FENERBAHCE ISTANBUL: DID YOU KNOW THAT…
...Fenerbahce Istanbul has become the first Turkish team to make it to the Euroleague Championship Game? Efes Pilsen did not go past the Euroleague semifinal in 2000 and the SuproLeague semis in 2001. Fenerbahce lost against Real Madrid in last season’s semifinal. Obviously, Fenerbahce can now become the first Turkish team to win the Euroleague title.
...head coach Zeljko Obradovic is the winningest person in Euroleague history? Obradovic has eight Euroleague titles (Partizan 1992, Joventut 1994, Real Madrid 1995, Panathinaikos 2000, 2002, 2007, 2009, 2011), which is more than any player or coach since the competition began in 1958. And he could add a ninth title this weekend!
...Obradovic is at his 16th Final Four – more than any other coach or player since the format was adopted in 1988? CSKA Moscow leads all European clubs in Final Four appearances at 15 – as many as Coach Obradovic, who also had one appearance as a player, with Partizan in 1988.
...Obradovic has taken six different teams to the Final Four. He has been there with Partizan, Joventut, Real Madrid, Benetton, Panathinaikos and Fenerbahce Istanbul. Boza Maljkovic – with Split, Barcelona, Limoges, Panathinaikos and Baskonia – has coached five different teams to the Final Four - one less than Coach Obradovic.
...Obradovic and CSKA head coach Dimitris Itoudis worked together for 13 years? They took Panathinaikos to the Final Four eight times, winning 5 Euroleague titles in 2000, 2002, 2007, 2009 and 2011.
...Kostas Sloukas and Pero Antic have the chance to win their third Euroleague title? Sloukas and Antic helped Olympiacos win consecutive Euroleague titles in 2012 and 2013. Antic is undefeated in Final Four action - 5 games, 5 wins.
...just as Sloukas and Antic, Ricky Hickman has also won the Euroleague title? He lifted the trophy with Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv in 2014.
...Jan Vesely could become the third Czech player to win the Euroleague title? Jiri Zidek (Zalgiris, 1999) and Lubos Barton (Barcelona, 2010) lifted the Euroleague trophy.
...Luigi Datome could be the first Italian-born player to win the Euroleague in 6 years? Gianluca Basile was the last Italian player to lift the trophy, with Regal FC Barcelona in 2010.
...the last - and only - Turkish player to win the Euroleague was Ibrahim Kutluay with Panathinaikos Athens in 2002. A good number of Fenerbahce players could join him in this select list if Fenerbahce wins the title.
...Ekpe Udoh has beaten a record for most blocks in a Euroleague season? Udoh has blocked 57 shots until now - and counting!
...Vesely needs just 5 points to reach 1,000 in his Euroleague career? Vesley scored 995 points in 104 games.
...Hickman needs 29 points to reach 1,000 in his Euroleague career? Hickman scored 971 points in 93 games.
...Bogdanovic needs just 3 points in reach 1,000 in his Euroleague career? Bogdanovic scored 997 points in 85 games.