Fenerbahçe closer to Final Four in THY EuroLeague

Published 25.04.2019 00:10
Marko Guduric confronts Zalgiris’ Marius Grigonis. Guduric is credited with Fenerbahçe’s victory with a pair of 3-pointers.
Marko Guduric confronts Zalgiris’ Marius Grigonis. Guduric is credited with Fenerbahçe’s victory with a pair of 3-pointers.

Fenerbahçe Beko defeated Zalgiris Kaunas 66-57 in the THY EuroLeague playoffs Tuesday in its bid for the Final Four. The two rivals return to the court today for an early decider for the final challenge ticket

Turkish Airlines (THY) EuroLeague leader Fenerbahçe Beko emerged victorious against Lithuania's Zalgiris Kaunas in late Tuesday's playoffs and will fight to book a place in the Final Four today in the second game between two tough competitors.

The Turkish side claimed a 2-1 lead against the Lithuanian league leader in an away game in the quarterfinal playoffs. Fenerbahçe Beko's Serbian guard Marko Guduric scored 17 points in the game three held at Zalgirio Arena as their Czech star Jan Vesely produced 10 points.

Home team Zalgiris Kaunas' American guard Nate Wolters was his team's top scorer, racking up 15 points.

It was a challenging game between two tough teams that have been on the defensive for a long time, while shooting percentages were low. Fenerbahçe's Serbian swingman Marko Guduric was the star of the game with two three-pointers that were decisive in bringing victory to the Turkish side. His game-high 17 points was Guduric's second-highest scoring output this season. Guduric succeeded in turning steals on back-to-back plays from Czech center Jan Vesely and shooting guard Sinan Güler, and ultimately, his second three-pointer brought Fenerbahçe the lead in the game.

Following Tuesday's victory, Fenerbahçe Beko took home court advantage. If the Turkish team wins Thursday's game, they will book a berth for the Final Four. In case of a 2-2 tie, the last game will be played in Istanbul. Defending EuroLeague champion Real Madrid are now in the Final Four phase, eliminating Greek opponents Panathinaikos OPAP in the quarterfinal. Spain's Real Madrid were the first to qualify for the 2019 Final Four. Beating Panathinaikos OPAP 89-82 in game three in Athens on Tuesday, Real Madrid swept their opponents by 3-0 in the last eight. Real Madrid stars Rudy Fernandez and Facundo Campazzo scored 16 points each against Panathinaikos OPAP. Real Madrid's American forward Anthony Randolph tallied 14 points. Panathinaikos OPAP point guard Nick Calathes produced 17 points and seven assists. His Belgian teammate Matt Lojeski scored 16 points against Real Madrid but their efforts were not enough to earn a win. Real may face either Kirolbet Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz or CSKA Moscow in the Final Four.

The quarterfinal playoff series between Baskonia and CSKA Moscow is now 1-1. The winners of the playoffs will advance to the Final Four to be played on May 17-19 at Fernando Buesa Arena in the Spanish city of Vitoria-Gasteiz in single-elimination matchups.

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