Champion - Fenerbahçe

Just as they had done in two previous matches in Istanbul, the Yellow Canaries found their tempo and never lost the scoring advantage they created in the first half of the game. Fenerbahçe-Ülker won its second league championship in as many years.

The basketball league’s most historic and challenging season ended with F.Bahçe Ülker winning the league championship. The 5th match of the final series ended with a 90-79 win over Türk Telekom, giving Fenerbahçe four games to their opponent’s single win in the series. This is the third Beko Basketball League Championship for Fenerbahçe, and their second championship in a row.   
No more improvisation

The most important catalyst in a championship is tempo. In the first two games of the final series, Türk Telekom could not compete with the speed of the Fenerbahçe team and they were blown off the field.  When the series moved to Ankara, the blue and white team succeeded in slowing their opponents by winning one game but losing the other, which was perhaps what cost them the championship.  The last match in Ankara and the one that ended the series yesterday emphasized the rough ride that Telekom experienced during the entire season.  The “on the fly” performance of the Fenerbahçe team gave Telekom a taste of ‘Mahşer-i Cümbüş’ (performance of skilled and creative players) and transformed it into a defensive team only.

Compared to the F.Bahçe Ülker team, Telekom kept adjusting its “fine tuning” throughout the 5 game series.  Kris Lang scored in two matches but Williams, who was stronger in the regular season, seemed short and delicate compared to the Fenerbahçe players and was swallowed up by them.  Haluk was in the starting 5 of all the matches but the 35 year old player tired quickly and was pulled out early each time. El-Amin was consistently blocked by Fenerbahçe’s strong defense but, despite losing his momentum at times, he had a great series.  For the length of the series Telekom players were so busy trying to slow down their rivals that they forgot about identifying their shooters. The reason for all of these adjustments was that Fenerbahçe never lost sight of their own potential.  The bleachers packed full of spectators at the final series showed what an incredible result can be achieved. In fact, in the 3 games played in Istanbul, Fenerbahçe scored 51 more points than its opponents.  For the two teams in the final, that difference is a novel experience…  

The Fener solution

For all intents and purposes, all of these equations were solved by Fenerbahçe. They played the same way in their Euroleague matches, in the normal season and in the play-offs… In most of their games, they came out smelling like roses.  Despite the fact that the season ended in victory, it was still a quite different case than everything falling into place. For example, in the two games in Ankara, Vidmar had 5 starting appearances on the court and only played for 8 minutes; he played an average of 14 minutes per away game, while in the championship both he and Preldziç were stuck on the bench the entıre time…

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