The finish that Turkish basketball fans were hoping for in the Euroleague Final Four came true on Sunday night as Fenerbahce Istanbul clinched the championship. This was the Turkish side’s first ever Euroleague triumph and it was the first title triumph for any Turkish side. The win was very well received and makes up for the anguish of losing last season’s final in overtime.
Fenerbahce Istanbul 80 – Olympiacos Piraeus 64
The first half was fairly even and there were just four points in it early on in the second half but Fenerbahce opened up an 11-2 scoring run in the third quarter and in the fourth quarter, the Turkish side held an 18 point lead. There was no way they were going to slip up at that point.
Nikola Kalinic provided 17 points, as did Bogdan Bogdanovic, who was a key player throughout the match. Luigi Datome grabbed 11 points with 10 coming in the second half. The MVP for the Final was Ekpe Udoh who grabbed 10 points over the course of the game. Khem Birch provided 14 points for Olympiacos, Nikola Milutinov provided 10 points in the loss and Greek veteran Vassilis Spanoulis provided 9 points and 8 assists.
The Fenerbahce coach has the Midas touch in Euroleague action
It was a massive night for Pero Antic and Kostas Sloukas who clinched their third Euroleague title, with the previous two having been clinched while playing for Sunday’s opponents. That was back in 2012 and 2013. It was also another Euroleague triumph for Zeljko Obradovic, the Fenerbahce head coach who has now won the trophy on nine occasions.
In the earlier game, CSKA Moscow took third place with a 70-94 victory over Real Madrid. Kyle Hines provided 14 points in the victory while Gustavo Ayon and Jonas Maciulis both grabbed 11 points for Real Madrid.
It was a weekend that basketball fans in Istanbul will never forget.