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Partizan Mozzart Bet, Fenerbahce Beko EuroLeague much result

Returning to action after nearly three weeks and the earthquakes devastating Turkey, Fenerbahce Beko earned a huge win, 97-94, against Partizan Mozzart Bet in the latest reunion of Dimitris Itoudis with Zeljko Obradovic.

Marko Guduric poured 11 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter as the visitors narrowly controlled crunch time after trailing for most of the third quarter. The Serbian swingman dishing out a game-high seven assists drew up yet another game-high PIR of 35.

“This is our first official game after a long time,” noted Guduric in the aftermath of Friday’s tight battle, “I honestly did not know what to expect, because we did not have games and were trying to stay in shape. We did a great job. Offensively, we were sharing the ball, we were focused. It feels good to get a win in my homeland against a hot team.”

Dyshawn Pierre threw in 21 points, a new personal best in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague. Besides connecting 8/9 field goals, including 5/5 three-pointers, the Canadian forward grabbed a team-high six rebounds in Round 25 of the Regular Season.

“Obviously, basketball is important for our team but it’s not the main thing right now. We got a lot of things going on back home,” the former Dayton standout described the situation in Turkey, “We are happy we can win, bring a little bit of light right now.”

Besides the lack of game action, the visitors also dealt with the soldout crowd at Stark Arena and tremendous support to Partizan. Falling in a seven-point hole early was met with a brilliant reaction and a game-high ten-point lead in the second quarter.

Kevin Punter shared the game-high set at 25 points but fouled out with 3:28 on the clock limiting offensive options down the stretch. Generating a team-high PIR of 30, Mathias Lessort posted a 15-point, 11-rebound double-double.

“Disappointed,” reacted Obradovic with the five-game winning streak at home snapped, “We tried to fight until the end. Small details decided the game.” Coming in with four EuroLeague wins in a row before the one-week break, his side was forced down to 13-12.

The reigning Super Ligi champions went up to 15-9. This was the first game since 5 February and terrible events suspended sports activities in Turkey to focus on helping all affected by the earthquakes.

“For us and for Turkey, unfortunately, it was a very emotional moment and very devastating news what we have witnessed. So many people have lost their lives and their properties. As a club, we showed our social face,” was the message shared by Itoudis beyond the game, “In our micro world, we have to continue life and try to become better. Each and every individual knows what he must do to help the society and help the Turkish people that have suffered.”

Kostas Antetokounmpo was scratched. Nemanja Bjelica (calf) stayed in Istanbul alongside Samet Geyik and Ismet Akpinar, while Sehmus Hazer joined the Turkey senior national team in the last international window of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers.

Recovering from groin surgery and back on the court for the first time since late December, Tonye Jekiri contributed four points and one rebound lasting seven minutes in Serbia’s capital.

Both sides are scheduled to play at home in next week’s Round 26 as the Belgrade outfit welcomes ALBA Berlin Thursday and Fener takes on Virtus Segafredo Bologna Friday.

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