Darussafaka Istanbul returns to the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague as the reigning 7DAYS EuroCup champion. Although the team has already undergone major changes on the bench and roster, the goal will be challenging for a ticket to the playoffs for the second time in three years. Here are some key dates on Darussafaka's path.
Round 1: A clash of champions
Not many more words are needed to describe what will be an exciting start to the season. Defending EuroLeague champion Real Madrid will welcome the EuroCup champs to start the season with a bang. Dacka will try to do everything in its power to start the campaign with a surprise, just like Unicaja Malaga did last season against Fenerbahce Istanbul.
Round 8: The Istanbul Derby takes center stage
In the eighth round, Darussafaka won't have to travel far to visit EuroLeague runner-up and crosstown rival Fenerbahce. This will be the fifth time these sides meet in the top European competition and so far the record is balanced at 2-2. Expect a hot atmosphere in Istanbul for one of the most interesting games of the round.
Round 15: The return of the boss
Right at the mid-way mark of the regular season, Darussafaka will have a special night at home with the arrival of Olympiacos Piraeus, coached by former Dacka boss David Blatt. With Blatt, Darussafaka played great basketball in the EuroLeague and reached the playoffs in 2017 and then, of course, won the EuroCup last season. The fans at Volkswagen Arena will surely pay deserved homage to the man who led their team to its first trophy in 50 years.
Round 17: The Red Army team pays a visit
It's no secret that CSKA Moscow has been one of the most dominant teams in the league the last few seasons, so it's only natural that the EuroCup champs will be eagerly waiting for the chance to measure themselves up against the Russian behemoth at home. The occasion will be not long after the midway mark of the regular season, so the playoff races could already be getting hot.
Round 23: Another decisive derby in the thick of the race
With just seven rounds to go in the regular season, Darussafaka hosts the Turkish champs, Fenerbahce, again, in what will be the hosts' fourth Istanbul derby of the EuroLeague season. At this point, many things will be up in the air for the playoffs race and both teams could even be playing in direct competition for a berth, which just would kick this powerful Istanbul derby up a notch.