Things were looking bleak for Galatasaray Doga Sigorta Istanbul before the Turkish side got a much-needed spark from an unexpected source and then its main weapons helped deliver the knockout punch.
Galatasaray came back from a 16-point deficit to build a 22-point lead before holding on for a 91-80 home victory over Unicaja Malaga.
Ege Arar entered the game averaging 3.0 points per game with a season-best of 6 points against Unicaja Malaga earlier this season. But with his team desperately looking for points midway through the second quarter, the 23-year-old scored four baskets - including a pair of dunks - as well as 1 big block to help start closing the gap from 16 points down to 5 points at the break.
Having seen the likes of Arar do more than expected in the first half, Galatasaray’s main guns stepped it up in the third quarter. Greg Whittington had scored just 4 points in the first 20 minutes - well below his average of 12.7 points and leading scorer Aaron Harrison did not score at all in the first 23:54 minutes of the game. Harrison nailed 3 three-pointers and Whittington drained 2 shots from downtown as both scored 10 points in the third quarter with Galatasaray outscoring Unicaja 33-8 to increase the lead to 20 points after three quarters.
Unicaja was not done, especially Adam Waczyinski, who scored 12 points on four possessions in 95 seconds - including 3 three-pointers. The visitors trimmed it to 7 points before Harrison nailed a huge three-pointer to re-establish an 11-point advantage. Unicaja would not get closer than 8 points the rest of the way.
Harrison finished with 16 points - a shade below his average of 16.4, while Whittington had 18 points - well above his average. Arar set career-highs with 10 points and a performance index rating of 17, much of it as Galatasaray was waiting for the big guns to take over.