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Huertas being defended by McCalebb.

Huertas being defended by McCalebb. FOTO: EUROLEAGUE

Barça lost their first big test in this season’s Euroleague, when they went down 75-70 to Fenerbahçe Ülker in Turkey, in front of 10,000 noisy home fans. Fenerbahçe, coached by Obradovic, showed their credentials as one of the tournament favourites, controlling most of the game and despite a spirited fight back in the second half, Barça were unable to chalk up their second win of the competition.

Hosts’ three pointers at the start

Fenerbahçe Ülker began strongly and were soon showing their potential, particularly with three pointers, scoring from 4 out of 5 attempts in the first quarter in contrast to Barça who succeeded with just one of their five - as reflected in the 24-17 score at the end of the first quarter.

Navarro fights back

The hosts continued to dominate in the second quarter, with just captain Juan Carlos Navarro - was the Catalans’ leading scorer with 18 points, with two three-pointers keeping Barça in the game. Pascual tried to tighten up the defence, moving to zonal marking, but Fenerbahçe continued to pull away and took a nine point lead (44-35) into the break.

Reaction cut short

Two early points in the third quarter and nine points without reply, looked to have brought Barça back into the match(46-44), but the hosts reacted with a series of counters and raced to a 58-44 lead – a fourteen point gap which they maintained till the end of the third quarter, as Barça struggled in a hostile atmosphere.

Barça fight till the end

The quality dropped in the final quarter and it took five minutes for the first points to arrive, but with just a minute and a half to go, Barça had drawn to within six points – showing commitment and determination until the very end.

Two free shots from Navarro and a three pointer from Lampe cut the gap to just three points, but with just 10 seconds left, Barça lost possession and allowed the hosts to get three points themselves and end up five points ahead.

STATS

Fenerbahçe Ülker, 75
FCB, 70

Fenerbahça Ülker: Bjelica (5), Mahmutoglu (3), Vidmar (2), Sipahi (5), Bogdanovic (11) -starting five-; Kleiza (22), Mc Calebb (10), Preldzic (5), Zoric (12), Birsen (-), Onan (-)

FC Barcelona: Dorsey (5), Huertas (6), Navarro (18), Papanikolaou (3), Lampe (13) -starting five-; Hezonja (2), Abrines (3), Sada (-), Todorovic (-), Tomic (16), Nachbar (2), Pullen (2).

Parcial scores: 24-17, 44-35, 66-52 and 75-70

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