Credit: BasketNews/D.Repečka
Credit: BasketNews/D.Repečka
Credit: BasketNews/D.Repečka
Credit: BasketNews/D.Repečka
Credit: BasketNews/D.Repečka
Credit: BasketNews/D.Repečka
Credit: BasketNews/D.Repečka
Credit: BasketNews/D.Repečka
Credit: BasketNews/D.Repečka
Credit: BasketNews/D.Repečka

Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul suffered their third loss in a row after the defeat against Zalgiris Kaunas. After the game, Sasa Djordjevic admitted that his team lacked confidence and desire to win.

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“First of all, congratulations to Zalgiris. They found what they were looking for,” Djordjevic said after the game. “It’s a huge win in a bag for them. Obviously, they were playing with something we lack: confidence, winning desire.”

“It was a great play-making night for Kalnietis, he was controlling the game. Ulanovas hit some crucial shots in the moments when we could have made a comeback.

It backed us down again and even killed morale a little bit. I think we didn’t execute what we agreed on in the second quarter. I saw some irresponsible things in our game, both offensively and defensively.

This is something players must think about. They have a huge individual responsibility towards the game, and they have to bring it all the time to the floor. It’s not about the personal game, it’s about us representing the team in the right way, and I don’t think we did that in 40 minutes. That’s why we lost the game,” Djordjevic finished his long statement.

The Serbian coach agreed that his team is lacking confidence but also noted that having a losing streak does that.

“When you’re in a losing streak, you need that one win to bring it back. Again, it’s up to the champions, players to stand up strong, even in the tough times or when loses come and to respond in a right way to find that win that we need,” Djordjevic answered. 

Asked whether Fenerbahce was affected by heartbreaking losses at the beginning of the season, Djordjevic agreed with this statement.

Player of the Game
Edgaras  Ulanovas
EFF
21
Edgaras Ulanovas
Points 18
Accuracy 6-9
Rebounds 5
Assists 2

“I think it’s in our heads. We lost the first few games with a combined 6 points difference. It’s unique. We started with the first one in Athens, and as soon as we lost that game, I said it will stand in our heads for a long, and it kind of hurt us.

We had some really tough losses against top teams in EuroLeague, we always showed fighting spirit, and sometimes it’s inside the heads. The only medicine is a win,” Djordjevic commented.

The manager also received a question of whether the lack of aggressiveness could have translated to poor rebounding in tonight’s game. As a team, Fenerbahce had only 18 rebounds against Zalgiris’ 25.

“Zalgiris changed their team lately,” Djordjevic answered. “They got aggressive frontcourt guys, and it helped them a lot. Rebounding is not our best weapon; we must add some extra effort in perimeter position.”

“Having Barthel out, our bigs need energy and help. Dyshawn Pierre was also missing, he’s the guy who helps to rebound. Rebound is an energy and desire game. If you want to grab it, you’ll grab it. Again, individual responsibility,” he added.

Asked whether he feels the pressure, Djordjevic said that this element always exists in a club like Fenerbahce.

“There’s a pressure, of course, and we have to respond to it. We have to put our faces on and see what’s going to happen. We have to stick together and search for the next win as soon as possible.

Now, we have the most important game in the Turkish league against Besiktas. Away game again. Until now, we had such a difficult schedule, it’s unbelievable. How many away games we played, how many tough games we played after two days. It’s also a waste of energy that you cannot underestimate.

The players are not machines, they have limits. Sometimes, it’s mental, sometimes it’s tactical or technical, and sometimes it’s physical. It’s something that you can feel in this competition,” Djordjevic noted.

Before the game, Djordjevic was talking with Zalgiris’ head coach Jure Zdovc. The Serbian revealed that both of them are still good friends from playing days.

“We’re friends for a long time. We played for Yugoslavia, won a gold medal in Rome. We’re really great friends. I’m a huge fan of Jure as a person and as a head coach, but I was admiring his game, he was really exceptional. I wish him all the best,” Djordjevic concluded.

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2022-01-10
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Kauno Žalgiris
Stambulo Fenerbahce
54%
30/56
Field goals
55%
29/53
28
Rebounds
23
23
Assists
18
7
Steals
4
60%
18/30
2-pointers
66%
21/32
46%
12/26
3-pointers
38%
8/21

Best players

Edgaras  Ulanovas
18 PTS
6/9 FG
3/3 FT
Nando De Colo
17 PTS
5/10 FG
4/4 FT
Josh  Nebo
7 REB
6 DREB
1 OREB
Pierria  Henry
5 REB
4 DREB
1 OREB
Mantas  Kalnietis
11 As
3 TO
28 MIN
Nando De Colo
5 As
1 TO
28 MIN
Edgaras  Ulanovas
21 EFF
60% 2P%
75% 3P%
Nando De Colo
26 EFF
67% 2P%
43% 3P%