Credit: Fenerbahce Beko
Credit Fenerbahce Beko

Nando De Colo made sure that his team advanced to the Istanball Cup final where an opponent led by his former coach awaits. Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul squeezed by UNICS Kazan on a last-second shot, 81-79 (22-25, 17-16, 20-20, 22-18).

Nando De Colo

Nando De Colo
Team: Fenerbahce Istanbul
Position: PG, SG
Age: 34
Height: 196 cm
Weight: 91 kg
Birth place: Sainte-Catherine, France

The guests started the match with more success. UNICS took an early 4-0 lead and were ahead for most of the opening period. Teams finished the frame with the Russian team up by three points (25-22).

In the second quarter, Alexandar Djordjevic's players tightened their defense and managed to get closer. 3-point shots were not falling for UNICS (27%), while Fenerbahce were able to connect on half of their long-range shots. Teams went into halftime with a score of 39-41. Nando De Colo was Fenerbahce's top scorer with 11 points. 

Teams matched bucket for bucket throughout the third quarter of the game. In the fourth, UNICS continued to struggle from deep, meanwhile after Barthel's 3-pointer and Booker's shot the score was tied at 64 with 7:14 to play.

But the Russian team pulled away once again, thanks to an unsportsmanlike foul by Fenerbahce. However, Jan Vesely had a strong defensive sequence at the end of the fourth. He blocked John Brown's shot and later drew a charging foul. On the offensive end, Nando De Colo took matters into his own hands. After two made free throws, he also scored on a pull-up jumper to close the gap to four points with 2:02 left in the game.

In the ensuing possession, UNICS scored two free throws, but Dyshawn Pierre answered with his own and-1. After UNICS' miss, De Colo drew a foul and converted both shots (77-78). Kazan's attack was once again unsuccessful, leading to Pierria Henry's layup after a laser pass from De Colo (79-78). 

After Tonye Jekiri made only one of two free throws to tie the game with 16 seconds left, Fenerbahce had their final play. De Colo made a pass for Henry, who scored from under the basket as the time expired.

Fenerbahce: Nando De Colo 23, Devin Booker 15, Danilo Barthel 8, Pierria Henry 8.

UNICS: Lorenzo Brown (5 AST) 21, John Brown, Marco Spissu (4 REB, 4 AST), Andrey Vorontsevich (4 REB) 11.

After the game, Fenerbahce Beko head coach Alexandar Djordjevic said that it was a very nervous game, filled with unusual turnovers. He was surprised by how many free throws were missed by his players. The coach also admitted that at this point the two teams seem to be a "work in progress."

Mario Hezonja didn't play for UNICS due to a minor injury.

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