Fenerbahçe, who have routed cross-town rivals Beşiktaş Sompo Japan in their first three playoff finals series, are just one win away from claiming the Turkish Basketball Super League (BSL) title. The Yellow Canaries will take on Beşiktaş in the fourth tie tonight and a win for them will seal the fate of the playoff series. The game will kick-off at 08 p.m. at Beşiktaş Akatlar Sports and Culture Complex tonight and a loss for Fenerbahçe will take the match to a fifth match, which will be played at Fenerbahçe's Ülker Sports Arena. As for the Wednesday's match, Beşiktaş Arena was evacuated so the game between the hosts and Fenerbahçe could be completed, almost three hours after an interruption. Star player Bogdan Bogdanovic took the game to overtime and scored 23 points in total as Fenerbahçe clinched an 86-80 win.
It was a tense game for Fenerbahçe having a 70-69 with 90 seconds left and the refs calling a "T" on Beşiktaş bench. This lead to agitation among home fans and objects were thrown on to the court and lead to an interruption. Keeping to the BSL rulebook the referees had already interrupted the game in the 25th minute after a third public announcement was made for the fans asking them to behave. The league had decided that the refs may stop the game for 15 minutes after the third announcement in order to allow things to calm down. During the second interruption, some Beşiktaş fans tried to invade the court. Eventually, the game could only be finished after a complete evacuation of the stands.
Beşiktaş still had the opportunity to win, leading 74-71 before the final buzzer. But, the Coach Ufuk Sarıca's pupils left Bogdanovic open for a three, twice during the last seconds. He missed the first but sent the second one home successfully.
Fenerbahçe led by 11 points (32-21) in the first half, but thanks to D. J. Strawberry's 22 points, the hosts came back in the game superbly. But, they lost concentration and energy after the second interruption.
As Bogdanovic said after the game, "I am not so smart to speak about what happened. It's better to play before the fans. I didn't understand what happened. We are very happy to lead the final series 3-0. We need just one more win. Beşiktaş Sompo Japan could have won this match but considering the incidents it is very difficult to talk about basketball."
Beşiktaş Sompo Japan coach Sarıca said, "We want to talk about basketball, but the incidents were very upsetting. Such incidents do not bring any benefit to anyone. What's the use of throwing a stun grenade onto the court? Evacuation of the stands in a final game was a very upsetting event for basketball. In the first half, Fenerbahçe played better, but we dominated the second half. But, towards the end of the game, we lost concentration. We have to make fewer mistakes. We will do our best in the fourth game Friday."
In other developments, Italian sports journal La Gazzetta dello Sport has reported that the Italian Basketball Federation is likely to offer Fenerbahçe's EuroLeague winning coach Obradovic the top job for its national basketball team. The Italian daily has also named Ergin Ataman, who was recently fired by Galatarasay, among candidates for the top job.
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