Williams leads Fenerbahce past Valencia
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul grabbed its fifth consecutive road win by downing Valencia Basket 86-93 at La Fonteta on Friday. Both teams now have a 12-14 record and Fenerbahce has the tie-break advantage against Valencia, which beat the Turkish powerhouse in overtime earlier this season. Derrick Williams led the winners with 22 points. Luigi Datome and Kostas Sloukas each added 13 while Nando De Colo had 10 for Fenerbahce. Vanja Marinkovic led Valencia with 22 points. Bojan Dubljevic added 15 while Joan Sastre had 11 for the hosts. Joffrey Lauvergne and James Nunnally stepped up early, getting help from an outstanding Datome to give Fenerbahce a 14-21 lead after 10 minutes. Williams took over early in the second quarter but Dubljevic and Marinkovic kept Valencia within 41-47 at halftime. Dubljevic and Marinkovic rescued Valencia and Sastre tied it at 58-58 but Datome and De Colo made Fenerbahce restore a 60-65 lead after 30 minutes. Williams and Jan Vesely made the difference early in the fourth quarter and Sloukas made sure his team kept a safe lead until the final buzzer.
Lauvergne got Fenerbahce going with a baseline jumper, and Nunnally gave the guests a 0-5 lead. Marinkovic struck from downtown and Dubljevic dunked but Datome kept his team ahead. Lauvergne and Nunnally kept pacing Fenerbahce with driving baskets but Marinkovic and Aaron Doornekamp helped Valencia tie it at 12-12. Datome hit his trademark stop-and-pop jumper and Ali Muhammed added a triple for a 14-17 Fenerbahce lead. Malcolm Thomas sank a jump hook which Datome followed with an acrobatic layup to boost the guests' lead to 14-21 after 10 minutes. Mike Tobey followed a put-back slam with a bomb from beyond the arc early in the second quarter. Brock Motum also downed a triple to cap a 8-0 Valencia run, putting the hosts ahead at 22-21. Williams and Sloukas rescued Fenerbahce, combining for 7 quick points. Tobey dunked again and Fernando San Emeterio added a layup-plus-foul, but Williams kept Fenerbahce ahead, 29-33. Quino Colom banked in an off-balance layup and Dubljevic sank a triple but Fenerbahce kept finding go-to guys, as Vesely, Nikola Kalinic, Leo Westermann and De Colo each found their first points for a 34-41 lead. Marinkovic ignited the crowd with consecutive layups, but Muhammed and Williams downed triples to restore a 41-47 halftime edge. Marinkovic and Colom struck from downtown in an 8-0 run that gave Valencia a 49-47 lead right after the break. Fenerbahce found answers from beyond the arc as Datome, Nunnally and Muhammed each hit a triple for a 53-56 edge. Thomas scored down low but Dubljevic and Sastre helped Valencia tie the game. Datome insisted from beyond the arc and De Colo followed a shot-clock buzzer-beating jumper with a fast break layup to restore a 58-65 Fenerbahce lead, which Sastre cut to 60-65 after 30 minutes. Williams took over with back-to-back show-stopping dunks early in the fourth quarter. Vesely added his own fast break slam and De Colo beat the shot clock buzzer with a floater that boosted Fenerbahce's margin to 65-73. Marinkovic followed a triple with a wild four-point play but Williams and Sloukas each answered from beyond the arc to make it a double-digit game, 72-83. Dubljevic tried to ignite Valencia's comeback with a layup that Sloukas bettered with a triple to seal the outcome, 74-86, with 3 minutes left. The hosts kept trying but Fenerbahce held on to a well-deserved road win.
Derrick Williams did a little bit of everything - three-pointers, outstanding dunks, defense, intensity, character - to make sure Fenerbahce returned to Istanbul with a win. He finished with 22 points on 4-of-4 two-point shots, 4-of-6 three-pointers and 2-of-2 free throws, good for a PIR of 24.
Fenerbahce took off in spectacular way early in the fourth quarter. Williams had a couple of outstanding dunks: a two-handed fast break slam and then a one-handed throwdown off the baseline. Jan Vesely copied him with a Statue of Liberty dunk off a behind-the-back assist by James Nunnally. The Nando De Colo beat the shot clock buzzer with a floater that gave Fenerbahce a 65-73 lead. After this wild highlight reel, Fenerbahce kept full control of the game until the final buzzer.
Fenerbahce shot the ball with excellent percentages and that allowed the Turkish powerhouse to lead most of the way. Fenerbahce hit 21-of-28 two-point shots (75%), 14-of-25 from downtown (56%) and 9-of-10 free throws (90%). Valencia did not shoot the ball poorly (56% 2FG; 45.2% 3FG; 84.2% FT) but Fenerbahce was even more accurate at all times.
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It was a special game for De Colo, who won a 7DAYS EuroCup title with Valencia in 2010 and reached the EuroLeague playoffs with this team in 2011. He also met his wife, Vero Compan, in this city. De Colo finished the game with 10 points, no missed shots, 2 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 fouls drawn for a PIR of 16. He took 16 free throw attempts against Valencia in Round 16, but just 2 tonight.
Valencia visits LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne on Tuesday, March 3 at 20:45 CET. A day later, on Wednesday, March 4, Fenerbahce hosts Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade at 18:45 CET.
Friday, February 28, 2020