By Eurohoops Team/ email@example.com
Fenerbahce Beko made a couple of big shots down the stretch to push back Olimpia Milano‘s comeback efforts and prevail 73 – 64 to return to wins in Euroleague. The winning squad improved to 9-13 while Milano dropped to 10-11 after suffering its third straight defeat.
With the score 60 – 58 in the mid of the fourth period, Nikola Kalinic, Nando De Colo and Kostas Sloukas hit 3-pointers for a decisive 11 – 4 run that put Fener up by nine, 71 – 62 with 1:14 remaining. Milano didn’t make the appropriate response and fell after coming back from down 14, 49 – 35.
Gigi Datome dropped 14 points and grabbed six rebounds, De Colo scored 12 while reaching the 3000-point mark in EuroLeague while Kostas Sloukas contributed 10 points and seven assists for Fener. Nikola Kalinic notched 10 points and five assists, and Jan Vesely 10 points and five rebounds. Malcolm Thomas had his best performance with the jersey of the Turkish team with 10 points and four boards in 16:45.
“It feels good. I have been struggling a little bit inside, trying to learn my spots with the new team but today was good,” Thomas said. “My teammates gave me a little bit of idea on where to be when I come off a screen and roll, and it worked out. I am with a veteran team that is used to winning. That is something I am not used to doing in my EuroLeague career. I am learning a lot from the coaches, the players…from everybody.”
In total contrast with their opponents, only one Milano player scored in double-digit numbers: Kaleb Tarcewski who finished with 19 points plus nine rebounds. Sergio Rodriguez posted nine points and six assists and Keifer Sykes nine points. The positive part for Milano was that they own the tiebreaker in a potential tie in the standings, since they had won by 13 (87 – 74) in the first-leg match in Italy.
Increasing the tempo
Finding extra offensive chances via defense should be the focus of Fenerbahce, according to coach Zeljko Obradovic.
“In the last few days, we had some problems with players who were sick and injured but the team reacted well,” Obradovic said. “Like I said at halftime, we played very well in the final two minutes of the second quarter but also in the third quarter. It is an important victory for us. We need to continue to play in the same way. If you play defense like we played tonight, it gives us a lot of opportunities to run and score baskets in transition. This is what we need to change, to play faster and definitely to use the quality of the players that we have.”
Photo: EuroLeague Basketball