Fenerbahce Ulker went two for two after a difficult 75-73 home victory against Valencia and is on the best way to capture first place of the group, as Omer Onan scored 22 and oldie, but goldie Mirsad Turkcan added 14.
It was a derby right from the start. Svetislav Pesic’ group was not willing to go down without a fight, as they came back from every single attempt by the hosts to get away and win this one easily.
In the tight first quarter, Fenerbahce managed to get a quick 5-point lead (12-7), trying to set the base for an easy victory, yet Valencia came back and even took a brief lead (19-20) after a Serhiy Lischuk basket, before Mirsad Turkcan put his team ahead again for the final 21-20 of the period. The hosts launched more offensives in the second quarter gaining a couple of 7-point leads, but the visiting team left nothing unanswered, hitting mostly from the paint and the halftime buzzer found the two teams at 37-33.
The third quarter kicked off with a three-point fest: Marko Tomas scored 2 consecutive for the 43-33 only to get the answer by Dusko Savanovic and Rafa Martinez (Tomas scored a free-throw in between). Marko didn’t give up and hit another one to set the three-pointer count at five just four minutes into the quarter (47-39). The visitors run a partial 8-0 and tied the game, stating that they are not to be written off so early. Saras’ entrance was the catalyst for the Turkish side to regain the lead: two consecutive buckets after a free-throw by Omer Onan and Fener is up by 5 again. The period closed just as it had started: a three-pointer by Nando De Colo this time and the two teams left everything on the table for the final part (54-52).
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The two teams went hand in hand for the most of the last quarter, before Fenerbahce managed to take a 9-point lead (75-66) with three minutes to time. Valencia was not done! Svetislav Pesic called a time-out and Valencia run a 7-0, making it 75-73 with one minute on the clock. Neven Spahija’s group missed two consecutive three-pointers with Turkcan and Tomas, yet Rafa Martinez was unable to either send the game to overtime or give his team the win, as he was blocked twice by Emir Preldzic in the Spanish side’s final offense.