Fener’s match against Unics Kazan in the Top 16 group G saw the defending Turkish champs score a six point-margin win in overtime with a final score of 94-87, keeping alive the team’s hopes to make it into the last eight in the coming week six match. Thursday’s game, played at Fener’s Ülker Sports Arena, saw Fenerbahçe start strong against Unics Kazan with point guard Roko Ukic netting Fener an 8-4 lead in the opening minutes. By halftime, however, Unics Kazan’s offense had gained momentum and pulled ahead with a score of 42-44.
Despite strong performances by Fener’s James Gist and Kaya Peker, Unics Kazan’s lead increased to 55-68 by the start of the fourth quarter as Unics Kazan’s Henry Domercant, Nathan Jawai and Lynn Greer, this week’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the Euroleague, racked up point after point against Fener’s defense. The fourth quarter, however, saw the hosts rally against Unic Kazan’s strong 13-point lead and tie the game with a last-second shot from Fener’s Roko Ukic. In overtime, Fener played for the win, finishing the game with a seven point lead at 94-87. Greer of the Unics led the scorecard of the game with 33 points, tying the third-best high in Top 16 history. Fener’s Bojan Bogdanović led Fener with 20 points, while Ukic meanwhile finished with 18 points.
In order to advance to the Euroleague playoffs, Fenerbahçe Ülker, which is now 2-3, must overcome EA7 Emporio Armani Milan in week six, which it will face in an away game in Milan on Feb 29.
EA7 Emporio Armani Milan scored a road victory over defending champion Panathinaikos in Athens last week, routing the Greeks in a 58-67 win. As for Unics Kazan, the team will next be pitted against Panathinaikos at their home stadium next week. If they lose in week six, they will have to rely on Armani Milan beating Fenerbahçe to make the playoffs.