Ismet Akpinar of ratiopharm Ulm has a special feeling when he plays against Turkish teams. Not only does he have a Turkish background, but Ismet's brother, Mutlu Akpinar, played five 7DAYS EuroCup seasons with Turk Telekom Ankara and Banvit. Born in Aidina, Turkey, Mutlu played with the Turkish national team, but Ismet, born 12 years later in Hamburg, Germany, is a regular member of the German national team.
Against Galatasaray Istanbul on Wednesday, Akpinar had an impressive game as he set new career highs in scoring (26) and performance index rating (22). His previous career-best efforts were in a home game against Herbalife Gran Canaria on October 25, 2017 when he recorded 14 points and an index of 13.
The story was not just what he did against Galatasaray, but how he did it. With his team down 52-66 at the start of the fourth quarter, Akpinar scored 8 points in an 18-1 run that brought Ulm back to life. Then, he hit the driving layup with 5 seconds left in regulation that forced overtime and kept his team alive. Ulm held on to win 103-92 in double OT. Akpinar scored 18 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter and both overtimes as the decisive factor.
"It was unbelievable. Double overtime against such a good team like Galatasaray, it was a crazy atmosphere, we fought until the end. I am very proud of my team," Akpinar said after the game. "I am happy about my game, too. It was a good game for me, especially on the offensive end. I have to continue like that."