ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray meet for the Presidential Cup in Ankara as the two rivals vie for the first trophy of the new women’s basketball season
Galatasaray point guard Işıl Alben (C) drives to the basket while being defended by Fenerbahçe’s Birsel Vardarlı (L) and Kübra Siyahdemir (R). Hürriyet photo, Süleyman ARAT
The new season in women’s basketball starts tonight as Fenerbahçe
renew their rivalry.
Turkish Women’s Basketball League (TKBL) champion Fenerbahçe
takes on Spor Toto Women’s Turkish Cup winner Galatasaray
in tonight’s Presidential Cup at the Ankara
“We will face a very important opponent at the very beginning of the season,” Galatasaray
coach Ekrem Memnun said during a press conference yesterday. “It is an important meeting as a real tune-up event before the league campaign.”
Both teams, who have played in virtually every final in women’s basketball in recent years, will play tonight’s game with major changes to both teams since last season. Fenerbahçe
parted ways with Greek
coach George Dikeoulakos and signed Roberto Iniguez De Heredia of Spain for the head coach job. Important meeting
“It is important for us to start the season with a win,” De Heredia said. “We will do our best for the win.”
The Yellow Canaries also signed Belarusian forward Anastasiya Verameyenka from Nadezhda Orenburg, Polish forward Agnieszka Bibrzycka from CCC Polkowice and Turkish guard Esra Şencebe from Beşiktaş.
Galatasaray, who suffered a disappointing defeat to its archrival in last season’s TKBL finals series, had bigger changes in its squad.
The Lions signed Spanish forward Sancho Lyttle and Belgian center Ann Wauters from Euroleague champion Ros Casares along with American
guard Lindsay Whalen from ZVVZ USK Prague. The three players perform for the Atlanta Dream, the Seattle Storm and the Minnesota Lynx respectively in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) in the United States.
Another big transfer move for Galatasaray
was the return of Nevriye Yılmaz, who was with the Lions for their last Turkish league title in 2001. Arguably the most successful player in Turkish women’s basketball history, the 32-year-old center had won seven consecutive league titles with Fenerbahçe
from 2006 to 2012.
Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe
played in four different competitions last season. Galatasaray
beat its archrival to the title in the President’s Cup and Turkish Cup finals, but Fenerbahçe
emerged triumphant in the Turkish League. The two rivals also met in the Euroleague Top 8, which was organized in Istanbul in March, and saw Fenerbahçe
in the semifinal round.
Fenerbahçe eventually finished fourth in the Top 8 while Galatasaray
This is the seventh time the two rivals will meet in the Presidential Cup final with both teams winning three times.
The game starts at 7 p.m. and will be televised live on Sky Türk 360.