Fenerbahçe Ülker, Beşiktaş sink to the bottom of the group in Euroleague Top 16
Besiktas's players look as Olympiacos`s Acie Law (C) goes for the basket during the Euroleague basketball match Fenerbahce vs Olympiacos on February 28, 2013 at Abdi Ipekci Sports Arena in Istanbul. AFP photoFenerbahçe Ülker and Beşiktaş have lost their respective games in the Euroleague Top 16, sinking to the bottom of Group F. Beşiktaş was bested by defending champions, the Olympiacos at home 60-79 while the Yellow Canaries lost to Montepaschi Siena 87-69 on Feb. 28.
Fenerbahçe Ülker travelled to Italy without coach Simone Pianigiani, who resigned following a poor performance in Euroleague last week. The team carried a 6-2 record before the game and had hopes of snagging a playoff spot. Piangiani had joined the Istanbul side this summer after a successful run with Montepaschi Siena.
However, in this year’s competition the two clubs couldn’t have had more opposite experiences. Montepaschi Siena, after a slow start under new coach Luca Banchi, is now a serious contender for the playoffs. With their win against Fenerbahçe, Siena jumped just behind leader Barcelona with 7-2. Aleksander Rasic scored 16 points and Daniel Hackett added 13 to seal the Italians victory. On Fenerbahçe’s side, the Croatian Bojan Bogdanovic once again led his team with 22 points. Bo McCalebb clinched 10 points.
In the night’s other game, Beşiktaş lost its ninth straight match despite a strong start. Gasper Vidmar’s points helped the Istanbul side lead 15-13 the first quarter. But the Olympiacos’s point guard Vassilis Spanoulis stepped in during the second quarter quickly widening the gap to 30-38 at the half. The Greek champions maintained the margin during the third quarter despite Patick Christopher’s efforts for Beşiktaş and cruised through the fourth quarter to win the game.
Josh Powell collected 16 points as Kostas Papanikolau netted 11 for Olympiacos. Spanoulis stayed at 9 points, but dished out 8 assists during the game. Gasper Vidmar and Patrick Christopher led Beşiktaş with 13 points each.
Fenerbahçe Ülker will host Maccabi Electra on March 7, which seems their last chance for an almost mathematically impossible playoff ticket, while Beşiktaş will play against Caja Laboral on March 8 in Istanbul but not for a chance in the playoffs.