By Eurohoops Team/ email@example.com
Scottie Wilbekin poured a season-high 25 points, including a late triple devastating the home side at Sinan Erdem Dome. Marko Guduric followed with 19 points, most of those from beyond the arc with 5/6 triples. The team coached by Dimitris Itoudis finished with 14/26 three-pointers.
“We have to stay humble, keep working and keep playing this way,” was the immediate reaction of the Serbian sharpshooter Guduric, “We are a new team. I have to say I am a little bit surprised by the way we are playing right now. Because we have a new coach, new system, a lot of new guys.”
“It is a long season. Just because you start good, it doesn’t mean you going to end good,” added Wilbekin, “We are just focused on getting better because we have many areas we can improve.”
The winning streak stretches to late September and the loss to the crosstown rival in the Turkish Basketball Presidential Cup. Fittingly, the next available rematch made it nine in a row.
On the losing end of five out of six last EuroLeague meetings, Fener retained the lead from early in the second quarter to the end of the Round 5 contest. A 10-0 sprint formed a 13-point advantage midway through the third quarter. Carsen Edwards logged seven of his ten points and Nigel Hayes-Davis all of his seven points in the third period.
A grind in defense allowed the last undefeated team in EuroLeague to control the fourth quarter. Unable to provide a response beyond cutting to a two-score deficit in multiple spots in the final quarter, the team guided by Ergin Ataman was eventually forced down to 2-3 with a second loss in four home games.
“After we talked about the way we have to defend, we came out in the third quarter and defense was a huge part [of the win], said Greek tactician Itoudis, “Overall, it is a good win, but we need to stay with both feet on the ground and we are.”
“Congratulations to Fenerbahce,” said the losing head coach Ergin Ataman, “They really played perfect basketball tonight. So, they deserved to win.”
Packing 19 points and five assists, Vasilije Micic stood out for the back-to-back EuroLeague champions. Amath M’Baye had 14 points and Elijah Bryant wrapped up the double-digit scoring efforts with 12 points to his name. Going up against his CSKA boss, Will Clyburn produced eight points with 4/13 from the field.
Back to domestic action, Ataman’s side will take on Bahcesehir Koleji Sunday and the reigning BSL champions will host Pinar Karsiyaka Monday. Next week’s EuroLeague Round 6 schedule features visits to FC Bayern Munich and FC Barcelona, respectively.
Special jerseys for the hosts displaying extra red to celebrate tomorrow’s Republic Day of Turkey. Both teams participated in the pregame ceremony honoring Mustafa Kemal Ataturk forming the Turkish republic on 29 October 1923.
Further limiting guard options, Rodrigue Beaubois (calf) joined Shane Larkin (finger) on the Efes injury list. On the opposite end, Nemanja Bjelica (calf) is still sidelined.
Photo Credit: Fenerbahçe Beko Twitter