Credit: KKF-Scanpix
Credit KKF-Scanpix

Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul (1-0) opened their Turkish Airlines Euroleague season with a challenging victory.

Player of the Game
Dyshawn  Pierre
EFF
19
Dyshawn Pierre
Points 13
Accuracy 5-8
Rebounds 4
Assists 1

In front of their fans, Turkish powerhouse 61-57 (18-15, 10-11, 17-11, 16-20) beat Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade (0-1).

It was a very close battle that saw the two teams fought until the very end.

Fenerbahce gave the decisive push in the last two minutes of the game. First, Pierria Henry threw down an emphatic dunk, then Nando De Colo scored 5 points in a row, and the hosts got a 9 point lead (58-49). 

Zvezda tried to stay alive with a Nikola Ivanovic three-pointer and a potential 2+1 play by Luka Mitrovic, who missed the additional free-throw. In the end, De Colo sealed the win with a free throw.

"I think our defense was good tonight," Djordjevic said after the game. "Some players felt a little bit of tension, pressure. Whatever you want it to call, it was our first game in front of your fans. It's not easy to play a game like that when someone puts that favorites tag on your back."

At the end of the third quarter, Fenerbahce created some distance between them and Zvezda, thanks to Achille Polonara, who started to generate some offense.

First, he cut to the basket, then added a three-pointer and created a 10 point lead for Fenerbahce (45-35).

Fenerbahce had started the game really strong in the first quarter, even leading by 14 points and playing some great defense. Zvezda reacted strongly, though, finishing the first quarter only down by 3 points.

Dyshawn Pierre was named MVP of the game and finished with Pierre 13 points (4/6 2PT, 1/2 3PT, 2/2 FT), 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 2 blocks, and 19 PIR.

The head coach of Fenerbahce was also happy about successfully forced turnovers by his team.

"One detail that was really good for us: we forced the opponents to 21 turnovers. But we couldn't finalize those 21 turnovers with some easy baskets that we needed to finish the game earlier."

For Zvezda, Nikola Ivanovic had a great game with 16 points (2/4 2PT, 3/8 3PT, 3/3 FT), 6 assists, 2 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 turnovers, and 20 PIR.

Zvezda was without Dejan Davidovac, Ognjen Kuzmic, Marko Simonovic and team captain Branko Lazic.

Shooting poorly behind the arc (4/18, 22%), Fenerbahce only scored 10 points in the second quarter, and Nando De Colo struggled from the field as well (1/6 2FG, 4 turnovers).

However, Djordjevic is adamant that things related to the offense department will get better as well. 

"It is the start of the season. I believe a lot of teams and especially us, are a work in progress. We created some really good shots. We had some open guys on the perimeter, if we could score from those open shots, the game would have been different," Djordjevic said.

Fenerbahce: Dyshawn Pierre 13 (4/6 2PT), Devin Booker 8 (9 REB), Nando De Colo 7 (1/6 2PT), Achille Polonara 7 (1/3 2PT)

Crvena Zvezda: Nikola Ivanovic 16 (3/8 3PT), Nate Wolters 9 (4/6 2PT), Nikola Kalinic 9 (9 REB), Ognjen Kuzmic 8 (4/7 2PT).

Highlights

Press conference

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Stambulo Fenerbahce
Belgrado Crvena Zvezda
41%
24/58
Field goals
39%
24/61
32
Rebounds
42
18
Assists
15
14
Steals
7
10
Turnovers
21
7
Blocks
1

Best players

Dyshawn  Pierre
13 PTS
5/8 FG
2/2 FT
Nikola  Ivanovic
16 PTS
5/12 FG
3/3 FT
Devin   Booker
9 REB
5 DREB
4 OREB
Nikola  Kalinic
9 REB
7 DREB
2 OREB
Pierria  Henry
6 As
1 TO
26 MIN
Nikola  Ivanovic
6 As
2 TO
30 MIN
Dyshawn  Pierre
19 EFF
67% 2P%
50% 3P%
Nikola  Ivanovic
20 EFF
50% 2P%
38% 3P%