Fenerbahce Ulker needed overtime and yet another monster rebounding night from Mirsad Turkcan to down Eldo Napoli 78-83 on the road in Naples, Italy in Group C on Thursday. Fenerbahce boosted its record to 2-4 and is sixth in Group C, while Napoli dropped to 1-5. Turkcan scored 11 points and grabbed 21 boards for the winners. He is the only player to grab more than 20 rebounds in a Euroleague Basketball game, and has now done so four times with three different teams - Montepaschi Siena, CSKA Moscow and Fenerbahce. Damir Mrsic was the overtime hero, however, firing in a pair of crucial three-point shots to make sure of the outcome. Kaspars Kambala led the winners with 29 points, making 14 of 14 free throws, while Ibrahim Kutluay added 21 and Mrsic 12. Mason Rocca had 17 points for Napoli while Domenico Morena added 11 for the hosts. The game saw as many as eight lead changed before Valerio Spinelli hit free throws and assisted Rocca for a layup that sent the game to overtime, 67-67. Mrsic hit the go-ahead three-pointer at 72-73, and then buried another one to make it 72-78 and seal the win.
As both teams came out missing injured starters - Ansu Sesay for Napoli and Will Solomon for Fenerbahce - a Kutluay layup opened the game scoring. Simone Flamini soon replied for Napoli, and then Alessandro Cittadini's dunk roused the first cheers from the audience. Many errors from both sides kept the score on 4-4 for the first 5 minutes. Tierre Brown woke up Napoli with a layup before a three-pointer by Jay Larranaga sent Napoli ahead by 9-4. Kutulay and Turkcan answered from the arc, too, and Fenerbahce went ahead 11-12 when Kutluay posted up. A battle of giants in the paint between Kambala and Rocca followed, but Fenerbahce's defense held tough to finish the first quarter with a 13-16 margin.
A triple from Morena opened the second quarter, and soon a free throw by Rocca free throw tied for Napoli, 20-20. The hosts kept rolling behind 5 points by Matteo Malaventura to claim a 25-22 lead. Fenerbahce had problems on offense, and Morena punished one by scoring from the high post. Brown's free throws sent Napoli up 30-23, but Fenerbahce was ready to answer with a bomb by Kutulay and a layup by Kambala. The quarter neared the end as Napoli found a fastbreak basket by Michel Morandais plus a triple and free throws by Rocca. Fenerbahce used Kambala's inside points to close gap to 37-32 at halftime.
Kambala opened the third period with a basket and free throws to which Mrsic soon added his own shot to seize a new lead for Fenerbahce, 37-39. It didn't last, however, as Cittadini and Flamini combined on 4 quick points. Almost 2 minutes followed without a single ball in the basket, until Flamini buried a triple. Fenerbahce soon answered with Kambala and Kutulay hitting free throws to forge another tie, 46-46. It was all Cittadini then, as the Napoli big man shot from the high post and added a free throw to give his team a 49-46 edge after 35 minutes.
In the fourth quarter, Morena again scored the first points, but Turkcan answered quickly with free throws. Valerio Spinelli found his first basket on a layup to make it 53-47. After Morena and Larranaga missed three-pointers for Napoli, Kutulay tried one and was sent to the free throw line, making all three for a 53-51 score. Kutluay went back to the line, as did Turkcan, whose pair of free throws tied it up again, 55-55. It was point-to point the rest of the way. Malaventura brought Napoli in front with a jump shot, while Kambala got those points back and Mrsic bombed Fenerbahce into the lead. The visitors saw victory near as Kambala scored twice again, but Morena found a triple to keep Napoli within 60-64 with 2 minutes left. Spinelli took over for the hosts with a layup and free throws to make it 65-66. Rocca finally equalled the game at 67-67 with a layup while each team missed subsequent opportunities, sending the decision into overtime.
Rocca's layup gave Napoli the early edge in OT, but Kambala matched him before Turkan made good on a pair of technical free throws as Morena followed Cittadini to the Napoli bench with 5 fouls each. The lack of centers made it very hard on Napoli, but soon Kambala was out of fouls, too. Spinelli put the hosts ahead from the free throws line, but Mrsic came up with a big triple to bring Fenerbahce ahead again, 72-74, with less than 2 minutes left. Napoli's defense worked but Fenerbahce still took a pair of offensive rebounds, the second of which Ogus Savas put back. Then Mrsic sentenced the outcome with another triple, giving Fenerbahce a valuable Group C road victory.
Thursday, November 30, 2006