Galatasaray Odeabank to play in Eurocup final
AA photoGalatasaray Odeabank Istanbul will play for its first continental trophy after surviving overtime to knock out last season’s runner-up, Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas, on April 6 in the Canary Islands.
Gran Canaria won the game 94-81 but lost the series by a single point on aggregate, as Galatasaray had won 75-89 a week earlier in the series opener.
Galatasaray held the aggregate lead for much of the game, but Gran Canaria used an 8-0 fourth-quarter run fueled by Xavi Rabaseda to tie the game on aggregate with four minutes to go. D.J. Seeley had the hosts up one with a minute remaining to set up a wild finish.
Vladimir Micov’s basket with 2.1 seconds left tied the game and set up overtime.
Errick McCollum made 3 free throws in the final minute, including one for the aggregate lead with 17.8 seconds left.
Gran Canaria got the last ball to Albert Oliver, who drove into the paint, but ran into Micov who rejected his shot in the closing seconds to seal Galatasaray’s a ticket to the finals.
Micov finished with 21 points, 7 rebounds and 1 huge block to lead Galatasaray. McCollum added 16 points, Stephane Lasme 11 and Chuck Davis scored nine. In doing so Davis moved past Rado Rancik for third place on the Eurocup’s career coring charts with 1,130 points.
D.J. Seeley paced Gran Canaria with 23 points and 5 assists, Alen Omic scored 16 and Kevin Pangos 14 in what proved to be a pyric victory.
In the final, Galatasaray will face Strasbourg, which became the first French team to reach the Eurocup Finals when it defeated Dolomiti Energia Trento 78-86 in the second leg of their two-game on April 6, total-points series to win by 2 points on aggregate.
“Now we’re in the final. Our opponent isn’t important,” said Galatasaray guard Sinan Güler after the game. “We have one job; to win the trophy!”
Micov was also hopeful of the Istanbul club’s chances of clinching the trophy.
“It was a very difficult game, but we deserved to go through,” he said. “Hopefully we will beat Strasbourg and get the [Eurocup] trophy!”
Gran Canaria coach Aito Garcia Reneses congrutulated both sides.
“First of all, congratulations to Galatasaray and to Herbalife Gran Canaria. What we have done, to be so close to our second Eurocup Finals, nobody has ever done that. I have to congratulate my team for their effort, sometimes we succeed, other times we don’t,” he said.