Webb’s last-second tip-in wins it for Valencia against Fenerbahce

2023-03-16T22:36:49+00:00 2023-03-17T00:23:28+00:00.

Nikola Miloradovic

16/Mar/23 22:36


Valencia defeated Fenerbahce at La Fonteta to end the losing streak, thanks to James Webb’s final second tip-in

By Eurohoops Team/ info@eurohoops.net

With an 82-80 win against Fenerbahce Beko, behind James Webb’s last-second tip-in, Valencia Basket snapped its losing streak and improved to 14-15, to keep their chances in the playoff race.

Bojan Dubljevic led the winning side with 18 points and seven rebounds for a PIR of 21, while the hero James Webb scored eight points with seven rebounds.

Jared Harper was the only player besides Dubljevic in double digits, finishing the match with 15 points.

“It’s an important victory for us, especially in the fight for the top eight”, Dubljevic said after the game. “I’m really proud of my team because we fought amazingly against one of the best teams in the EuroLeague. But we have no time to celebrate. We are still alive. We will fight until the end.”

For Fenerbahce, Marko Guduric scored 23 points, and Johnathan Motley added 19. Nigel Hayes Davies finished with 11 and six rebounds, while Tyler Dorsey scored 10 points in his 12 minutes on the court.

From the very beginning, it was clear that it was going to be a tough and close battle. Valencia had the lead for the majority of the first half, but Fener didn’t let their opponent gain more than a six-point surplus. At halftime, it was 43-42 for the Spanish side.

The Turkish team finally managed to take the lead in the third period, but the rivals went back and forth and entered the final quarter with the same distance between them as after the first, and second part, 61-60.

As expected, everything went to the final minute, with Chris Jones hitting a huge two-point shot with 33 seconds to go. Then Marko Guduric gave a bad outside pass, Jonah Radebaugh cut it, but then hit just one free throw on the other side, after Guduric’s foul.

The Serbian player redeemed himself on the next possession, hitting the three-pointer off the backboard for the tie. Still, Valencia had 11 seconds for one final go, and James Webb tipped the ball in after Jared Harper’s miss for the win.

“We are happy to stay in the race”

Valencia coach Alex Mumbru admitted that his team’s defensive effort was the key: “Some moments, we played great defense. One of the keys was our defense, but also the offensive rebounds”.

That’s why Valencia had to concentrate there since the game was a test that they passed in order to stay alive in the playoff race.

As Mumbru said: “It was a very physical game. We knew that before it started. It was very important for us to control the rebounds, and I think we did a good job rebounding with the desire of all the players on the court. In some moments, I think we played very good defense. In the end, it was a tight game. They scored that three-pointer [by Marko Guduric] off the glass, but we had the last possession and we made the basket to win the game. We are happy to stay in the race for the playoffs. It was an important game for us, not only for our mentality but it’s good to see ourselves in the race to get to the playoffs.”

On the other said Fenerbahce coach Dimitris Itoudis tried to explain the dominance of Valencia on rebounds: “In some things, we managed to create some turnovers out of them in the second half and get some more possessions and get the lead in the third quarter. But the problem we had was the offensive boards. The desire of Valencia’s players to go in numbers and crash the boards is why they had 16 [offensive] rebounds. And the last two plays were after offensive boards. We had good defense on [Bojan] Dubljevic, but he grabbed his own offensive rebound. And the good defense for the missed layup and a tip-in at the buzzer. Combine that with the turnovers, which were big – 16 turnovers and 16 offensive boards – it could have been a different game”.