We have our first finalist, and it’s the reigning champs, who will now have the chance to defend their title. the game for itself was an old school beat down Obradovic style. so what happened and how you ask?
As soon as the game tipped off we saw a Fenerbache team which was more focused, knew what they wanted and how they wanted to get it. Coach Obradovic going on a double team especially for Pangos was not a surprise, the fact he used Duverioglu was nothing less of a shocker. Fenerbache punished Zalgiris time and again for the wrong switches mainly by Wanamaker who scored his six points with ease.
The best news for Zalgiris in the first quarter was that Vesely was pretty much contained, on the other hand Gudoric and Ahmet essentially kept the perimeter safe. Fenerbache’s execution was simply remarkable as they kept punishing Zalgiris for every bad switch on defense. If that wasn’t enough we saw Gigi delivering at both ends of the court whether it was with bringing weak-side help that resulted in two blocks, or hustling on offense to allow his team to create a safety margin.
Whenever Zalgiris finally managed to score (and they bled for every point), Fenerbache reacted way too easy. Zalgiris’ awakening came towards the end of the first half and boy did they need it, Davies found it easier to roll, White and Pangos started get their groove going but above all Zalgiris started to make some important defensive stops as well as capitalizing on offense.
Wanamaker and Sloukas came up big in the third quarter with the first taking advantage whenever he can and the later using his miles of experience. The high defenders on Pangos may have worked with limiting his scoring but at the same time allowed him to use his quicker legs to facilitate which brought back Zalgiris back into the game.
Though it seemed that too many of the points scored by Fener in one on one situations, the reigning champs have completely obliterated Zalgiris’ perimeter offense as the Lithuanians had only 10(!!!) attempts. Muhamad Ali by the way out-scored Zalgiris from distance 3:2.