Karşıyaka to host Eurochallenge finals
IZMIR - Hürriyet Daily News
Pınar Karşıyaka will meet EWE Baskets Oldenburg of Germany on April 26. AA photoFIBA has awarded the hosting of the Eurochallenge Final Four to İzmir, meaning that Pınar Karşıyaka will play for the third-tier European basketball trophy in front of its home team fans next month.
Pınar Karşıyaka will meet EWE Baskets Oldenburg of Germany on April 26, while France’s BCM Gravelines and Russia’s Krasnye Krylia meet in the semifinals. The winners will meet in the final on April 28. The third-place playoff between the semifinal losers will be played before the final on April 28.
“İzmir is renowned as being a basketball city, and I have every confidence that Pınar Karşıyaka, in conjunction with the local municipal authorities, will put on a truly memorable event,” said FIBA Europe Secretary General Kamil Novak.
The games will be played at the 4,500-seat Karşıyaka Sports Hall.
Pınar Karşıyaka comes from the Aegean province of İzmir, which is among the leading Turkish cities in terms of basketball tradition, having also acted as a host city of the first round of the 2010 FIBA World Championship.
İzmir’s hosting marks the second time that Turkey has hosted the final four in the third-tier competition in European club basketball. Fenerbahçe hosted the tournament, which was titled the FIBA Europa League then, in the 2004-2005 season. The Yellow Canaries finished fourth while Russia’s Saint Petersburg claimed the title.
Last year’s winner
Beşiktaş won the Eurochallenge last year following the final four in Hungary to become the second Turkish men’s basketball team to claim a continental trophy. Efes Pilsen is the first Turkish team to lift a European trophy with its Korac Cup victory in 1996.
Apart from basketball, the Karşıyaka Sports Hall hosted two key volleyball events in the past.
İzmir’s Arkas Spor men’s volleyball won the GM Capital Challenge Cup at the Karşıyaka Sports Hall in 2009. Arkas also qualified to the European Champions League final four with a victory over Russia’s Lokomotiv in the playoffs in İzmir.