Vesely, Guduric drive Fenerbahce back to the win column

2021-12-02T20:42:51+00:00 2021-12-02T22:19:35+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

02/Dec/21 20:42

Fenerbahce Beko outlasts AS Monaco in the battle of losing streaks

By Johnny Askounis/

Despite a rocky performance, Fenerbahce Beko held on to defeat AS Monaco, 96-86, at Ulker Sports Arena Thursday.


Czech star Jan Vesely had 20 points, ten rebounds, five assists, and two steals. Marko Guduric scored all of his 18 points after the break, including 11 in the 13-1 sprint to start the third quarter.

“No one knows that Jan Vesely had three days of flu and he also didn’t play the last [domestic] game, we decided to give him [rest],” noted head coach Sasha Djordjevic, “So it was really a big game for him. He was very focused on both sides of the floor.”

“We had ups and downs, but in today’s game we fixed it and we stayed in the game, we didn’t quit,” summed up Vesely, “So we have to just learn from this game and keep going to the next games like this.”

The French visitors came back from the first double-digit deficit and were close to a repeat after the 15-5 run launched by Fener midway through the fourth quarter. Eight straight points cut the deficit to four points before the hosts finally put the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season Round 13 game beyond doubt down the stretch.

“We fought during the game. We had a close game and we tried a couple of times to catch Fenerbahce, to be close, but in the end, they definitely destroyed us,” confessed Zvezdan Mitrovic following the sixth consecutive loss on the road, “Our defense is going down. This is our problem.”

Nando De Colo chipped in 15 more points and in the process became the new all-time PIR leader of the competition. Pierria Henry made a key contribution of 13 points, six rebounds, six assists, and five steals.

“We all have one main goal and that’s to win the championship,” said Henry, “It’s not how you start the season. It’s how you finish.”

The team based in Istanbul snapped a four-game losing streak to jump to 4-9. All nine losses were by a margin of five points or less.

Mike James did not look like a player coming off an ankle sprain late in Round 12. However, his season-high 31 points was not enough for the team coached by Mitrovic. He sank 10/19 from the field, including five triples, to go along with four assists, four steals, and two rebounds.

“Defensively we were focused even when we saw that Mike James had an unbelievable first half,” mentioned Djordjevic commenting on James with 19 points at halftime, “At the end, he tried to get back with his legs that are unique, we knew it, but we all managed to play and get the win.”

La Roca team fell to 5-8 with a fourth loss in a row. Jerry Boutsiele and Leo Westermann remained sidelined, while Dwayne Bacon and Rob Gray were also inactive. On the opposite end, Danilo Barthel was out still feeling knee soreness after the arthroscopic surgery nearly two months ago.

Next week, Fenerbahce will visit Zenit St. Petersburg Thursday and Monaco will return home to face AX Armani Exchange Milan.