Fenerbahce fight back to remain undefeated, Euroleague Top 16 hangover

Euroleague Basketball

Fenerbahce came back from a nine-point deficit to beat Lokomotiv Kuban 85-79 in Istanbul and remain undefeated in Group E of the Euroleague Top 16.

After taking a 60-51 lead heading into the final period, the Russian visitors looked comfortable, but Fenerbahce stormed back into contention with a 10-0 run that ultimately gave them the lead for good.

“We discussed this the whole game. I said we must change everything in our game,” Fenerbahce coach Zeljko Obradovic explained.

“So more aggressive defence, more smart offensively. [Lokomotiv] are a very good team, they know how to move the ball, they are a very patient team.”

Bogdan Bogdanovic paced Fenerbahce with 18 points and five assists, helped along by Jan Vesely’s 17.

Crvena Zvezda are off the mark at the third attempt in Group E after they beat Panathinaikos 74-63 in Athens.

Maik Zirbes led the Belgrade side with 12 points as they move level with Panathinaikos in the standings at 1-2.

The other Group E encounter saw Unicaja Malaga lead from start to finish, eventually easing past Cedevita Zagreb 90-67 to improve to 2-1.

Lithuanian international Mindaugas Kuzminskas led the way with 17 points for Malaga as they never allowed Cedevita to get any closer than 15 points for the entire contest.

“For us it is a very important victory,” Kuzminskas said. “We have to defend home court and win every game here in Malaga.”

The lone Group F tie saw an injury-plagued CSKA Moscow notch up their second win over Liga Endesa sides in a week as they put Barcelona to the sword 93-82 in the Russian capital.

Cory Higgins led CSKA with 20 points as the Muscovites recovered from an early 29-28 deficit to pull away from their Catalan counterparts. The victory was made more impressive as they were missing Nando De Colo, Joel Freeland, Victor Khryapa and Pavel Korobkov.

CSKA improve to 2-1 in Group E, while Barca drop to 1-2.