Galatasaray captures Eurocup crown!
Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul is the 2016 Eurocup champion! Galatasaray held off a stiff challenge in the final minute to defeat Strasbourg 78-67 at a sold-out Abdi Ipekci Sports Hall and win the first continental trophy in the club’s 105-year history. Strasbourg won the opening leg of the two-game, total points series 66-62 in France and entered the final minute of regulation down 2 points on aggregate, but Galatasaray scored the final 5 points, including a steal and layup by Sinan Guler in the closing seconds, to win the series by a total score of 140-133. Stephane Lasme was voted Eurocup Finals MVP after posting 16 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks for the winners. Errick McCollum also scored 16, while Guler tallied 14 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals and Blake Schilb added 11 points. Mardy Collins paced Strasbourg with 16 points and 5 assists and Louis Campbell scored 10.
First quarter: Hosts quickly erase deficit, take lead
Galatasaray head coach Ergin Ataman opted to start Goksenin Koksal to guard Campbell in the opening minutes. Vlado Micov got Galatasaray going with a three-pointer and Schilb added a triple off the dribble to put his team ahead 6-0 in the game (and 68-66 in the series). Collins stepped up with a close jumper, but Guler bettered that with a bomb from downtown and Micov added a jumper, which caused Strasbourg to call timeout at 11-2 (and 73-68 on aggregate). Schilb kept pushing Galatasaray with a close jumper and Koksal hit free throws to boost the lead to 15-2. Collins downed a step-back triple and answered Guler's layup-plus-foul with a driving basket. Kyle Weems shined with a put-back layup, bringing Strasbourg within 18-9 (and 80-75 on aggregate). Guler struck from beyond the arc, added a wild coast-to-coast layup and found Lasme for a dunk that boosted Galatasaray's lead to 12 for the series. Romain Duport hit his trademark three-pointer from the top of the key and Collins added a driving layup to bring the visitors within 25-14 (and 87-80 on aggregate). Chuck Davis and Duport traded jumpers to fix the score at 27-16 (and 89-82 on aggregate) after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Strasbourg bounces back
Davis took over with an up-and-under layup early in the quarter, but Matt Howard quickly answered with a reverse layup. Davis kept going for Galatasaray with free throws and McCollum matched Howard's close basket with a layup to keep the hosts way in control at 33-20 (and 95-86 on aggregate). Bangaly Fofana briefly silenced the crowd with an alley-oop slam, but Lasme stepped up with foul shots. Weems dunked off a steal, but a two-handed slam by Lasme prompted Strasbourg head coach Vincent Collet to stop the game at 37-24 (and 99-90 on aggregate). Weems made 3 from the foul line and a wild diving steal by Campbell sent Rodrigue Beaubois to close the gap. Beaubois kept going with a bomb from downtown and Campbell added a driving layup that put Strasbourg ahead in the series, 99-100. Schilb rescued Galatasaray with a turnaround jumper off a timeout and Micov added a layup off a steal to give his team fresh air. Schilb scored around the basket, but a free throw by Campbell kept Strasbourg within 43-35 (and 105-101 on aggregate) at halftime.
Third quarter: a back-and-forth battle
Koksal nailed a corner three-pointer immediately after the break, but Fofana quickly stepped up with a put-back slam. Lasme buried a five-meter jumper and Koksal hit another triple, this time from the opposite corner, to make it 51-37 (and 113-103 on aggregate). Fofana took over with an off-balance three-point play and a big block on Guler. Lasme rescued Galatasaray with another mid-range jumper, but Campbell matched it with a put-back layup and soon sank a one-handed shot in the lane to give Strasbourg hope at 53-44 (and 115-110 on aggregate). Campbell drilled a bomb from downtown to cap a 0-7 run in which he had all the points. Schilb tried to change things with a backdoor layup and Lasme added a close basket, but Collins and Matt Howard hit free throws to make it 57-51 (and 119-117 on aggregate). McCollum buried a mid-range jumper and followed that with free throws, however Duport’s three brought Strasbourg within 61-54 (and 123-120 on aggregate) at the end of the third quarter.
Fourth quarter: McCollum, Guler turn back Strasbourg
Paul Lacombe’s jumper in the lane on the first possession of the quarter brought Strasbourg within 1 on aggregate. McCollum responded from long range for Galatasaray, then pulled up for a sweet jumper making it 66-56 (and 128-122 on aggregate). After a Strasbourg timeout, McCollum blocked Beaubois from behind, but on the ensuing possession, Lacombe blasted a three-pointer of his own. McCollum then fed Lasme for a foul-line jumper and a layup inside. Howard split free throws for Strasbourg before a broken play led to McCollum striking with a triple from the corner to make it 73-60 (and 135-126 on aggregate) with five minutes left. But to that big shot, after a Strasbourg timeout, Collins responded with another to beat the shot clock from way downtown before Campbell fed Fofana for a slam. After another block by Fofana, Collins had his fastbreak layup goaltended and made the accompanying foul shot to make it 73-67 (and 135-133 on aggregate) with less than three minutes left. With 1:20 to play, Galatasaray got the ball to McCollum, but he missed a fall-back jumper just as Collins did at the other end entering the final minute. But McCollum was fouled rebounding the miss by Collins and knocked down both free throws with 43 seconds left to give Galatasaray a 4-point aggregate edge. After another timeout, Duport's open triple went in and out and this time Guler was fouled rebounding the miss, but only made 1 of 2 free throws with 29 seconds left. Then Guler stole a pass and went the other way for a layup which sealed the victory and sent Galatasaray into the history books as the first Turkish champion of the Eurocup!
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
By Javier Gancedo, Eurocupbasketball.com - Istanbul