Jan Vesely Fenerbahce
Photo: Euroleague Basketball

With Jan Vesely returning from an injury and being crucial for his team, Fenerbahce secured their sixth win of the season, defeating Olympiacos, 84-77, on Wednesday night (23/12). Olympiacos lost Octavius Ellis and Kostas Papanikolaou with shoulder injuries and registered their third consecutive defeat.

Jan Vesely was the top scorer for the hosts with 17 points while Dyshawn Pierre added another 14. For Olympiacos, Sasha Vezenkov tried his best from the perimeter with 5/7 three pointers and 17 points in total while Livio Jean-Charles added 12 more.

The Match

Livio Jean Charles opened the score in the first quarter for Olympiacos with Aaron Harrison and Kostas Papanikolaou adding two consecutive triples giving Olympiacos an early 6-point lead in the match (2-8). Fanerbahce managed to tied the game pretty quickly with De Colo and Guduric while Barthel gave them their first lead of the match (11-8). Harrison tied the game at 11 points while Jean Charles gave Olympiacos a three point lead with his second field goal of the match (11-14). Vesely took the difference down to two points but Harrison again scored for Olympiacos starting flaming hot in the first quarter (13-16). Mahmutoglou didn’t let the guests extend their lead and tied the game for Fenerbahce with the triple (16-16). Olympiacos had a three point lead in most of the times but Fenerbahce was always finding a way to tie things up and stay close to the score (20-21). Olympiacos extended their to five points with a triple from Sloukas, (22-27), with one minute until the end of the quarter remaining. The guests managed to close the first quarter in Istanbul leading by 5 points (22-27).

In the second quarter, Fenerbahce managed to take their lead back with a single point (30-29), after a two point shot from Lorenzo Brown. But not for long. Olympiacos got back in the lead (30-34) with a big three from Vassilis Spanoulis while Jarell added two more points for Fenerbahce (32-34). Brown tied the game a few seconds later for the hosts (34-34) while Vesely gave Fenerbahce a two point lead (36-34). Vassilis Spanoulis tied the game for Olympiacos with five minutes remaining on the clock until the end of the first half. Fenerbahce had a short two-point lead with Olympiacos tying it. Vesely completed a three point play with the two-pointer and the extra free throw, while Dyshawn scored another two points giving the hosts a 7-point lead (43-36). Vezenkov took the difference down to 4 points with the triple, while Ellis added two more with an impressive dunk, despite Olympiacos’ turnovers, to end the first half trailing by 4 points (45-41).

Photo: Euroleague Basketball

Coming back from the locker rooms in the second half, De Colo got the chance to make three free throws extending his team’s lead to 7 points (48-41) with Velesy grabbing the offensive rebound and putting the ball into the basket to give Fenerbahce their largest lead of the match (50-41). Fenerbahce was playing exceptional defense on Olympiacos, making it hard for the guests to reach the opponent basket. Harrison with a much needed triple brought Olympiacos closer to the score (53-46) but the guests had to solve their issues in defense first. Brown with another triple gave Fenerbahce their first double digit of the match with Vesely extending it even more to 13 points (59-46). Martin scored two points for Olympiacos after the time out to bring the score down to ten points (59-49) with McKissic adding two more for the guests in the fast break (59-51). Olympiacos was losing the ball very easily which is something coach Bartzokas had to fix if he wanted his team to take the match. On the other hand Fenerbahce was doing the simple things right and ended the third quarter leading by 12 points (66-54).

In the fourth and final quarter, coach Kokoskov saw his players having a 14-point lead against Olympiacos while Vezenkov on the other hand was trying to keep his team close to the score with a three point shot (68-57). Olympiacos’ captain, Vassilis Spanoulis, took the difference down to ten points in his team’s last chance to come back on the game (70-61). With an eight-point gap and 4 minutes to play, Fenerbahce was close to the win while Olympiacos was desperate for a comeback (73-65). Sasha Vezenkov from deep brought Olympiacos back within five points (73-68) to make it a single point game later on with two more (75-74). Fenerbahce stayed concentrated and managed to close the game getting an important 84-77 win.