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

Some time and some space. That was all Sasha Djordjevic and Fenerbahce Beko needed. Instead, they found another heartbreaking loss against Anadolu Efes in the Istanbul derby.

Player of the Game
Shane  Larkin
Shane Larkin
Points 25
Accuracy 8-12
Rebounds 1
Assists 7

Fenerbahce was on the run of a negative series with three consecutive losses in EuroLeague, and the home game against Anadolu Efes was a good opportunity to recharge the batteries for the level of morale and self-confidence. Not meant to be. 

“Again, tough loss,” head coach Sasha Djordjevic started his press conference. “We played a great game for 38 minutes, and we did not finish the game in the right way, and they have.”

Despite leading for almost 28 minutes and almost three quarters, once again, Fenerbahce could not carry this advantage all the way to the finish line. 

Some well-documented examples against Real Madrid, Panathinaikos, Olympiacos, and Barcelona with similar patterns are still fresh in the memories. 

“We made some bad decisions, and they took over. Larkin and Micic took control and made some tough shots. And they came back; their spirit came up,” Djordjevic said.

Yet, Djordjevic is more inclined to take the positives from the game and attributes the end game struggles to some non-structural factors.

“I think we played a really good game. Defensively and offensively. But in the end, we just lack a little bit of energy. Some of the open shots could have gone in. I remember only one of the three open shots go in. We need a big one to make it happen,” the Serbian coach continued.

“Jan Vesely’s fifth foul also hurt us. We are playing against the best. His fourth foul (the technical) was something that should not have been done. We cannot finish games like this,” he added.

Overall, Fenerbahce’s effort looked inconsistent. They started the game very positively in both offense and defense but somehow let a struggling Efes come back from 18-6 to finish the quarter with 2 points ahead of them. Some sort of runs and anti-runs were frequent throughout the game. 

Their offensive structure looked enhanced compared to the previous games in terms of ball movement and level of sophistication, where 15 assists were created.

Alongside Nando De Colo (14 pts, 5 assists), secondary and tertiary scoring options like Marial Shayok and Pierria Henry gave some support with 18 and 10 points, respectively. Their regular transition game lifted the crowd with some excitement. 

But those improvements in terms of method looked sporadic and fragile as 15 turnovers and 32% 3-point accuracy (11/34) trimmed the potential benefits.

Not being able to contain Shane Larkin in the defensive end, Fenerbahce missed eight 3-pointers in the last quarter (1/9), including the Nando De Colo’s potential game-tier attempt.

Guduric was also not on his day, shooting 1/8 beyond the arc and scoring with only 0.7 points per possession.

With the loss against Anadolu Efes, Fenerbahce could not stop the free-falling in the standings. They are 3-9 in the bottom third, with Zalgiris (2-9) yet to play their game this week.

After bringing only one win in the last 8 games in EuroLeague, Djordjevic’s position becomes more fragile week by week. He is looking forward to getting back the players who are currently unavailable on the roster.

“Our plan to recover? We’ll try to win the next one and then the next game, then the next game. To fight through difficulties.

We are missing our two players, who are with the national team (Metecan Birsen and Sehmus Hazer). We are missing the other two guys with their injuries (Dyshawn Pierre and Danilo Barthel).

When we get them, we will have some of the physicality that is needed to win games like this. We are lacking depth,” Djordjevic said.

At the end of the game, some protests were directed upon Djordjevic from a small part of the crowd. In contrast, the same group of fans showed support to the players right after the coach.

This open display of displeasure against the coach was a first under his helm at Fenerbahce but could not be the last if the team starts to win in the next few games. 

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Fenerbahce Istanbul
Anadolu Efes Istanbul
Field goals

Best players

Marial   Shayok
18 PTS
7/10 FG
0/0 FT
Shane  Larkin
25 PTS
8/12 FG
5/6 FT
Achille  Polonara
Rodrigue  Beaubois
Nando De Colo
5 As
3 TO
28 MIN
Shane  Larkin
7 As
2 TO
34 MIN
Nando De Colo
19 EFF
100% 2P%
20% 3P%
Shane  Larkin
29 EFF
100% 2P%
50% 3P%