Fenerbahçe Ülker sweeps Maccabi to clinch its first Final Four appearance

Fenerbahçe Ülker sweeps Maccabi to clinch its first Final Four appearance

Fenerbahçe Ülker sweeps Maccabi to clinch its first Final Four appearance

Turkey's Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul's players react after their team won they their Euroleague Playoff basketball match, round 3, between against Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv, on April 20, 2015 at the Menora Mivtachim Arena stadium in the Israeli Mediterranean coastal city of Tel Aviv. AFP Photo

Fenerbahçe Ülker edged Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv 74-75 in overtime on April 20 to sweep the Turkish Airlines Euroleague best-of-five series and clinch a ticket to Madrid for the 2015 Final Four. 

The Istanbul club, which made the job against the defending champions look easy, will make its first ever Final Four appearance May 15-17. 

The outgoing champs put up a valiant effort and had chances to win the game at the end of regulation and overtime, but Jeremy Pargo missed both opportunities. 

Nikos Zisis scored a season-high 19 points and dished 5 assists for the winners, while Andrew Goudelock added 15 points, including the game-winning layup with less than 10 seconds to go in overtime. 

Jan Vesely added 12 points and eight rebounds for Fenerbahçe. Pargo totaled 21 points and Brian Randle had 19 points and 10 rebounds for Maccabi.

“It was a game that we expected, it is always very tough to play here,” Fenerbahçe coach  Zeljko Obradovic said after the game. 

“After they lost two games in Istanbul I was sure they would play very aggressive. We changed everything in the second quarter – first of all offensively and defensively we were more patient. Offensively we did not play that well today because we played very slow. I believe this was the biggest problem for us.”

Maccabi Electra coach Guy Goodes praised his opponents.

“At the end of the day basketball is a game of mistakes and we made some significant mistakes,” he said. 

“That is basketball, however much it is disappointing and it is difficult. If you make mistakes like that you can lose in the end. They are a quality team and you could see how difficult it was for us to play against them today. And they deserve a lot of respect for the game today. They are an excellent team that deserves to be in the Final Four.”