Fenerbahce broke the away streak to get back to the Final Four after five years

2024-05-08T21:29:01+00:00 2024-05-08T21:39:05+00:00.

Cesare Milanti

08/May/24 21:29


In the first-ever Game 5 ended in overtime, the Turkish team broke the away curse to get back to the Final Four

By Eurohoops team / info@eurohoops.net

After Panathinaikos blocked Maccabi‘s chance to get to this year’s EuroLeague Final Four, it was time for Fenerbahce to try breaking the away streak in Monaco’s Salle Gaston Medecin.

In the first-ever overtime Game 5 of EuroLeague Playoffs history, after almost two and a half hours of playing time, Sarunas Jasikevicius’ team wrote history, winning on the road 80-79 to get back to the EuroLeague Final Four after five years.

Nick Calathes came up clutch after struggling at shooting, scoring the last two three-pointers of the game, ending with 14 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists. “It was a hell of a series, hats off to Monaco, they’re very well coached. They’ve got the MVP in Mike James. We’re a family as a team”, he said.

Coming off the bench, 21-year-old sharpshooter Tarik Biberovic had a highlight-reeled performance to finish with 13 points over a perfect 3/3 from beyond the arc. Scottie Wilbekin had 14 points in the win. “Great night, I’m proud of my team. First time in history, and it’s one more reason to be even more proud. Let’s go to Berlin”, he celebrated the win.

“I’m feeling amazing”, Sarunas Jasikevicius first said. “The next step is how to land and play in Istanbul. How we’re gonna take that plane down I have no idea, but this flight home has to be legendary. Yellow nation, get ready for Berlin”, he also said while being showered by Nigel Hayes-Davis.

Tyring to help the Roca Team get to their second-ever and consecutive Final Four, Donatas Motiejunas scored 16 points with 6/9 from the field and 7 rebounds, ending in double-digits in every EuroLeague Playoffs game. Struggling to be impactful from the first minutes, Mike James ended with a 20-point losing effort, while Elie Okobo had 15 points. “I’m disappointed, what can I say?”, Sasa Obradovic said.

Fenerbahce’s comeback ended up being successful

The game opened with two early turnovers from Mike James, while on the other end, the returning Johnathan Motley started by dominating under the rim in offensive boards. Elie Okobo gave the home side its first lead at 9-8 with 2:49 on the clock while serving Donta Hall a huge alley-oop later on for the 15-11. At the end of the first, Fenerbahce was behind a single possession despite recording 8 turnovers.

Monaco opened the second with a 5-0 run forcing the opponents’ timeout. Scoring the first two three-pointers of the yellow-and-blue Turkish team, Nate Sestina and Tarik Biberovic made Fenerbahce reply with a 6-0 run. At 7:11 in the second, Donta Hall powered his team up with a strong 2+1 play. The Turkish club seemed to have changed the rhythm but lost a risky ball at 2:58 left before halftime, as Donatas Motiejunas dunked in the fast break.

The Lithuanian center opened the third with a three from the right corner, giving Monaco once again the eight-point lead (43-35). However, first with Nick Calathes tying at 45-45, and later thanks to Nigel Hayes-Davis, Fenerbahce put their head back up front, before AS Monaco turned things around once more. Under the last sixty seconds of the game, Tarik Biberovic scored five straight points to reduce the gap to two points (55-53).

Down the stretch in the third quarter, referees had to go back to the table to check the exact timing on the clock when the newly Turkish naturalized gem made a three for the 56-55, as the time got blocked for several seconds at 21.6 left. With four straight free throws, Fenerbahce got ahead 64-60 in the last five minutes of the clash in Monaco. Elie Okobo came up clutch at 3:06 left shooting from midrange, just like Marko Guduric who banked in the dagger for the 67-63 in crunch time.

Mike James reappeared in the game in the same way, reducing the deficit to 67-66, while his French backcourt partner followed just like he did earlier, getting Monaco back up front and concluding a 5-0 scoring run. Scottie Wilbekin replied with the same coin, shooting off the backboard. However, Elie Okobo had another run down the basket, tying at 70-70. The former Maccabi Tel Aviv‘s leader turned the ball over down the stretch, and Elie Okobo missed the shot to win it, sending it to overtime.

Leading his team in extra time, Mike James shot off the dribble again from deep, getting the 73-70 lead early in overtime. From then on, Scottie Wilbekin concluded a 4-0 run to overcome the odds once again. In the battle for the Final Four, playing in the first-ever overtime in Game 5 of the EuroLeague Playoffs, Alpha Diallo’s bucket was validated at 1:16 left for the 77-74 lead. After shooting 1/8 from the arc, Nick Calathes shot twice from deep for the 80-79 lead.

PHOTO CREDIT: Turkish Airlines EuroLeague

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