Beşiktaş starts quest for maiden Euro trophy
DEBRECENBeşiktaş Milangaz looks to claim its first-ever European basketball trophy, as it kicks off the Eurochallenge Final Four with Szolnoki Olaj tonight.
If Beşiktaş beats the Hungarian side, it will play against the winner of the tie game between Russia’s Triumph and France’s Chalon in Sunday’s final.
The Final Four is being staged in Debrecen, Hungary.
Beşiktaş started the season in EuroCup preliminaries, but was relegated to the third-tier club competition in European basketball after losing to Dexia Mons from Belgium.
The Black Eagles had one of the best point guards in the world then, with Deron Williams choosing to play for the Istanbul team during the NBA lockout. Williams put in some memorable performances in the Eurochallenge, including a 50-point game to set the competition record, but Beşiktaş still managed to recover from his loss after the superstar returned to the New Jersey Nets with the end of the lockout.
Beşiktaş replaced Williams with Puerto Rican guard Carlos Arroyo. It also acquired Pops Mensah-Bonsu, who showed his impact with double figures in both points and rebounds.
“We have an opportunity on our hands,” coach Ergin Ataman was quoted as saying on the competition website. “A European Cup gives a boost to Beşiktaş and Turkish basketball.” The only time that a Turkish basketball club has ever won a European title was in 1996 when Anadolu Efes, formerly Efes Pilsen, won the Korac Cup.