Fenerbahce Ulker outlasted SLUC Nancy 90-86
A convenient 11-0 run at the start of the second period was all that Fenerbahce Ulker needed to take its first win of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague season
at home against SLUC Nancy, 90-86. The guests started well in the game, but Fenerbahce managed to shut Nico Batum down and got Thabo Sefolosha and Bojan
Bogdanovic on fire. However, in the second half Nancy regrouped and by the last minutes of the last quarter it even had solid chances to cmplete a 23-point comeback, but in the end a free throw by Omer Onan sealed the deal. Now, Fener is 1-2 in Group A, while Nancy also drops to 1-2 to tie with the Turksih
team. Sefolosha led the winners with 19 points, Onan, James Gist and Oguz Savas posted 13 apiece Bogdanovic had 11 and Kaya Peker nailed 10. Emir Preldzic dished 12 assists. For Nancy, John Linehan had the all-time record in assists as he dished 15 of them, beating the previous record of 14 shared by Theo Papaloukas and Tyus Edney since 2009 and 2004 respectively. Victor Samnick had the best scoring night of his career with his 24 points to lead the losers. Batum added 22, Jamal Shuler 13 and Adrien Moerman had a double-double of 11 points and 15 rebounds. It was also only the second game ever in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague to feature more than oneplayer with 10 or more assists. The other game in which this happened was the Third Place game at the 2008 Final Four in Madrid between Montepaschi Siena and Tau Ceramica. Terrell McIntyre dished 12 for the Italian team and Pablo Prigioni 11 for the Spanish side.
After tip-off, SLUC Nancy quickly looked to Nico Batum and he obliged with five quick points that were putting the guests ahead, 2-7. Luckily for Fenerbahce
Ulker though, Thabo Sefolosha was on fire and exploded for six points in a row to tie the game in the blink of an eye, 8-8. Soon after, Gasper Vidmar hit one
from the line for the first FB Ulker lead of the game, 9-8. Batum stepped up again but Sefolosha then started a festival of threes for both sides as soon the
score escalated to 15-13. Nancy was looking for the quick passes in offense trying to find the fast circulation of the ball, and it succeeded when John
Linehan fed Victor Samnick for a slam to tie, 15-15. With defense focused on Batum however, Fenerbahce managed to maim the guests' options in offense and as
a result got offensive chances as Sefolosha slammed for his 11th point in the quarter, 19-17. With a couple straight offenses finding the net including Oguz
Savas' layup, the hosts went up by 6 as the game reached the end of the first quarter, 23-17.
A whole different game started in the second quarter, especially with the appearance of Bojan Bogdanovic for Fenerbahce. His first three sparked an 11-0 run
that included two more threes, another by him and one by Sefolosha to set the stands on fire and put a 34-17 on the scoreboard in the blink of an eye. With
fast offense and great defense, the hosts were breaking the game. It had to be Batum who stopped the bleeding with a three-point play for Nancy's first
points after almost three minutes into the quarter. Nancy called for a timeout but few things changed because the hosts were able to run in offense and
together with the accuracy of Bogdanovic, who was up to 10 points in the period, Fenerbahce rocketed to a 41-22 lead. Samnick tried to keep Nancy alive but
the atmosphere was against the guests as Savas and Omer Onan chained more baskets to make it a 21-point game, 45-24. Nancy managed to score a 0-4 thanks to
Adrien Moerman's putback, and in defense the guests tried to switch to a zone, but Kaya Peker broke it with two more points entering the last minute, 51-29.
The connection between Linehan and samnick was working for Nancy now in offense, but there was little else going on for the guests and Peker scored to close
the first half with 55-34 for the hosts.
Savas opened fire in the second half for the hosts, but Samnick appeared for four straight points that made it 57-40. Sefolosha appeared again at this stage
but Samnick was huge for Nancy and he was scoring from everywhere inside. The guests were now finding some more open spots to find the rim but Emir Preldzic
soon fed Gist for a monster alley-oop that put things back in place. Nancy was far from done however, as Batum's steal allowed Jamal Shuler to score and draw
the foul from Sefolosha for a three-point play that made it 63-52. On the other side, Nancy was also regrouping and Fenerbahce was finding it more difficult
to find the basket. Shuler appeared again for five straight points including a three for the 67-57, as the game went on at its frantic pace. Nancy was
definitely dominating nou as Moussa Badiane scored again on a Nancy third option to make it an 8-point game, as Curtis Jerrells had to drive in traffic to
stop the bleeding. The end of the third quarter allowed the hosts to catch some air as the score showed a 70-61 after 30 minutes.
When Badiane hit a three-point play to start the last period and made it a 70-64 game, the stands at Abdi Ipekci couldn't believe their eyes. Preldzic scored for the hosts but Pape Amagou insistde: Nancy was back for real. Fortunately for the hosts, a three by Onan and Roko Ukic's layup quickly restored an 11-point lead so Fenerbahce could breathe. Amagou charged again with a triple of his own but Savas replied with a basket plus foul. The crowd at the arena couldn't believe their eyes when Samnick, back on court after rest, slammed the ball and later hit from 6 meters for his 20th point, to make it 80-73. Onan and Gist teamed up to keep Fener out of danger with buckets as the clock kept advancing. A technical foul called on Preldzic with 4 minutes to go allowed Batum to hit four free throws and the possession was in Nancy's fans again. Batum missed the three this time however and he score stayed at 84-79. Great defense by Nancy was allowing them to maintain their options, but Onan pulled up for a providential three with 3:15 to go that made it 87-79 again. After a Fener steal, Gist slammed for the offensive rebound making it clear that it was now or never for Nancy, 89-79. The guests started the final attack with a midcourt alley-oop from Batum to Moerman and after forcing a bad shot on Fener, Linehan fed Samnick for a driving slam, 89-83 with a little over one minute to go. However, despite the hosts losing the ball, Linehan tripped and gave the ball away this time and despitemissing a couple of shots, Fenerbahce secured thewin as there was no more time left and Onan sealed it from the line.
Thursday, November 3, 2011