Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul, AX Armani Exchange Istanbul and FC Bayern Munich got closer to the Turkish, Italian and German League finals, respectively, with big wins on Saturday.
Domestic leagues: Fenerbahce, Milan, Bayern get important victories
In Istanbul, Fenerbahce took a 2-1 lead in its Turkish League semifinals by downing Darussafaka Istanbul 69-73 on the road in Game 3 on Saturday. Marko Guduric led the winners with 12 points. Metecan Birsen and Nando De Colo each added 10 for Fenerbahce. Gabriel Olaseni had 15 points for Darussafaka, which hosts Game 4 on Tuesday.
Tarik Biberovic and De Colo got Fenerbahce going with back-to-back three-pointers. De Colo kept pushing his team and got help from Pierria Henry and Melih Mahutoglu to give the visitors a 14-20 lead after 10 minutes. Sehmus Hazer soon helped Fenerbahce build a double-digit lead, 14-24. Darrusafaka got within 35-38 late in the first half. Jan Vesely made a jumper to fix the halftime score at 35-40.
Dogus Ozdemiroglu buried a couple of three-pointers to complete the hosts' comeback, 46-42, soon after the break. Devin Booker and Guduric fueled a 0-13 run and then Birsen sank a triple for a 48-58 Fenerbahce lead after 30 minutes. Darussafaka bounced back and tied the game, 64-64, with over 3 minutes left. De Colo buried a critical three-pointer, Vesely added a jumper and a pair of free throws, and Guduric sealed the outcome from the foul line.
Milan took the opening win in its best-of-five semifinals series by topping Banco di Sardegna Sassari 88-71 in Game 1 at home on Sunday. Milan hosts Game 2 on Monday. Shavon Shields paced the winners with 16 points on 6-of-8 two-point shooting. Luigi Datome added 13 while Sergio Rodriguez and Ben Bentil each had 10 for Milan, which won all four quarters to cruise to a comfortable victory.
Shields and Datome combined for 18 first-quarter points and got help from Tommaso Baldasso to give Milan a 32-26 lead after 10 minutes. Kyle Hines dunked to make it a double-digit game, 39-29, soon after that. Datome and Shields kept pacing their team, allowing Milan to keep a 40-32 lead at the break. Sassari managed to get within 50-49 late in the third quarter. Datome got help from Bentil, who scored 6 quick points to give Milan fresh air at 60-51, Jerian Grant and Baldasso each made a triple, allowing the hosts to extend their margin to 71-57 after 30 minutes. Nothing changed after that, as Milan boosted its lead to 80-62 and kept full control of the game until the final buzzer.
In Bonn, Germany, FC Bayern Munich stole the home-court advantage in its best-of-five semifinal series by topping Telekom Baskets Bonn 68-80 in Game 1 on Saturday. Vladimir Lucic led the winners with 19 points. Ognjen Jaramaz added 18 while Nick Weiler-Babb had 15 and 8 rebounds for Bayern, which used a late 0-14 run to cruise to an important victory. Parker Jackson-Cartwright had 14 points for Bonn, which hosts Game 2 on Monday.
Andreas Obst and Jaramaz came off the bench to combine for 10 quick points, giving Bayern a 16-18 edge at the end of the first quarter. Ward helped Bonn to a 35-33 halftime lead. Lucic followed a jumper with a dunk and got plenty of help from Othello Hunter and an outstanding Jaramaz to make it a double-digit game, 48-59, late in the third quarter. Bonn rallied to within 58-59 but Jaramaz, Lucic and Hunter combined for 12 points in a 0-14 run that sealed the outcome, 58-73, with less than 4 minutes remaining.