Fenerbahçe beats Panathinaikos to take command of Euroleague playoff series
Fenerbahçe took firm control of its Turkish Airlines Euroleague playoffs series with Panathinaikos by claiming a 75-80 victory at the Olympic Sports Center on April 20 to go up 2-0 before next week's return to Istanbul.
The Istanbul club will book its place in the Final Four to be played at Istanbul's Sinan Erdem Dome on May 19-21 if he beats th Gree club at home in Game 3 on April 25.
No team has bounced back from a 2-0 deficit in the Euroleague since the introduction of the best-of-five format for the playoffs.
In Athens, Game 1 MVP Bogdan Bogdanovic was once again the hero for Fenerbahçe, posting 25 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists and a blocked shot.
He received ample assistance from Ekpe Udoh, who added 22 points on 11-of-14 two-point shooting and 9 rebounds, while Bobby Dixon added 14 points including three triples.
Panathinaikos was led by 22 points and 4 assists from Mike James, with big men Chris Singleton and Ioannis Bourousis adding 14 and 13 points respectively.
It was a close contest all the way, but Fenerbahçe's defense had the final say by restricting the home team to nine points in the final eight minutes.
Fenerbahçe coach Zeljko Obradovic, who is aiming for his ninth Euroleague title with a fifth different team, praised his players for keeping their calm.
"We expected they would be very aggressive on defense and offense and it was like that," said the experienced Serbian coach.
"It was different from the first game. It was very important after their excellent start to be calm and continue to play the way we planned the game, and we found a way to control the game. It's obvious there was a possibility for Panathinaikos to win, so small details decided the outcome. We were...