Winterthur FC Barcelona remained undefeated in Group C on Thursday night, defeating Fenerbahce Ulker at home 84-70. League-leading scorer Juan Carlos Navarro scored 13 of his 19 points in the first quarter as Barcelona opened a big lead and never looked back. The home team led 54-35 at halftime and Fenerbahce never got closer than 10 the rest of the way. Michalis Kakiouzis keyed a 9-0 fourth-quarter run that sealed the outcome. The win lifted Barcelona to a perfect 5-0 record in Group C – one game ahead of defending champion CSKA Moscow. The two teams will clash next week in the Russian capital for Group C supremacy. Fenerbahce dropped to 1-4 and a share of last place with Zalgiris. Navarro led Barcelona with 19, Kakiouzis added 15, Jaka Lakovic 11 and Denis Marconato had 10 on 5-of-6 shooting. For Fenerbahce, Damir Mrsic led the way with 21 points, Omer Onan added 11 and Kaspars Kambala hit 10.
Navarro was open on the first play to nail a triple and Rodrigo De la Fuente soon added another for a 6-0 Barcelona start. The hosts played fast, overwhelming the Fenerbahce defense with 4 straight points from Jordi Trias, but the visitors found Mirsad Turkcan and Mrsic for their first points to make it 10-4. Kambala started to become a threat in the paint for the Fenerbahce attack, helping his side within 14-12. A 6-0 spurt for the hosts, capped by Navarro free throws, was replied to with a fastbreak by Mrsic to make it 20-14. Navarro didn't hesitate to shoot from beyond the arc twice and his confidence paid off, giving him 13 points and Barcelona a 28-14 lead. Mrsic was still Fenerbahce's major offensive threat, adding a basket to end the first period with the score was 28-16, thanks to Barcelona shooting 11-for-15 from the field.
Omer Onan drove through the Barcelona defense for a Fenerbahce layup, but Lakovic replied with a triple on the next play. The visitors had difficulties attacking Barcelona's defense, and on the other end De la Fuente took the Barca lead to new heights, 35-18, with an acrobatic bank shot. Ibrahim Kutluay finally woke up with a triple-plus-foul and Kambala added free throws to make it a 0-6 run that allowed saw Fenerbahce trim the deficit to 11, but Gianluca Basile cut down the comeback with a three. The presence of Fran Vazquez in the paint gave Barca more intimidation and the hosts maintained comfortable leads when Roko-Leni Ukic scored a free throw for 44-28. Onan scored a triple in offense, but Fenerbahce's defense allowed too many easy shots to the hosts, whose lead reached a 50-31 lead when Ukic threw down a two-handed jam. Kambala's 5 straight points sent the game into the break with a 54-35 Barcelona edge.
Two scoreless minutes went by in the third quarter until Oguz Savas scored for Fenerbahce, but Barcelona replied quickly via Lakovic. The pace in this period was much slower than in the first half, with Fenerbahce outscoring Barcelona 4-6 in six minutes. Semih Erden scored 4 straight points for the visitors and Mrsic nailed two three-pointers, but Barca played with a comfortable cushion and Lakovic scored again to make it 62-47. The defenses forced turnovers on both sides as Fenerbahce fell behind by 14, but the visitors still managed to trim the deficit down to 64-53 after 30 minutes.
Barcelona had difficulties attacking the Fenerbahce defense, but the visiting team wasn't able to take much advantage of the situation. Free throws by Kutluay trimmed the deficit to 10 points with 7 minutes to go. Navarro finally found another basket to give Winterthur some room. That started a 9-0 run for Barcelona, including a Kakiouzis triple, that was only broken by Mrsic from the charity line at 77-61. The hosts improved defense allowed them to run on offense. Kakiouzis was confident from the arc, hitting his second three of the quarter as the outcome became clear. Still, Fenerbahce reacted with a 0-5 run, but with less than two minutes to go, that would be too little, too late. In the final minute, the teams exchanged baskets as the clock ticked away for Barcelona's fifth win to remain undefeated in Group C.
Thursday, November 23, 2006