Turk Telekom’s first EuroCup final in the club’s history ended with a narrow defeat against Gran Canaria, finishing the tournament in second place with a final score of 71-67. Despite being down by 20 points in the second quarter, they made a fantastic comeback in the third. The team managed to stay in the game thanks to surprise contributions from players like Mehmet Yağmur, as Tony Taylor was unable to participate. The match was close in the end, but ultimately lost due to the Spanish team’s cunning tactics. With this win, Gran Canaria secured a spot in the Euroleague, although it is still unclear whether they will choose to participate. Meanwhile, Turk Telekom will wait for an invitation to the Euroleague for the upcoming season.
Gran Canaria started the match incredibly strong, with a sudden surge in the score as they nailed every three-pointer. However, Turk Telekom quickly bounced back with a 10-0 run. Gran Canaria showed no intention of slowing down their outside shooting, finishing the first quarter with five three-pointers and a score of 29-23 in their favor.
In the second quarter, Turk Telekom struggled to find their footing. They had trouble scoring in the first seven minutes, entering the quarter with a 17-1 run. The team missed open shots, turned the ball over, and the gap widened to a terrifying degree. The difference exceeded 20 points, but a mini run towards the end of the quarter helped them reduce the deficit slightly. They went into halftime trailing 50-33.
In the third quarter, fans witnessed the familiar, beloved Turk Telekom team. They successfully attacked the basket while practically shutting down Gran Canaria’s offense, save for a few lucky shots. By wearing down their opponents and causing foul trouble, they managed to close the gap with a 22-11 run, finishing the quarter down by just six points at 61-55.
Entering the final quarter with a three-point deficit, Turk Telekom continued to put up a strong fight. Mehmet Yağmur’s clutch three-pointer silenced the crowd. The team displayed excellent defense, allowing only 14 points in 17 minutes and closing the gap to just two points. However, controversial refereeing decisions led to Tony Taylor being sidelined, followed by the team running out of fouls. In a slower-paced game, Shurna found his shot and increased the lead to five points, prompting a timeout. Grant’s free throw reduced the gap to three points. Diop then cunningly substituted himself out for a better free throw shooter, Benite, who extended the lead to five points. Turk Telekom made several offensive mistakes, failing to close the gap. With 48 seconds left, they had one more chance but failed to capitalize. Gran Canaria couldn’t score either, but Turk Telekom failed to secure the rebound. Tactical fouls led to Albicy missing both free throws, but he stole the ball back and sealed the victory for Gran Canaria, 71-67.
Unsportsmanlike Conduct Towards Turk Telekom’s Coach:
In an unfortunate incident during the Gran Canaria away game, Turk Telekom’s head coach Erdem Can was injured when the team bus driver made a sudden stop. Speaking to TivibuSpor, Can expressed his disappointment:
“I am very upset. What happened today was not an accident; it was orchestrated. The driver insisted on taking a different route, despite our polite requests to continue on the correct path. We asked him to lower the volume of the music, and he responded, ‘I won’t. It’s my music, and it’s none of your business.’ When I
attempted to turn down the volume myself, he hit my hand and slammed on the brakes. As a result, my head hit the window and shattered the glass. We’ve worked hard with these players for 10 months, striving for success. This incident is extremely disheartening. It was a deliberate act, and nobody can claim it was an accident.”
My personal opinion
Despite the challenges faced by Turk Telekom during the European Cup final, the team showed resilience and determination in a highly competitive match against Gran Canaria. Fans and basketball enthusiasts are eagerly awaiting Turk Telekom’s potential Euroleague invitation, where the team will have an opportunity to showcase their talents on an even bigger stage. Head Coach, Erdem Can and the entire Turk Telekom organization from its GM Onder Kulcebas all the way to the last man on the team need to be commended on their runner-up spot and keep consistency going for the up and coming season. Proud to have been raised in Ankara, Turkey, and goes to show that with dedication and hard work, Ankara will soon see brighter days!