Fenerbahçe eyes victory over Olympiacos
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Fenerbahçe Ülker’s Turkish international forward Oğuz Savaş tries to score in his team’s match against Caja Laboral in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague. Fenerbahçe Ülker is chasing a spot in the Top 16 of the competition, the final four of which will be played in Istanbul. AFP photoFenerbahçe Ülker takes on Olympiacos in a crucial Group A battle in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague tonight.
Another Turkish team in the competition, Galatasaray Medical Park, will meet Russia’s Unics Kazan in a Group D meeting.
The Fenerbahçe Ülker vs. Olympiacos will be an intriguing battle not only because it will bring together teams from two fierce rivals in basketball, but also it will be a match-up between two teams with three wins in six matches.
Both teams share in a four-way tie for second place at 3-3.
Fenerbahçe Ülker has won its last two home games and Olympiacos is still looking for its first road win. Previously in Group A, Olympiacos topped Fenerbahçe Ülker 81-74 in Piraeus, Greece.
Fenerbahçe Ülker Neven Spahija said that the match will be different from the earlier meet.
“Both teams are playing better than the first part of the season,” he was quoted as saying on the Euroleague website. “This is one of the key games for us. I hope that we are going to play more consistently and with full concentration than at the Caja Laboral game. The support of our fans is very important for our success.”
Olympiacos has a serious domination over Fenerbahçe Ülker all five of its previous visits to Istanbul. Last season, Olympiacos downed 65-80 in the Top 16, overcoming its 14-point loss in Piraeus to win their group.
Fenerbahçe Ülker and Olympiacos rank first and second, respectively, in fouls drawn, so expect a physical, intense, attractive game tonight.
Fenerbahçe Ülker forward Bojan Bodganovic agreed that the game would be tough.
“It’s going to be a very important game for both teams because we have 3 wins and 3 losses,” he said. “[Point guard Vassilis] Spanoulis is playing in great shape. One of the important things we have to do for this game is to stop him.”
Olympiacos is still without Panos Vasilopoulos but Matt Howard rejoined the Reds’ practices and may be back this week. Fener is still without Marko Tomas and Mirsad Türkcan, who could be back before the end of the regular season.
Meanwhile, Galatasaray Medical Park will be hoping for an upset win when it visits the solid Russian side.
Unics is tied for second place in Group D at 4-2 and will reach the next round if it wins and Montepaschi Siena beats Union Olimpija. Galatasaray Medical Park comes off an overtime win against Asseco Prokom and wants to keep its momentum going.
Galatasaray claimed two of its three victories on away courts, so it will be hoping to repeat that feat.