Valencia rallies sink Fenerbahce in OT
Valencia Basket survived an overtime thriller to beat host Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul 98-100 thanks to a three-point play by Jordan Loyd with 8 seconds to go in the extra period. Nando De Colo tried from deep to win the game on the last play but missed the shot, letting the visitors escape with a valuable victory. Valencia had the chance to win in regulation, but a buzzer-beating alley-oop layup by De Colo sent the game to overtime. Valencia improved to 7-9, tied for 10th place, while Fenerbahce dropped to 5-11, tied for 15th. Bojan Dubljevic had a monster game with 30 points, 12 rebounds and a performance index rating of 42, his career highs in all three categories, to lead Valencia. Brock Motum and Jordan Loyd followed him with 14 points apiece, as Mike Tobey contributed 12 and Alberto Abalde posted 8 points, 10 boards and 5 assists for the winners. De Colo had 31 points without missing any of his 16 free throws, plus 7 rebounds for a performance index rating of 37. Luigi Datome and Derrick Williams posted 20 points each, and Ali Muhammed and Kostas Sloukas added 14 and 10, respectively, for the losers.
Datome opened fire for the hosts with a three-pointer, but Valencia needed just a couple of plays to adjust its defense and take a 5-9 lead behind 7 points by Dubljevic midway through the first quarter. Fenerbahce reacted thanks to the duo of Williams and Datome, who combined on an 11-2 run, including a pair of treys by the latter, to get ahead 16-11. The visitors didn't tremble, though, and added 3 straight three-point plays to tie the game right before Sloukas beat the buzzer with a layup to finish the first quarter with Fenerbahce leading 24-22. The hosts came up strong in the second, with Ali Muhammed running the offense to extend the margin to 35-27. Free throws by De Colo and a triple by Williams made it a double-digit lead, 40-29, with 4 minutes left until halftime. Valencia tried to survive through a couple of triples by Motum and Mike Tobey's effort on the offensive glass, but De Colo took over from the free throw line to keep his team calmed. Dubljevic scored 4 points in the last minute to reduce Fenerbahce's advantage to 48-40 at halftime. The hosts came back in style after the break with another bomb by Datome and a dunk by Williams to make it 53-40. Valencia found Maurice Ndour and Dubljevic to prevent the hosts from escaping but kept struggling to stop Fenerbahce's quick transitions. Back-to-back triples by Muhammed helped Fenerbahce lead 70-59 after 30 minutes. Valencia increased its defensive intensity in the fourth to come within 72-70 after a 2-11 run with 6 minutes still remaining. Sloukas came to Fenerbahce's rescue with a pull-up jumper and Datome joined him later with a corner three to make it 77-72. Nonetheless, Motum and Dubljevic kept dominating inside well enough for Valencia to take the lead back 77-79 after Sam Van Rossom nailed an open three off the offensive rebound with less than 3 minutes to go. De Colo tied it from the free throw line and Datome came up big from behind the arc to push Fenerbahce back in front, 82-79, but Tobey answered with three points of his own to tie it again, 82-82, in the last minute. Alberto Abalde grabbed an offensive rebound to put Valencia ahead 82-84 with four-tenths of a second remaining, but Fenerbahce perfectly executed an inbound pass to find De Colo open under the basket and send the game to overtime.
De Colo led the way for Fenerbahce in the extra time, hitting a couple of free throws, assisting Williams for a strong dunk and sinking a corner three that put the hosts in front 91-85. Valencia was unable to score a single field goal over the first 3:30 minutes in overtime, as only Dubljevic provided some points from the line. Ali and Loyd traded triples to make it 96-92 entering the last minute, while De Colo's 2 free throws seemed to ice the game at 98-93. It wasn't over, though. Doornekamp got a three-point play and Muhammed turned the ball over with less than 20 seconds left. Abalde made the first of his 2 free throws, but Valencia grabbed the rebound and Loyd capped a difficult drive with basket-plus-foul that sealed the outcome with 8 second to go. De Colo's last three-point attempt only delayed Valencia's celebration after an incredible comeback.
Never give up
Valencia trailed for almost the entire game, entering the last period down by 11. The visitors were also behind entering the last 90 seconds of regulation and had a five-point disadvantage with 40 second to play in overtime. But they never gave up and rallied several times to celebrate a win in an incredible game.
Valencia Basket outrebounded Fenerbahce 50-31. Both its total and Valencia's 23 offensive rebounds were club records in its 97th EuroLeague game this century. Valencia held Fenerbahce to just 18 defensive rebounds. That supremacy allowed Valencia to have several extra possessions and get crucial buckets in overtime.
Bojan Dubljevic completed an astonishing performance in Istanbul, posting 30 points on 11-14 field goal shooting – including 2 threes-points – plus 12 rebounds and 2 assists in just 29 minutes. He was absolutely dominant against a short-handed Fenerbahce's frontcourt.
Fourth loss in a row
Fenerbahce collected its third straight loss at home and its fourth in a row after being beaten by Anadolu Efes Istanbul, Panathinaikos OPAP Athens and Zenit St Petersburg in the previous rounds.
In Round 17 next week Fenerbahce visits Athens to face Olympiacos Piraeus on Thursday, while Valencia basket comes back home to host ALBA Berlin on Friday.
Friday, December 27, 2019