Basketball fans could be in for a treat with some offensive fireworks from two of the hottest players in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague when European basketball powerhouses Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul and Panathinaikos OPAP Athens clash on Friday. Guards Nando De Colo and Nemanja Nedovic look to double down on their huge scoring performances from earlier this week in this showdown.
De Colo scored a season-high 27 points, making 7 of 9 two-point shots and 4 of 7 triples, in Fenerbahce’s 20-point win over TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz on Tuesday. The only player who scored more points than De Colo in Round 19 was Nedovic, who exploded for 33 points, shooting 6-of-7 for two and 5-for-10 for three, plus 6 assists and 5 rebounds in the Greens’ home win over LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne.
Interestingly, that was Nedovic’s second-best scoring output in the last month! He went for 39 points on 7-for-13 three-point shooting in a Round 16 loss at Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv. He also had a 27-point performance in a mid-December overtime loss against Real Madrid.
No player has scored more points in the last 30 days than the Panathinaikos guard. In six games since, Nedovic has totaled 136 points, good for 22.7 per game. He made an impressive 22 triples on 40.7% three-point shooting over that span. It is worth noting that only 49 players have made more than 22 triples this entire season, a number which Nedovic reached in only six games.
On the other hand, Nando De Colo has averaged 14.5 points since he returned to the starting lineup in Round 14 after missing five games to injury’ He has displayed growing confidence in his game and his shooting. His performances earlier this week was a big step towards De Colo getting back to his old self. The former EuroLeague MVP is the competition’s best scorer over the past seven seasons.
De Colo has been lighting EuroLeague baskets on fire ever since he returned to the competition in the 2014-15 season. He has not only scored the most points over the past seven seasons, but he has done so by more than 500 points. De Colo has been scoring so much that his total of 3,056 points since 2014-15 represents the most points scored in the competition by a single player since as far back as November 2011.
Despite averaging 12.1 points per game this season, De Colo’s seven-year average sits at an impressive 16.3 per game. Only one player, Khimki’s Alexey Shved, has averaged more points over that span. Of course, in addition to all that scoring, De Colo also has a pair of EuroLeague titles, five All-EuroLeague selections, and a EuroLeague MVP and Final Four MVP honors in 2016.
For De Colo and Nedovic, this will be their eighth head-to-head meeting – and the first in a clash between Fenerbahce and Panathinaikos. De Colo’s teams have won five of their previous seven games. Last season they met when Fenerbahce hosted AX Armani Exchange Milan where Nedovic played the past two seasons. Before that, De Colo was with CSKA from 2014 to 2019 and they clashed four times when Nedovic wore the colors of Unicaja Malaga.
In each game, at least one player has scored in double figures and both scored 10 or more points in three of those games. The two have had similar numbers in rebounding and assists, but De Colo was much better in scoring, averaging 16.5 points compared to Nedovic’s 12.7 per game. De Colo also made better than 50% of his three-point shots when facing Nedovic and his teams.
However, earlier this season, it was all Nedovic when he bagged 28 points on 7-for-12 three-point shooting in 28 minutes in an 82-68 win in Round 5. De Colo was held to just 5 points in that contest.
Now, with both players playing their best basketball of the season, De Colo and Nedovic will have key roles for their respective teams, each badly needing a victory as they are making respective playoff pushes.