By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Janis Strelnieks added a season-high 23 points for CSKA returned to wins following the upset to ASVEL Villeurbanne and improved its regular season record to 6 – 2. This was the sixth loss this season for Fener following performance that drove coach Zeljko Obradovic to some extreme reactions during a timeout.
“I tried to wake them up”
As Obradovic explained after the game: “Something I don’t really like is that somehow some of our players, they looked like they were not interested to play. So it is very hard to see something like that, to try to wake up and to do whatever… I am really sorry to say that but it is my feeling. If you finish the game in the last quarter with two team fouls, what kind of different feeling can I have?”
Kostas Sloukas notched 20 points and six assists while Derrick Williams added 19 points for Fenerbahce that fell behind in the third quarter. CSKA made buckets at will during the period to outplay its opponents 25 – 15 and enter the final ten minutes from a 64 – 49 position of strength. The visiting side was unable to react and with three minutes to go, the reigning champions even got a 20-point lead, 83 – 63, following consecutive triples by James.
The smaller gym helped
The game was not held in the Megasport Arena, but in the old USH CSKA gym and that was a plus for he hosts according to Mike James.
“The crowd definitely turned up and I think that in the smaller gym, you can notice them some more because they are closer,” he admitted. “In the other gym that we play, they are a little bit further away. So definitely there were more people and it felt like more of a home atmosphere. It was fun! I am glad we won; it is a big win for us. I was definitely tired at the end but this is just a good team win. We needed the win after the loss we took. I just tried to bounce back for my team.”
Coach Dimitris Itoudis added: “Mike (James) had a very good game, Janis (Strelnieks) also from the perimeter, but everybody caught the rhythm. For instance, Kyle (Hines) opened the game with three blocks, Kosta Koufos comes in and blocks the ball, Vorontsevich comes in and has 10 rebounds… I want to say that each and everyone helped a lot. Even when I hate to talk about absent players during the season, it costs us down the stretch. What’s important is those that play, so congratulations to them”.
Photo credit: EuroLeague