Euroleague draws are made, Turkish clubs hopeful
Turkish sports’ arch rivals Fenerbahçe Ülker and Galatasaray Liv Hospital played out a controversial Beko Basketball League finals series last month.Turkish Airlines Euroleague draws were made July 10, with three Turkish teams learning their opponents in European basketball’s greatest club competition.
Anadolu Efes is pitted in Group A, Fenerbahçe Ülker is named in Group C with Galatasaray Liv Hospital in Group D.
Anadolu Efes will face Spanish giants and two times runner-up Real Madrid in Group A, which also has Zalgiris Kaunas, Nizhny Novgorod and Dinamo Sassari. The group will be wrapped up with the team that will advance from the qualifying rounds.
Fenerbahçe Ülker is arguably pitted in the strongest group, where Barcelona, Panathinaikos, EA7 Milano, Bayern Munich and Turow will also compete. In Group D, Galatasaray Liv Hospital will face the 2012 and 2013 champion Olympiacos. Valencia, Laboral Kutxa Vitoria, Red Star Belgrade and Neptunas Klaipeda are also in the same group.
Defending champion Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv is in Group B, where it will face CSKA Moscow, Unicaja Malaga, Alba Berlin, Cedevita Zagreb and Limoges.
Anadolu Efes will try to make an impact in Europe this year after a string of disappointing seasons. After assigning legendary coach Dusan Ivkovic, Efes has also signed point guard Dontaye Draper, forwards Dario Saric and Stratos Perperoglou, in addition to big men Stephane Lasme and Nenad Krstic in the paint.
With another legendary coach at the helm, Zeljko Obradovic, Fenerbahçe Ülker takes on the Euroleague with a rejuvenated backcourt. The Turkish champion has added Andrew Goudelock and Ricky Hickman as guards.
At its third season in the Euroleague, Galatasaray Liv Hospital will be led by experienced coach Ergin Ataman, but after a turbulent end to the Turkish league campaign, where the Lions boycotted the deciding game seven of the final series against Fenerbahçe Ülker citing issues with the Turkish Basketball Federation, the squad is yet unclear.