Frutti Extra Bursaspor will be making its international debut in 2020-21 - just one season removed from playing in Turkey’s second division. The team debuted in the Turkish top basketball league in 2019-20 and started the season with a 3-1 record. A 2-5 stretch followed and later a four-game losing streak before Bursaspor put together a four-game winning streak for an 11-12 record and ninth place when the Covid-19 pandemic cancelled the remainder of the season. While Bursaspor will be new to the international game, its new rookie head coach Tutku Acik will not be, as he played 97 games in the EuroLeague with Fenerbahce, Galatasaray and Besiktas - as recently as 2012-13 - and 45 more games in the EuroCup with Turk Telekom and Galatasaray. Now Acik and Bursaspor start their own European adventure.
Up-and-coming Turkish club Frutti Extra Bursaspor will be competing in the 7DAYS EuroCup for a second consecutive season. In its debut, the team started with six defeats in a row before finishing the regular season on a high note, winning three of its last four games under newly arrived young coach Dusan Alimpijevic. Now, Bursaspor will return with all the intention of making that debut experience pay off in its second EuroCup season.
Frutti Extra Bursaspor was founded in 2014 and started by playing in the Turkish third division, where it second in the final stage, getting the jump to the second division. From there, Bursaspor brought in Dejan Borovnjak, who had 62 games of EuroLeague experience and 46 contests in the EuroCup; and Karlo Vragovic, who was a Croatian youth international and played for Cibona Zagreb in the EuroLeague. The Balkan duo carried the team to third place in the 2016-17 season, just missing the jump to the Turkish first division. Borovnjak and Vragovic stayed with Bursaspor and helped the team reach the second division semifinals in 2017-18 and then win the title at that level in 2018-19 to earn promotion to the Turkish top flight. Bursaspor made a strong Turkish League debut, opening 3-1 on the way to an 11-12 record for ninth place when the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the remainder of the season.
In the EuroCup last season, Bursaspor did not notch its first international victory ever until overtime of a late-season visit to Nanterre of France. Then it waited until the final game of the regular season to give its fans a home win and finish 3-7 on what was definitely an upward trend by the time the team bowed out of the competition.
With one season of European experience under the belt, Bursaspor will be ready to show it belongs at this level and will look, first of all, to improve on the result from its debut campaign. It will have learned that one key is to set the foundations for a competitive campaign from the start and work to be in every game near the end. Reaching the single-game elimination rounds would be Bursaspor's reward for learning well.