Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal
Credit BasketNews/Begum Unal

It is hard to expect many things from Euroleague teams these days. The coronavirus surge blew the whole rhythm, and all we can do is to enjoy the few games that were spared from the wrath of the virus.

Player of the Game
Pierria  Henry
Pierria Henry
Points 11
Accuracy 4-7
Rebounds 3
Assists 8

For Fenerbahce Beko, it was even worse. The injuries of Jan Vesely, Nando De Colo, Marial Shayok, and Danilo Barthel could've easily broken the team.

The starting five of Sehmus Hazer-Pierria Henry-Dyshawn Pierre-Achille Polonara and Ahmet Duverioglu never played together in any competition.

Instead, something else happened. Under the leadership of the secondary unit, Fenerbahce won the first EuroLeague game after 20 days against the 3rd place Olympiacos without having Jan Vesely or Nando De Colo. Only a few things could have made Sasa Djordjevic even happier. 

"Right now, I am very proud of my team," Djordjevic said after the game. "We had a very hard time dealing with many adversities and problems, but every day, we worked with the guys and won this game with the team spirit. This is just one win but a very important win." 

Strangely enough, this was one of the most compact, tidy, and overwhelming wins for Fenerbahce this season. 

Keeping Olympiacos under 60 until the end of the 3rd quarter and scoring 94 points against one of the best defenses in the competition was simply impressive. During the process, Fenerbahce provided 27 assists and committed only 12 turnovers. Winning with such efficiency was something that Fenerbahce missed a lot this season. 

Olympiacos also had some organizational problems as their coach Georgios Bartzokas was ejected after his second technical foul. His assistant, Cristos Pappas, was the acting coach for a great part of the game. 

Points this season

Points made: 81,2
Accuracy: 47,7%
Place in standings: 4
Record max: 93
Record min: 67
Best scorer: Tyler Dorsey

The leading scorer for Fenerbahce was Melih Mahmutoglu, who accumulated season-high 17 points on 4-5 shooting beyond the arc.

But what makes the win more valuable is its team effort nature. Marko Guduric (11), Henry (11), Pierre (14), and Polonara (15) rose to double-digit scoring figures. Besides the domestic core, even the sparingly utilized German NT guard ─░smet Akpinar gave important contributions.

"The best thing that makes me happy is the teamwork," Djordjevic noted. "Our defense was very good. We shared the ball well. Every player was ready to play. Especially our Turkish players' effort was very important. Our captain Mahmutoglu, Metecan Birsen, Seyhmus Hazer, all did pretty well." 

Perhaps one special moment epitomized the whole ambiance among all the good things.

Seeing Pierria Henry limping while being subbed out late in the 4th quarter probably got Fenerbahce fans a little bit worried, but despite that, supporters made sure to give a standing ovation as well.

Pierre's all-around performance with 11 points and 8 assists undoubtedly made a great difference in the absence of De Colo. Dealing with already a long list of injuries, that feeling was shared by Djordjevic, too.

"We are a little bit concerned about that," Djordjevic admitted. "He picked up a knock in yesterday's practice, but he wanted to play. Despite those two bad turnovers in the 2nd quarter, he really played like a true point guard. We will let him rest tomorrow and evaluate his case with the medical team."

Upon a question, Djordjevic also did not rule out the possibility of a new signing in guard position but confessed that he has to go on with the current resources.

"The market is always on for us," he added.

Djordjevic also refused to comment on Sarunas Jasikevicius' "two tea" remark about the Covid-19 virus. He also emphasized that the situation cannot be taken softly. 

"I respect everybody's opinion but also, I won't underestimate the impact of Covid-19; so many people lost their lives," he noted.

This was supposed to be a double game week in the Euroleague, but the Fenerbahce-ALBA game is postponed due to the Covid-19 cases in the German team. Fenerbahce will play against Zalgiris Kaunas next week in Istanbul.

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Fenerbahce Istanbul
Olympiacos Piraeus
Field goals

Best players

Melih  Mahmutoglu
17 PTS
4/5 FG
5/5 FT
Konstantinos  Sloukas
14 PTS
3/8 FG
6/7 FT
Achille  Polonara
Olympiacos Piraeus
Few players
Pierria  Henry
8 As
2 TO
27 MIN
Konstantinos  Sloukas
7 As
3 TO
28 MIN
Pierria  Henry
19 EFF
100% 2P%
0% 3P%
Konstantinos  Sloukas
23 EFF
25% 2P%
50% 3P%