2018-19Regular SeasonRound 27
March 19, 2019 CET: 18:45
Local time: 20:45 ULKER SPORTS AND EVENT HALL

Fenerbahce fights off Buducnost challenge

A masterful finish lifted league-leading Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul to a 76-67 home win over feisty visitor Buducnost VOLI Podgorica on Tuesday. The 12-1 closing run lasted more than 6 minutes down the stretch and assured that Fenerbahce remained perfect at home for the season. Buducnost, still winless on the road, had led often all night, including by 10 points in the first half. Fenerbahce took its league-leading record to 23-4 while Buducnost fell to 6-21. Nikola Kalinic had 14 points and 6 rebounds for the victors. Jan Vesely followed with 13 and 6 assists, while Ali Muhammed and Kostas Sloukas both scored 11. For the visitors, Earl Clarke lead the way with 20 points, Goga Bitadze added 11, while Filip Barovic and Peter Popovic scored 10 apiece. Fenerbahce seemed to be taking control while building a seven-point lead in the first quarter, but Buducnost used a 7-20 run to take a double-digit lead in the second before succumbing late to a gritty and determined comeback by Fenerbahce.

Clark got the scoring started, but it was the first and last time Buducnost would lead in that opening 10 minutes. Sinan Guler celebrated his first start this season with 4 points to put Fenerbahce ahead 8-3. Kalinic and Erick Green lifted the lead to 14-5 from deep. Nemanja Gordic and Clark responded for Buducnost at 15-12, before Green and Kalinic made it 19-12. Buducnost got within 19-16 to end the first quarter and then Petar Popovic forged a tie from deep to open the second. Bitadze's three-point play shot the guests in front 23-26 and soon Filip Barovic upped it to 25-30. Fenerbahce's shooters stayed cold and its turnovers soon matched Buducnost's (9-9). Edwin Jackson's first basket was followed by Barovic's three-point play to make it 26-36 with 3:25 left in the first half. Fenerbahce kept its cool, though, chipping away at that lead with a timely Ali Muhammed triple helping to cut the difference to 36-39 at halftime. Fenerbahce came out with all guns blazing and retook the lead thanks to scores from Nicolo Melli and Vesely. The scoreboard continued to flick back and forth with a reverse layup by Marko Guduric sending Fenerbahce ahead 50-48. Although it seemed that the hosts were starting to put a little daylight between themselves and the visitors, Clark's steal and slam at the buzzer would tie the score again, 58-58, at the end of the third quarter. James Bell kicked off the fourth and final quarter with a three to edge Buducnost ahead again before Clark spun and dunked to extend that lead to 60-64. But Fenerbahce weren't going anywhere as Sloukas landed a long jumper to level things up and Guduric pushed the hosts ahead again from mid-range. Muhammed drained another timely three with 3 minutes left, which ended Buducnost's resistance. Fenerbahce's defense had the final word by holding Buducnost to a single free throw over the game's final 6 minutes, 24 seconds to win going away after having struggled until then.

Pivotal performer

Nikola Kalinic was Fenerbahce's main man, with an almost perfect all-around display. He shot 3 for 3 from two-point distance, 2 for 3 from the arc and 2 for 2 on free throws to get his team-high 14 points in the near minimum of shots. On top of that, he added 6 rebounds and had 3 steals in a complete performance that tipped the scales in his side's favor.

Mover and shaker

Earl Clark became a one-man highlight reel for Buducnost with 20 points. He came up big every time his side needed him, which included a nice steal and finish at the end of the third and another nice move in the paint to put Buducnost up by four early in the fourth.

Did you notice?

In the absence of Norris Cole, his backcourt mate, Nemanja Gordic played all 40 minutes and dished out 10 assists, his career high in his fifth EuroLeague season. His particularly sharp passes to Filip Barovic in the first quarter gave Buducnost needed inspiration, which paid off with an unexpected 10-point lead in the second quarter.

Next game

Both teams are back on the floor within 48 hours for Round 28. Fenerbahce visits CSKA Moscow in a top-of-the-table clash while Buducnost welcomes Anadolu Efes Istanbul to Podgorica.

Nikola Kalinic - Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul - EB18
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Euroleague.net
Referees: PEREZ, MIGUEL ANGEL; ROCHA, FERNANDO; UDYANSKYY, EDUARD
Attendance: 7738 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul19172218
Buducnost VOLI Podgorica1623199
End of Quarter1234
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul19365876
Buducnost VOLI Podgorica16395867
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 24:29 9 3/4 1/4     1 1 1 2 1     3   5
4 MELLI, NICOLO 20:00 6 3/3 0/2     1 1   1 1 1   3   3
10 MAHMUTOGLU, MELIH 3:06   0/1       1 1           1   -1
12 KALINIC, NIKOLA 28:34 14 3/3 2/3 2/2 1 5 6 1 3 3     3 3 20
13 BIBEROVIC, TARIK DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
16 SLOUKAS, KOSTAS 26:24 11 4/4 1/4     2 2 1   3   1   5 12
23 GUDURIC, MARKO 21:28 6 3/4 0/2   2 3 5 3       1 3 2 9
24 VESELY, JAN 28:36 13 2/4 0/1 9/12 2 7 9 4   2     2 10 26
32 GULER, SINAN 7:13 4 2/2 0/1     1 1 1 1       2   4
35 MUHAMMED, ALI 14:56 11   3/5 2/2       4 1 1     4 1 10
44 DUVERIOGLU, AHMET 11:43 2 0/1   2/4 1 1 2 1   1     1 4 4
70 DATOME, LUIGI 13:31   0/1 0/4   1 1 2 2     1 1 1   -2
Team             2 2               2
Totals 200:00 76 20/27 7/26 15/20 7 25 32 18 8 12 2 3 23 25 92
        74.1% 26.9% 75%
Head coach: OBRADOVIC, ZELJKO
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
Buducnost VOLI Podgorica
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 JACKSON, EDWIN 26:43 2 1/4 0/3   1 2 3 2 1 1     4 2 -1
4 SEHOVIC, SUAD 7:41                         2 1 -1
5 CLARK, EARL 31:13 20 7/15 1/2 3/4 2 3 5   2 2 1 1   4 19
6 BAROVIC, FILIP 18:29 10 4/5   2/5 3 2 5 1 1   2   3 5 17
7 CLARKE, COTY 25:02 6 2/6   2/2   6 6 1 1 4     3 1 4
8 SEHOVIC, SEAD 2:30     0/1                       -1
10 GORDIC, NEMANJA 40:00 5 2/5 0/3 1/2   1 1 10 1 3   1 3 2 5
11 BITADZE, GOGA 17:42 11 3/6   5/7 5 2 7 1 1 1     4 5 15
30 POPOVIC, PETAR 15:19 10 3/3 1/2 1/2   1 1 1 2 1     2 3 12
31 BELL, JAMES 15:21 3   1/4     1 1 1         4   -2
34 NIKOLIC, DANILO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Team           1 1 2               2
Totals 200:00 67 22/44 3/15 14/22 12 19 31 17 9 12 3 2 25 23 69
        50% 20% 63.6%
Head coach: REPESA, JASMIN

Head Coaches

OBRADOVIC, ZELJKO
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul
"Tonight was one more example that if you don't fight for the 40 minutes, it's very difficult. Thanks to our people, our fans. It was a fantastic atmosphere. Buducnost came in here and played a really good game and thought about what was important for them. They played a really good game."
REPESA, JASMIN
Buducnost VOLI Podgorica
"I want to congratulate Fenerbahce for winning the game but the same to my players, the way we played the game. I think it was one of our best games of the season, controlling the rhythm, controlling rebounds, controlling defensive transition. All are important parts of the game if you want to play a serious game against Fenerbahce on their court."

Players

KALINIC, NIKOLA
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul
"Even though we scored 36 points at the half, we didn't play well. After halftime we improved defensively, we improved the energy and motivation, too, and this is the result. Honestly, we probably thought it was going to be much easier, but Buducnost proved they are a great team and playing in the EuroLeague for a reason. This is the finishing stretch and we want to finish in first place, and we play Moscow for first place, probably. After that, I think it's the same if we are first or fourth, but we want to be first and we want to achieve that."
VESELY, JAN
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul
"Our game overall was horrible, I would say, because we didn't play as usual, and that's normal in some kind of way, but we have to play much better on Thursday [against CSKA]. About the free-throw percentage, I tried to be focused when I put my foot on the line to help the team, so that's pretty much it. We want to [finish first] and every game is important until the end of the regular season, so like I said, we have to play much better than we did today."