By Eurohoops Team/ email@example.com
A dominating showing for Fenerbahce Beko attached with a reward of the 107-77 victory against Panathinaikos Friday. Almost the largest margin of defeat for the Greek giant in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague.
Scottie Wilbekin was the enforcer for the home side of the Regular Season Round 8 fixture. The former Florida standout logged 19 points. Previously coming out of Florida and ex-Panathinaikos floor general Nick Calathes added nine points, seven assists, and five rebounds.
“It is great when everyone can contribute,” noted Calathes referring to 11 of the 12 on the scoring board, “For us, we are a team with 14 guys that can play at any time. And I think that is what is special about our team. Any given night, somebody can step up.”
Scoring in double-digits for the sixth straight contest since the opening week, Johnathan Motley chipped in ten points. However, he fell narrowly short of a sixth consecutive showing with a double-digit PIR.
“I think that today we proved that we have a deep roster. We have players coming from the bench that can bring something. And this says a lot,” pointed out head coach Dimitris Itoudis, “Motley today had a problem with fouls. He played only 13 minutes. He is our top scorer and had great performances. It’s not only about one player. It’s all about how you are going to approach the game.”
Matching the team’s top-scoring effort in EuroLeague, the players guided by the Greek tactician firing in 78.6% two-pointers and 48% three-pointers were brilliant. Making the most of the fifth game at home, the reigning Turkey champions improved the EuroLeague-best record to 7-1. Statement signing of the summer, Nemanja Bjelica dealing with a calf injury has yet to play in the 2022-23 season. His approaching return possibly signals even more to come.
Standing out for the visitors in Ulker Sports and Event Hall, Dwayne Bacon scored 14 of his 20 points in the first half. He extended his streak of pouring at least 12 points and connecting at least one three-pointer to seven games but the Greens dropped to 2-6 with a third loss in a row on the road.
“Our defense was terrible for 40 minutes,” noted Dejan Radonjic, “Congratulations to them for the good game.” Nearing a record-break loss, the largest-ever EuroLeague defeat for his side stood at 33 points.
Grigonis, Pierre out
Youngster Neoklis Avdalas hurt his left knee in recent action at the junior level. The remaining players were all healthy enough to become available, but Marius Grigonis exited with a back issue after logging 4:52 in the first half. Evaluating the severity of the setback, he will undergo medical exams tomorrow.
Following a brief lead late in the first quarter, it was an uphill battle without the Lithuanian guard and the team coached by Radonjic fell further behind after the break. His former Zalgiris teammate, Nigel Hayes-Davis putting in seven of his 16 points in the fourth quarter kept Fenerbahce in a commanding position.
“We did a much better job in the second half,” stated the Ohio-born forward, “Our main focus is to make sure we play great defense. We rebound the ball. We can run very well. We have the greatest point guard in EuroLeague history in Calathes. When we have him on the court, everyone is running.”
Injury woes for the winning side as well. Dyshawn Pierre suffered a knee injury in the first quarter and did not return adding more responsibilities for Hayes-Davis. The Canadian forward was limited to two points and two rebounds in 3:52.
Reverting to Turkey’s BSL, Fener will host Tofas gunning for a 6-0 start Sunday. Visiting AS Monaco Tuesday and EA7 Emporio Armani Milan makes out the ensuing double-game week shaping Round 9 and Round 10 of the EuroLeague.
Panathinaikos will be on the road against Karditsa Biologiko Xorio seeking a fourth win in the fifth of Greece’s Basket League outings. From there, a couple of home fixtures opposite Virtus Segafredo Bologna Wednesday and LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne Friday.
Photo Credit: EuroleagueBasketball.net