EuroLeague 2017 Final: Turkey wins first major competition with Fenerbahce

por Roberto Anidos publicado en 2017 Decade 2010 EuroLeague Fenerbahce Olympiacos

A new era began in the Euroleague, completely changing its regular league format, going from the two phases to a single league all against all, and a drastic reduction in teams, from 24 to 16, which led to a much discussed and competitive competition until the last few days

With 30 games to go, there were winners and losers. Real Madrid, CSKA and Olympiacos topped the standings at all times. Fenerbahce had a downturn in a stretch of the season that took them down to fifth place, and Panathinaikos, Baskonia and Anadolu always moved in the noble zone. The Red Star was in playoff positions almost the whole year, but in the end it gave up the push of Darussafaka. The negative surprises were teams of the calibre of Barcelona, who finished 11th, Maccabi 14th and Armani Milan last, three prestigious teams far from the head of the competition.

1. Real Madrid (23-7)
2. CSKA Moscow (22-8)
3. Olympiacos (19-11)
4. Panathinaikos (19-11)
5. Fenerbahce (18-12)
6. Anadolu Ephes (17-13)
7. Baskonia Vitoria (17-13)
8. Darussafaka Dogus (16-14)
9. Red Star (16-14)
10. Zalgiris Kaunas (14-16)
11. Barcelona (12-18)
12. Galatasaray (11-19)
13. Brose Baskets (10-20)
14. Maccabi (10-20)
15. Kazan Unics (8-22)
16. Armani Milan (8-22)

So we got to the playoffs where Fenerbahce and CSKA won by fast track, Real Madrid had to win two matches on opposite court to sentence and Olympiacos needed the five games against Anadolu.

Real Madrid had to overcome a (1-1) losing a match on their court. But it demonstrated its condition leader to win two matches in the court of Darussafaka and take the series with solvency (3-1).

(83-75); (80-84); (81-88); (78-89)

The Fenerbahce was a poisoned gift to the Panathinaikos. The Greeks despite enjoying the field factor, suffered the best version of the Turks and lost with forcefulness (0-3). A series that left the Greek team very touched. The Fenerbahce after being led along the regular proved its worth at the key moment.

(58-71); (75-80); (79-61)

CSKA Moscow also won their series against Baskonia 3-0 on the fast track. The Basques did, however, fight each and every game in the knockout rounds, but in the end they always gave in because of different circumstances to the quality of the Russians.

(98-90); (84-82); (88-90)

Olympiacos and Anadolu Efes offered us the most equal series of playoffs, which was not decided until the fifth match. The Turks were able to win the always important first game, but could not sentenced on their court and the playoff went to a fifth game in Piraeus where the Greeks did not fail (3-2).

(87-72); (71-73); (64-60); (62-74); (87-78)

After the playoffs we reached the four final, which this year, five years later, was held again in Istanbul. Curiously, it was the same four final as Madrid 2015, CSKA MOSCOW against OLYMPIACOS, and FENERBAHCE against REAL MADRID.

In the first semifinal, it was as if we were taking a trip to the past. CSKA dominated much of the game until the 36th minute, but saw Olympiacos, who have always beaten them in a final four, manage their last possessions better and the Russians again, falling apart like a sugar cube under the pressure of winning.

Olympiacos 82
*Mantzaris – 12p, 6r, 3a.
*Spanoulis – 14p, 6a, 1r.
*Papanikolaou – 14p, 9r, 1a.
*Printezis – 14p, 7r, 1a.
*Milutinov – 5p, 2r, 2a.
Agravanis – 8p, 7r.
Green – 8p, 1r.
Birch – 4p, 4r, 2t.
Papapetrou – 3p, 2r, 2a.
Young – 0p, 1r, 1br.

CSKA Moscow 78
*Jackson – 12p, 1a, 1br.
*De Colo – 16p, 3a, 1r.
*Kurbanov – 2p, 2r.
*Vorontsevich – 2p, 4r.
*Hines – 8p, 3r, 2t.
Teodosic – 23p, 2r, 1a.
Higgins – 6p, 6r, 1t.
Khryapa – 3p, 8r, 2a.
Augustine – 6p, 6r.
Fridzon – 0p.


In the other semi-final Real Madrid could do little against a very superior Fenerbahce and under the protection of an enthusiastic fans. The whites lived almost exclusively on the talent of Llull and after Carroll, insufficient to beat a much more choral Fenerbahce, led by an impressive Udoh, and always a step ahead.

Fenerbahce 84
*Dixon – 9p, 3a, 1r.
*Bogdanovic – 14p, 6r, 1a.
*Kalinic – 12p, 6r, 6a, 4br.
*Vesely – 12p, 3r, 3a.
*Udoh – 18p, 12r, 8a.
Sloukas – 9p, 3r, 1a.
Datome – 8p, 1r.
Nunnally – 2p, 2a, 1r.

Real Madrid 75
*Llull – 28p, 8a, 1r.
*Doncic – 0p, 3a, 2r.
*Maciulis – 0p, 1a.
*Randolph – 7p, 2r, 2br.
*Ayón – 2p, 4r, 1br.
Carroll – 21p, 1r, 1br.
Thompkins – 8p, 3r.
Taylor – 3p, 1a, 1br.
Hunter – 6p, 7r, 1t.
Rudy – 0p, 2br, 1r.
Draper – 0p, 1a.


Fenerbahce made their European debut after defeating Olympiakos 80-64 to the collective delirium of thousands of Turkish fans who packed the stands of Istanbul’s Sinan Erdem Dome. As in the semi-final against Real Madrid, the Ottoman side passed their particular «made in Obradović» roller – a combination of strong defence, a varied assortment of perfectly synchronised attacking options and a collective sacrifice of the entire team – and their Greek rivals could barely keep up with the final for 25 minutes, before falling to the great performance of the Turkish team, which highlighted especially Nikola Kalinić (17 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists), Bogdan Bogdanović (17 points) and an imposing Ekpe Udoh (10 points, 9 rebounds, 5 blocks and 4 assists), regular leaders of Fenerbahce, which this time joined the luxury substitute Luigi Datome. However, the big winner of the night was the Serbian Željko Obradović, who expanded his legend as Europe’s best coach of all time with his ninth Euroleague. Olympiakos, for their part, accused Vasilis Spanoulis of a very discreet game and only held the local tug until midway through the third quarter.

The first play of the match was symptomatic of what would be the final: an alleyoop with mate two hands behind the back of the Czech Jan Veselý after assistance from Udoh. The player most inspired by the opening compasses was Nikola Kalinić, author of three flawless trebles and a 2+1 for a total of 12 points at the end of the first quarter. The Serbian forward complemented his great offensive contribution with the balance that provided the team in the transition defense attack and vice versa. Bobby Dixon, Jan Veselý and Ekpe Udoh also contributed through the mastery of their respective facets of play, and Olympiakós could do little before it, which cost him carburar start as in the semifinal against CSKA. At the end of the first ten minutes, the score clearly showed the difference between the two teams (26-18). Despite his clear inferiority, the Greek team was able to cling to the game with its usual «tick spirit», and thanks to the experience of Spanoulis and not give a single ball for lost survived in the second quarter to the attacks of a Fenerbahce in which Bogdan Bogdanović took over the scorer of his compatriot Kalinić. While Giannis Sferopoulos was looking for fresh air with continuous rotations, Željko Obradović relied on the performance of his praetorian guard (Dixon, Bogdanović, Kalinić, Veselý, Udoh) for as long as possible. As the stopwatch progressed, the defences became more and more intense; sparks jumped at each block and it was more and more difficult to find a clear pass or a moderately liberated shot. The rest was reached with the final open (39-¬34), but with the feeling that at any time the Fenerbahçe could release the final harness.

Olympiakos’ wear and tear tactics paid off midway through the third quarter (46-42, min. 25) without Fenerbahce being able to impose their theoretical technical superiority. However, the Greek team began to show the first symptoms of fatigue, and the Turkish team took advantage of it to throw itself into the neck of its rivals: a partial of 11-¬2 after a triple of Luigi Datome began to tip the scales clearly on the local side (57-¬44, min. 28). Like a groggy boxer, Olympiakos clung to the ropes to weather the Turkish storm and could reach the end of the third quarter with a final still open (60-48). At the beginning of the last quarter, Fenerbahçe finally dealt the coup de grace to its rivals, thanks to the inspiration of Datome and a triple of But Antić that widened the difference to 18 points (68¬-50, min. 33). On this occasion, neither the traditional Hellenic competitiveness nor the magic of Spanoulis – who disappeared throughout the match – worked the miracle. The last minutes were a placid walk for the Turkish players who, in intimate communion with their fans, began to celebrate the first European trophy of Fenerbahce and Turkish basketball.

Fenerbahce 80
*Dixon – 8p, 2r, 2a.
*Bogdanovic – 17p, 5r, 1a.
*Kalinic – 17p, 5r, 5a.
*Vesely – 8p, 8r, 2a.
*Udoh – 10p, 9r, 5t.
Sloukas – 3p, 5a, 1r.
Datome – 11p, 6r, 1br.
Nunnally – 2p, 1r, 1t.
Antic – 4p, 1r, 1a.
Mahmutoglou – 0p.
Bennett – 0p.
Duverioglou – 0p.

Olympiacos 64
*Mantzaris – 9p, 3a, 1r.
*Spanoulis – 9p, 8a, 2r.
*Papanikolaou – 3p, 5r, 3a.
*Printezis – 7p, 1r, 1a.
*Birch – 14p.
Milutinov – 10p, 4r, 1a.
Green – 7p, 4r.
Waters – 2p, 1r, 1a.
Agravanis – 0p, 3r, 2br.
Papapetrou – 0p, 2r.
Young – 0p, 1t.
Toliopoulos – 3p.