By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Fenerbahce already knew its playoffs opponent and Maccabi Tel Aviv was taken out of contention last night, but both teams gave it their all on Friday, on the last day of the EuroLeague 2018-19 Regular Season. It certainly was a challenge for Zeljko Obradovic’s side that secured a 78-75 victory to complete the Regular Season undefeated at home.
Kostas Sloukas made a pair of clutch buckets before his game-winning three for a game-high 22 points. “Today was a game without, let’s say, numbers: win or lose, we were first. But I think we showed character, we found motivation, and we beat a really good team” he pointed out afterwards.
Luigi Datome that scored 17 points added: “Now we have to start from zero. The playoffs are a very high level of basketball, so we have to keep working very hard. The most important part of the season is coming and the level is going to rise up for sure”.
Marko Guduric paved the way in the final period scoring 9 of his 13 points. Erick Green poured all of his 7 points in the first quarter keeping his team in touch. Jan Vesely, Joffrey Lauvergne and Tyler Ennis were out.
“Maccabi came here to play a good game, and they played a good game. So it doesn’t matter that it was not an important game for them or for us” the 59-year-old Serbian head coach of the winning side mentioned following the contest.
The visitors certainly brought it to Istanbul, especially defensively. Tarik Black’s EuroLeague campaign ended, but he kept his 10-point streak alive from the first period scoring 11. The 27-year-old American big got in double-digits from the tenth straight EuroLeague match and ended up with 23 points, also grabbed 7 rebounds. Scottie Wilbekin had 13 points.
The hosts needed a 16-4 start in the fourth quarter to get back in it and to improve to 25-5 before facing Zalgiris Kaunas with the home-court advantage at the playoffs. The Israeli club dropped to 14-16 after two consecutive wins despite building a ten-point lead in the third period.
Photo Credit: EuroLeague