Fenerbahçe books ticket to Final Four in Belgrade
Fenerbahçe Doğuş advanced to its fourth consecutive Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four on April 26 by defeating Kirolbet Baskonia 83-92 at Fernando Buesa Arena to win the best-of-five playoff series 3-1.
The defending champion will face Zalgiris Kaunas in one of the Final Four semifinals on May 18 at Stark Arena in Belgrade.
Marko Guduric led the winners with 22 points, Nicolo Melli scored 21 and Nikola Kalinic added 13, while Kostas Sloukas delivered eight assists for Fenerbahçe. Vincent Poirier paced Baskonia with 14 points. Rodrigue Beaubois added 13, Johannes Voigtmann scored 12, Marcelinho Huertas and Toko Shengelia each had 11 and Jayson Granger 10 for the hosts.
Fenerbahçe used a big second quarter to cruise into halftime leading 32-48 and extended it to 47-68 late in the third quarter.
Voigtmann led a 13-0 run that brought Baskonia back to life at 60-68, but Kalinic and Ali Muhammed restored a 69-84 Fenerbahçe margin midway through the fourth quarter and the visitors never looked back en route to claiming a Final Four ticket.
Fenebahçe coach Zeljko Obradovic praised his players, and their opponent.
“Before the start of the series, a lot of people talked about Baskonia as a team that had a lot of possibilities to go to the Final Four. I also believe that they are a very good team,” said the legendary coach, who will seek his 10th Euroleague trophy in Belgade.
“It was a really tough series against them, but I believe we deserved, finally, to go to the Final Four. One more time, congratulations to my players for their great job and also congratulations to Baskonia for everything they did until this game.”
Obradovic is happy to be in the Final Four once again.
“I have a good feeling right now, first of all, because there are some players that never went to the Final Four,” he said.
“We joked with them about it practically during the entire season and also at the start of this series. I told the others that they had to explain to them what it meant to play in a Final Four. I am happy for them and for the whole team, because we did a very good job.”