By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
Kostas Sloukas with 23 points, ten assists, and 13/13 free throws, Melih Mahmutoglu with 17 points, a big three and a big steal in overtime and also Ahmet Duverioglu who made crucial buckets in the extra time led the charge for the home team.
Sloukas with two free throws sealed the deal. However, it was a total team effort that decided the outcome. Duverioglu made one of the biggest plays of the game, giving Fenerbahce a crucial 101-96 lead after Luke Sikma getting called for an unsportsmanlike foul.
Still, ALBA made it a three-point game 105-102 with 15 seconds left, Sloukas was fouled and made two free throws on the way of a EuroLeague personal best with a 39 ranking.
Nando De Colo returned to action and had 18 points, Derrick Williams made things happen on both sides of the floor and added 14 points in a long fight.
Despite a strong 30-16 start in the first quarter, ALBA Berlin bounced back. The guests trailed by one at halftime (41-40) and got a 72-71 lead with seven minutes left in the game. Martin Hermannsson, with a big three, made the score 75-71, forcing coach Zeljko Obradovic to take the time out.
“Our second quarter was terrible.”
“Our second quarter was terrible, and after that, we really didn’t understand that the way to play ALBA is to be close to them. We gave a lot of open shots, and it became this kind of game, a game that could have been easy to win in regular time,” Obradovic said after the buzzer.
Sloukas cut ALBA’s lead to one (79-78), and the Germans entered the last two minutes leading (81-80). Sloukas gave the lead back to Fenerbahce (84-83), and Williams with a block and a dunk made it 86-83, but in the end, Luke Sikma tied the score at 88-88.
“It was an important win; ALBA gives trouble to a lot of teams, so we knew it would be a difficult game,” added Sloukas. “We lost concentration for some minutes, but generally, we didn’t play that bad. We knew that ALBA would play the same if they’re back by 14 points or ahead by 20 points, we had to be ready, and we’ve been practicing all week for this. We played at a great tempo and finally found a way to win. This is very important, and what the team needs, find a way to take victories.”
In total, Sikma had 18 points, and Rokas Geidriatis added 19 with five made threes, but it was not enough. The final result was a morale boost for Fenerbahce, which doesn’t know when Jan Vesely will be back. The Turks have a 5-7 record, while ALBA is just behind them at 4-8.
Photo credit: EuroLeague