By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Zach LeDay added 16 points, and Zalgiris ended the game with a 10-0 run that decided the outcome with the most crucial shot being this from Grigonis.
The Lithuanian club got the road win against Istanbul for the second straight season, as coach Sarunas Jasikevicius prevailed over Zeljko Obradovic.
“We kept the game close, as we know that Fenerbahce is under a little bit of pressure,” said Saras after the final buzzer. “We kept the game close, so we gave ourselves a chance, and some shots went in. We are very far from our good level, but I hope these types of wins will help the team to believe a little bit in the system and understand what we are asking from them because still, we are really far. I don’t know about next week. There are no miracles; things don’t happen over one week. But hopefully, in one week, we can take a small, small step”.
Fenerbahce with just one win after six games
Nando De Colo scored 29 points; Derrick Williams added 12 and Kostas Sloukas had 13 and nine assists, but nobody could save the day in the end for Fenerbahce, which remains on the bottom of the standings with a 1-5 record, while Zalgiris has a solid 3-3.
After a tied first quarter (17-17), the hosts got a 40-33 lead. Zalgiris started the second half with a 5-1 run and made it a three-point game (41-38), but after a three by De Colo, Fenerbahce got an eight-point advantage (58-50) and closed the third period with a 59-52 lead.
“After coming back from Tel Aviv, we rested for a few hours and then watched the video”, explained Obradovic. “Our team was very different from the two nights ago. We played well for long, but ultimately we made small mistakes and we were defeated”.
However, Zalgiris didn’t give up and was trailing by two (69-67) with four minutes left thanks to a three by Egdaras Ulanovas, which was his first made bucket of the game. A three by Gigi Datome and a difficult midrange shot by Williams extended the lead of Fenerbahce to seven (74-67). Still, Zalgiris cut the lead to one (76-75) with 47 seconds left after a steal by Ulanovas and a goal-foul by Nigel Hayes, setting the stage for the big shot of Grigonis.
“The crucial moment was that steal-and-one by Hayes”
“Right now, it’s mixed emotions,” said Grigonis after the game who gave the credit for the most crucial play of the game not to himself but to his teammate Nigel Hayes. “I’m very happy about today. We lost at home against Zenit [earlier this week], but we stole this game, so I’m happy. We stayed patient, played until the end. The crucial moment was that steal-and-one by Nigel Hayes. I think that was a crucial moment.”
The Lithuanian guard gave the 77-76 lead to his team, Jan Vesely missed the chance to give it back to Fenerbahce and Grigonis again with two free throws sealed the deal.
Photo credit: EuroLeague