Credit: Tolga Adanali/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images
Credit Tolga Adanali/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images

After two losses away from home, Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul bounced back at home with a confidence-boosting win against UNICS Kazan.

Player of the Game
Devin   Booker
Devin Booker
Points 16
Accuracy 7-8
Rebounds 5
Assists 1

Regarding the second-half collapse against ALBA, coach Sasha Djordjevic knew that his team had a lot to prove.

Fenerbahçe responded with hard work in defense, where they kept UNICS at 11 points until the 6:47 remaining in the 2nd quarter.

UNICS never found rhythm until the end of the game and ended up with some abysmal figures, especially with the offensive part. Despite all, Djordjevic was not entirely satisfied.

“There is not a lot to say after a game like this,” Djordjevic admitted. “Obviously, this was a great reaction by the team. We were so focused and disciplined defensively. We did almost everything we planned to.”

“If I may say, we played 70 minutes of good basketball. The last minutes just pissed me off. We lost the ALBA game in the 3rd and 4th quarters, so we need to get better and better every time.

For this game, our bigs were up to a good level. Ahmet Duverioglu played hard in defense, I’m happy for him. We have to forget about this game as soon as possible. In some moments of the game, we tried to put some beautiful things. The simple basketball is the most beautiful basketball. There is time for that. A good win for us,” the head coach continued.

Alongside the good defense, there were other improvements in Fenerbahce’s game.

Regarding the 3-point shooting, Fenerbahce had the second-worst percentage with 34% until tonight.

Against UNICS, they were much more accurate in that department with 8/21 (38%). Besides, they got important contributions from Devin Booker behind the arc in the first half. Djordjevic was already aware of Booker’s long-range threat.   

2-pointers this season

Points made: 17,8
Accuracy: 44,1%
Place in standings: 13
Record max: 22
Record min: 11
Most made 2FGs: Lorenzo Brown

“I think the ball was moving really well. From our defense to offense, everybody was involved. If the ball is moving in this way, then our players can find open shots.

Devin Booker also has this dimension. I already have pushed him in my previous team (Bayern) to do that, and I believe he can do this thing also here. But besides that, he is really effective in rolling to the rim, and he has to show this athleticism every game,” Djordjevic explained. 

Devin Booker, a career %43 shooter from three point range in Euroleague, also confirmed his growing self-confidence and rising tendency to shoot from outside. 

"ALBA hurt us, a lot. We definitely wanted to come here to make a difference tonight. All the guys encourage me to shoot more. I kinda really been hesitant with the shooing a lot, lately. I know what I can do. It is a matter of confidence. I’m building that confidence back and it is slowly starting to come back."


Djordjevic was not without a search for novelty, as he started the game with Tarık Biberovic, who also had some minutes in the second half.

Sehmus Hazer also found his first minutes with his new team as a replacement of Ismet Akpinar and even gave it a nice try to make a flashy dunk late in the game.  

“The idea to put Tarık Biberovic in the starting five is to give him as much (time) as I can. He has fresh legs after not playing in the last two games,” Djordjevic explained. “So the energy was there. He was hesitating at the beginning offensively, and I think he should not be.”

“He is a young player, and he needs minutes and good quality playing time. I’m happy with his defense and that’s the biggest goal. He must be obsessed with defense, the offense will come,” the Serbian coach added.

Despite all the good things, Marko Guduric is still having a tough time in his injury recovery as he could not contribute much to the team’s overall effort. His mediocre 4 points offensive display was far from his true level. Despite that, Djordjevic is a firm believer in his qualities. 

“Once the players come out of injury, their biggest opponents are themselves. They want to achieve as soon as possible the things that they were doing before.  But we are patient, and the process is there.

This is just his third game, and he just has like, maybe a week with us in the team practice. It’s not even 10 days. So he has to be patient, and we have to be patient. It is those small things that help you to get back in shape like you guys used to watch him. He needs more time to get in the physical shape,” Djordjevic concluded.

As for the UNICS side, the double game week took its toll in terms of fatigue. It is still early to push the panic button but succumbing 1-3 with one of the biggest losses in the entire history of Euroleague could make the recovery process even harder.

Coach Velimir Perasovic was having a hard time explaining this defeat. 

“I want to congratulate Fenerbahce for the win. I am ashamed because of the result of this game,” Perasovic admitted. “We could not do anything in any moment of the game. They played very well in the defense, but especially in the offense, we stayed very static and remained without decisions, and our production remained very low.”

41 points in a game are the fourth-lowest tally in EuroLeague’s history. Krka Novo Mesto had 35 in 2003, Brose Bamberg – 37 in 2008, Cibona Zagreb (2009) and London Towers (2001) – both 40, Arka Gdynia (2011), Siena Montepaschi (2011), and now UNICS – 41.

Alongside the poor team effort, UNICS has struggled individually as none of the players other than Isiah Canaan reached double-digit scoring.

He did so, albeit 10 points for 4/16 FG shooting and 5 turnovers. It was a game to forget for Mario Hezonja, too, with 5 points and only 1 field goal made (1/6 2 FG, 0/3 3 FG)

Per UNICS is the least-efficient team for scoring in Euroleague (91.6 per 100 possessions), trailing behind Zalgiris (100.6 Offensive Rating) 

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Stambulo Fenerbahce
Kazanės UNIKS
Field goals

Best players

Marial   Shayok
17 PTS
7/10 FG
1/1 FT
Isaiah  Canaan
10 PTS
4/16 FG
0/0 FT
Fenerbahce Istanbul
Few players
Few players
Marial   Shayok
5 As
3 TO
27 MIN
Few players
2 As
Devin   Booker
22 EFF
83% 2P%
100% 3P%
Tonye  Jekiri
50% 2P%
- 3P%