Barça basketball remains undefeated in the Euroleague. Those of Sarunas Jasikevicius have achieved a valuable victory against Fenerbahce, at the Ülker Sports Arena in Istanbul, and have reached the sixth in six days. They have done it by defeating a Turkish team that, until this Tuesday, did not know the defeat at home, but has seen how the visitors have rebuilt from a bad start to end up taking the victory. And in the last breath, with a basket on Mirotic’s horn, which has broken the tie that has lasted practically the entire confrontation.
Higgins (18) and Davies (16) were the top scorers in a difficult and tough game, but Barça knew how to play with their heads in the decisive minutes to add a prestigious triumph.
The Catalans did not start the game well in Turkey, with 1 of 10 shots from the field. Fenerbahce, therefore, has taken advantage of this mistake to do damage, especially from the hand of a Vesely who has scored 10 consecutive points at the start (10-2, min 4).
An inertia that, little by little, and although the locals have continued plugged in (20-11, min 8), Barça has been neutralizing with the improvement of the offensive success, but also of the defensive (20-15, min 10). Thus, before the break, five consecutive points from Calathes (27-25, min 16) have put those from Jasikevicius to only two points, while two baskets from Brandon Davies have overtaken Barça for the first time in the confrontation (29- 31, min 18). Good moment of play that the Catalans have taken advantage of to continue widening their gap and Hayes-Davis has made it 29-35 with which both teams have gone to the changing rooms (min 20).
Minutes of little success
In the resumption, the mistake has appeared to be the protagonist. In part also due to the increase in intensity, which has made neither team feel comfortable. Although a triple by Mirotic made it 31-39 (min 22), Fenerbahce has managed to reduce the differences and get back in front (48-47, min 30). But Smits, in the last moment of the third quarter, has made that Barça have been able to reach the last and final set one point ahead (48-49, min 30).
Mirotic decants the balance
Not at all definitive because, with a very even score (53-55, min 34), either of them has been able to win. A pair of 3-pointers from Higgins have shot Jasikevicius’s (55-61, min 35) a bit, but Fenerbahce reacted well (61-61, min 36). With the electronics practically traced, the exchange of blows has been a constant and the balance has not finished deciding (69-70, min 39).
In a final with little game and many interruptions, Barça has been successful with four consecutive free throws by Hayes-Davis and Mirotic (69-74, min 39), but Booker has seemed to force the extension to six seconds to go (74-74). Finally, Mirotic has done his thing and, at the last moment, has transformed a basket on the horn that has made Barça return to Barcelona with a new victory (74-76) in the Euroleague.
Fenerbahce: Henry (3), Guduric (17), Pierre (7), Vesely (24), Booker (8) -initial five- De Colo (4), Polonara (4), Hazer (5), Shayok (2), Duverioglu (-), Birsen (-).
Barça: Higgins (18), Calathes (11), Kuric (5), Mirotic (8), Sanli (-) -initial five- Davies (16), Smits (8), Sergi Martínez (-), Hayes-Davis (6) , Laprovittola (4), Jokubaitis (-).
Partial: 20-15, 9-20 (29-35), 19-14 (48-49), 26-27 (74-76).
Referees: Lottermoser, Chord, Friday.