Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal
Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal
Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal
Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal
Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal
Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal
Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal
Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal

After losing against Panathinaikos and Real Madrid in the very last possessions, Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul faced the same fate again: Barcelona managed to keep their undefeated status intact with a buzzer-beater from Nikola Mirotic.

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Once again, Fenerbahce coach Sasha Djordjevic went philosophical on that to make his point on the good-hearted efforts of his team. 

“First of all, I congratulate the winning team as I always do. I believe if there is a game to win in the world of basketball, this is the one. The opportunities we had, the luck we didn’t have in the tight games.

This is a game that we played in a good way, I think we played with courage, a very good way, and I’m proud of my players, and I’m proud of their effort. I think we also deserved to win. We are going to continue in this way. Fight for each and every possession, each and every game. Starting from our defense, that has to be better than today.”

Despite a very dominant start in the first quarter, Fenerbahce could not carry the double-digit lead into the second half.

Nevertheless, as one of the EuroLeague’s most efficient defense teams, Fenerbahce did not let Barcelona break away as the Catalans managed to score only 14 in the third quarter. Still, Djordjevic was not entirely satisfied with that aspect of his team’s defensive efforts.   

“I think we started the game really good. We were very prepared. Then Barcelona made some substitutions, they found a way to play against us, with three guards that causing some difficulty.

The ballhandlers, the creators were doing their job in the fast break situations in the second half. During those, I didn’t like our defensive positioning, we shouldn’t give those easy things,“ Djordjevic said.

Player of the Game
Brandon  Davies
Brandon Davies
Points 16
Accuracy 7-9
Rebounds 3
Assists 2

As the overall field goal performance was poor for both of the teams, the scoreline was mostly commanded by frequent transition plays (Fenerbahçe 8, Barcelona 11).

In the home stretch, Fenerbahce got immense energy from an electric crowd, who absolutely fired up with Devin Booker’s explosive dunk in the penultimate possession of the game.

The euphony did not end well as Fenerbahce could not stop the last after timeout play.

“To get results, instead of hot blood in our head, we have to have a cold one. Calmness in decisive situations and decisive moments is required in order to win games like this,” Djordjevic noted. 

Despite a bitter defeat in the dying seconds of the game, there were positives for Fenerbahce, as well.

Marko Guduric undoubtedly played his best game of the new season so far as he scored 17 points with 3/4 three-pointers, including some big shots.

Likewise, Jan Vesely showed up when his team needed him the most (24 points, 8 rebounds). Djordjevic was also happy with the reaction of two team leaders, who were not entirely on their best since the beginning of the season. 

“Marko is working hard after his injury. He had some ups and downs. He just has to go through that wall to get the confidence to bring back the great player that he was. Great night for him. He is progressing very well. Also, Vesely was an absolute leader, and he did a lot of good stuff,“ said Fenerbahce’s coach.

Djordjevic also thinks that the consecutive near losses do not necessarily hamper the teams’ self-confidence. On the contrary, he suggests that these disappointments could bring something good out of them.  

“To be honest, I don’t feel that such losses discourage the team or damage self-confidence in tense situations like these I think these losses will help us to build our character, even more.

We just have to arm our players with individual tactics, which is very important for the player to have for certain moments to make the right decisions, offensively and defensively. 

This is something that we have to work on, we need games like these. We know that we can still push ourselves. We are working in the right direction. Not always wins are always helping but also losses too, that’s basketball,” Djordjevic noted. 

Lastly, Djordjevic also showed special gratitude to the fan support, who were adamantly pushing Fenerbahce to win against the only team that has not been defeated in EuroLeague, yet. 

“I must say thanks to the fans. They were really pushing us, they were really supportive. I am very grateful for them. I hope we will get back some smiles on their faces,” the Serbian concluded.

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Stambulo Fenerbahce
Barselonos FC Barcelona
Field goals

Best players

Jan  Vesely
24 PTS
10/14 FG
4/6 FT
Cory  Higgins
18 PTS
5/10 FG
6/6 FT
Jan  Vesely
Rolands  Smits
Pierria  Henry
6 As
1 TO
30 MIN
Nick  Calathes
7 As
1 TO
27 MIN
Jan  Vesely
29 EFF
71% 2P%
- 3P%
Brandon  Davies
20 EFF
75% 2P%
100% 3P%