Fenerbahçe, Baskonia to clash in fourth game
The Istanbul club, leading the best-of-five series 2-1, missed the chance to sweep its opponent on April 24, losing the first game on Baskonia’s court 88-83.
A win in April 26’s game will take Fenerbahçe to the Final Four, and, in case it loses, the series will be decided in the final game in Istanbul on May 1.
With its back against the wall, Baskonia hit 14 three-pointers and used a 15-0 fourth-quarter run to down defending champion Fenerbahçe in Game Three.
The host team knocked down nine three-pointers in the first half and held a 47-38 halftime lead.
Baskonia kept the advantage in the third quarter, but Marko Guduric hit three triples to help Fenerbahçe rally and get within 67-66 going into the fourth quarter.
However, Janis Timma strung together eight points to spark a 15-0 run that opened a 16-point Baskonia lead with less than five minutes to go in the game and the host held off Fenerbahçe’s final charge.
Rodrigue Beaubois led the home side with 21 points and also dished five assists. Marcelinho Huertas had 11 points and 7 assist, while Tornike Shengelia collected 10 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists in the winning effort.
Jan Vesely had 17 points and 10 rebounds for Fenerbahçe, which had its 11-game playoff winning streak broken.
Fenebahçe coach Zeljko Obradovic was happy with his players’ performances despite the loss.
“I believe it was a very good game,” the legendary Serbian coach said after the game.
“We knew that Baskonia would start aggressive, both on defense and on offense. There were some minutes of our bad game near the end of the second quarter where we had situations where we did not have foul problems, but still allowed them to score easy points and take an important lead.
“In the second half, we played a very good third quarter, but in the beginning of the last quarter we were again very bad. But we fought until the end. Congratulations to Baskonia, they deserved to win, but congrats also to my players because they tried to do everything,” he added.
Baskonia coach Pedro MArtinez said his side played against a team with a lot of potential.
“It was a very hard game against a team that always gives a sensation that will come back in the game when they are behind,” he said.
“Their players are always threatening, and they are very well prepared tactically, both on offense and defense. We needed to be prepared and I am happy to have six players with more than 10 points. It was a team performance .We suffered on defense, but we were able to hold on. Now we have to maintains this, and improve, particularly against Jan Vesely.”