5 3 3       6 27
25 FLOYD, JEHYVE 4:17   0/1                     1   -2
31 BOOKER, DEVIN 24:51 6 1/1 0/2 4/4 1 4 5 3   1     3 4 12
33 POLONARA, ACHILLE 39:06 10 2/4 2/3   3 5 8 4 1         2 22
44 DUVERIOGLU, AHMET 11:46 9 4/4   1/2 2   2   1 3     2 2 8
Team             5 5               5
Totals 200:00 73 17/34 9/25 12/16 9 26 35 17 9 14 1 2 15 23 90
        50% 36% 75%
Head coach: DJORDJEVIC, SASA
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
Zalgiris Kaunas
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 BLAZEVIC, MAREK 25:30 10 5/8     4 6 10 4 1 1     5 3 19
3 LELEVICIUS, LIUTAURAS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
4 LEKAVICIUS, LUKAS 20:08 5 1/2 1/2         2   2     3 2 2
7 NEBO, JOSH 13:18 4 1/2   2/2 1 1 2   1 2 1   2 1 4
9 KALNIETIS, MANTAS 23:32 9 3/5 1/3     2 2 4   2     2 2 9
10 MINIOTAS, REGIMANTAS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
16 LUKOSIUNAS, KAROLIS 36:06 15 0/2 5/13   1   1 1 3     1 1 2 10
19 KRIVAS, MOTIEJUS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
26 SARGIUNAS, TITAS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
34 CAVANAUGH, TYLER 34:08 2 0/5 0/4 2/2 1 12 13 3 2 2 1   3 1 8
55 GIFFEY, NIELS 13:52 6 0/1 2/4             4     4 1 -4
92 ULANOVAS, EDGARAS 33:26 16 4/6 2/6 2/2 5 2 7 1   1     3 3 17
Team             1 1               1
Totals 200:00 67 14/31 11/32 6/6 12 24 36 15 7 14 2 1 23 15 66
        45.2% 34.4% 100%
Head coach: ZDOVC, JURE

Head Coaches

ZDOVC, JURE
Zalgiris Kaunas

“We played a good game. Congratulations to Fenerbahce for the win. We went down defensively. I don't understand why we let them, committing amateur mistakes, so many open shots of their best players, the ones that can change the game, and also Hazer made some important three-pointers. Anyway, we maybe could have won this game but in the end, we had not enough, both offensively and defensively. Our concentration went down, I believe we could have won but we didn’t execute smart enough in the end.”

 

BJEDOV, GORAN

Assistant Coach Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul

“Defensive mentality was completely different after the timeout [when we were down by 17] and we finally made some three-point shots. But I think we picked everything up defensively. We put in great effort, great heart and we didn’t quit. I’m super proud because we were tired, we were maybe without energy, but everyone who played gave everything tonight. [Marko Guduric] is that kind of player, that’s why he is here so it’s not strange for us. We have some problems with injuries but we hope we can finish this period soon.”

Players

GUDURIC, MARKO
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul
“[What changed in the second half] was just energy and wanting to win so bad. This was, I have to say, one of the most important games in my career and one of the best wins. I’m so happy, so proud of this team. With all the problems we have, it’s unbelievable. Corona cases, injuries, and 17 points down in the third quarter, we came back. I’m super proud of my team. Henry did not even practice the whole week; he just did shoot this morning. This is an amazing group of guys. I have to be a leader of this team right now. I tried to do it tonight, and it worked well.”
POLONARA, ACHILLE
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul
“I think I played a lot of minutes, but I have the energy to play another game because when you play with this energy, you get more energy. I think we did a great job by everybody tonight, especially on defense, and that gave us a lot of confidence in offense, passing the ball, sharing the ball, playing faster, and that’s what we need. We understood we had to change something, especially on defense. After that, offensively we got a lot of talent, everybody can score, especially if you move the ball and you find open shots.”