Fenerbahçe takes on Baskonia in Turkish Airlines Euroleague playoffs
Defending champion Fenerbahçe Doğuş starts its Turkish Airlines Euroleague playoff campaign on April 18 at home against Kirolbet Baskonia to win a berth for the Final Four in Belgrade in May.
The two sides have previously met 21 times, but never before in the Euroleague playoffs.
Fenerbahçe swept Baskonia in the regular season, dominating in Spain 69-83 in Round 10 behind Jan Vesely, who starred among six Fenerbahçe scorers in double figures with 10 points, a career-high six assists, five rebounds, and three blocked shots.
In Round 16, Fenerbahçe won at home 79-74 behind 18 points from Marko Guduric and a Jason Thompson double-double.
Both teams are coming off losses in their final regular season games after both putting together strong second halves of the season.
Fenerbahçe has the league’s best defensive record, with Zeljko Obradovic’s troops allowing just 75.2 points per game.
There are plenty of potential game-breakers within the Fenerbahçe ranks, though, starting with point guard Brad Wanamaker, who has led his team’s offensive output with 11.4 points and 3.9 assists per game.
Along with Wanamaker, fellow new recruits Guduric, Nicola Melli and Jason Thompson are the only Fenerbahçe players to have appeared in every game during the regular season, illustrating the depth of options available to Obradovic.
And with last season’s title-winners Vesely (12.9 points and 4.9 rebounds per game), Kostas Sloukas (10.1 points and 5 assists per game), and Luigi Datome (9.6 points per game) still playing vital roles, everything is in place for the Turkish team to guard its crown jealously.
Baskonia roared into the playoffs with a run of six straight victories before a surprising final round defeat at home, and coach Pedro Martinez’s team must now bounce back immediately from that setback.