Fenerbahçe to play Red Star in Turkish Airlines Euroleague
Fenerbahçe Doğuş travels to Belgrade on March 22 to play Crvena Zvezda (Red Star) after moving closer to clinching home-court advantage for the playoffs by drubbing Maccabi Tel Aviv 87-73 at Ülker Sports Hall on March 20.
As the Serbian side pursues its slim chances of advancing to the last eight ahead of May’s Final Four to be played at its home court, the visitors will look to grab another victory against a team it beat by 26 points in Istanbul in a Round 13 game.
With the win against Maccabi on March 21, Fenerbahçe improved to 19 wins and eight loses to remain in the second spot in the standings, while ninth-place Maccabi dropped to 13 wins and 14 losses.
Marko Guduric led the home side with 23 points on 5-of-6 three-point shooting, Luigi Datome added 16 points, Kostas Sloukas scored 12 and Jan Vesely 11 for Fenerbahçe.
Pierre Jackson led Maccabi with 13 points and Jonah Bolden and DeShaun Thomas each added 12 for the visitors.
Maccabi led 16-21 after 10 minutes and by as many as eight points in the second quarter, but Sloukas and Brad Wanamaker rescued Fenerbahçe before Datome scored 13 points in the last five minutes of the second quarter to give Fenerbahçe a 45-36 margin at halftime.
Guduric and James Nunnally took over after the break as Fenerbahçe boosted its margin to 74-56 after 30 minutes and cruised to a well-deserved win.
“We started lazy in the first quarter,” said Fenerbahçe coach Zeljko Obradovic.
“First of all the defense wasn’t on the level to play this Maccabi. We changed everything in the second quarter, playing more aggressive full court. We were able to steal some balls, run the court and get better space defensively. We continued to play like this in the second half, and it was important to continue like that and play good in a lot of things.
The legendary coach congratulated his players for the victory and thanked the fans for their support.
Guduric said I was an important win.
“We protected our home court. We didn’t start the game good, but after that I think we did a good job defensively to get some stops. It’s most important that we won the game. I hope we can finish the season strong,” he said.
Meanwhile, Fenerbahçe “has been sanctioned with a fine of 5,000 [euros] for the throwing of objects onto the playing court on occasion of its home game against CSKA Moscow , under Article 29.2.h of the Euroleague Basketball Disciplinary Code,” the organization announced on March 21.