2007-08QuarterfinalsGame 1
April 10, 2008 CET: 18:30
Local time: 18:30 PALAVELA

Galatasaray a 60-61 semis passport by defeating Besiktas Cola Turka

Galatasaray Cafe Crown became the first team to advance to the ULEB Cup semifinals by downing Besiktas Cola Turka 60-61 in the all-Turkish Quarterfinal opener at Palavela in Turin, Italy, on Thursday. Cuneyt Erden, who had been scoreless for more than 39 minutes and had missed 7 shots from downtown, buried the game-winning three-pointer with 7.7 seconds remaining. Robert Hite paced the winners with 22 points while Charles Gaines grabbed 9 rebounds for Galatasaray. Predrag Drobnjak had 17 points for Besiktas and Preston Shumpert added 14. Hite led a 4-12 opening run that allowed Galatasaray to keep an 11-19 margin at the end of the first quarter. Three-pointers by Hite and Huseyin Besok gave Galatasaray its biggest margin, 11-25, early in the second quarter. Besiktas struggled to score while a catch-and-shoot jumper by the ever-present Hite kept Galatasaray ahead 24-35 at halftime. Drobnjak became Besiktas's go-to guy after the break and free throws by Rick Apodaca got his team within 42-49 after 30 minutes. Shumpert and Drobnjak got Besiktas even closer, 49-51, but Cenk Akyol and Hite struck from downtown to give Galatasaray some fresh air. Even with that, Apodaca and Shumpert made free throws to give Besiktas its only lead of the game, 60-58. Erden stepped up with the game-winning triple to win it for Galatasaray.

Galatasaray head coach Murat Ozyer sprung a surprise by placing Britton Johnsen at small forward – his first start in the ULEB Cup this season. Galatasaray tried to get him involved early due to his matchup with Christian Dalmau of Besiktas, but Hite got Galatasaray going first. Sandro Nicevic immediately answered with a dunk for Besiktas, but Chris Owens and Gaines soon took over with consecutive slams for a 2-6 Galatasaray lead. Besiktas kept struggling to score until Sinan Guler stepped up with a second-chance layup that Hite matched with a wild alley-oop dunk. Johnsen shined with a reverse layup and fed Gaines for a fastbreak basket to boost his team's lead to 4-12, forcing Besiktas to call timeout. Nevertheless, Hite struck from downtown to cap a 0-9 run for Galatasaray. Besiktas tried to change the momentum with Drobnjak on court. He immediately scored around the basket and buried a three-pointer to bring his team back to life at 9-15. Besiktas had adjusted its defense, but now struggled to score inside with Galatasaray center Besok on court. Dee Brown made free throws but Shumpert replied for Besiktas with a layup before a five-meter jumper by Hite gave Galatasaray an 11-19 lead after 10 minutes.

Hite nailed his second triple to start the second quarter and Besok also struck from downtown to cap another 0-9 run with a 14-point lead, 11-25. Besiktas tried to change things with Dalmau and Kaya Peker back on court. It worked well, as Peker stepped up with a jump hook that Dalmau followed with a floating layup to make Galatasaray call timeout at 15-25. Besiktas kept its momentum going through Drobnjak but Akyol answered for Galatasaray with a layup to make it 16-27. Galatasaray had ball circulation problems despite having twin playmakers, Brown and Cuneyt Erden, on court. Meanwhile, Guler shined with a driving layup. Besiktas had already started to dominate the boards. but Brown beat the 24-second shot-clock with a floating layup and added a fastbreak basket off a steal to restore an 13-point Galatasaray edge, 18-31, after 17 minutes. Shumpert scored in transition for Besiktas but he didn't find much help. Galatasaray kept excelling on defense, now with Johnsen at power forward. He took over with a put-back layup, which Erkan Veyseloglu answered from downtown as Besiktas reduced the difference to single digits, 24-33. Not to be outdone, however, Hite beat the buzzer with a catch-and-shoot jumper for a 24-35 Galatasaray lead at the break.

Nicevic sank back-to-back six-meter jumpers immediately after the break to bring Besiktas back to life at 28-35. Galatasaray went scoreless in the opening two minutes of the third quarter while Peker got Besiktas even closer, 29-35. Galatasaray finally found a go-to guy in Gaines, who followed free throws with a wild put-back dunk to give his team some fresh air at 29-39. Galatasaray entered the foul bonus too early, however, and Besiktas opted to attack the basket and play more aggressive. Shumpert hit a free throw that Hite bettered with a power basket. Owens sank a jumper that restored a 13-point Galatasaray lead, 30-43. Mehmet Yagmur shined with a driving layup that Akyol erased with an off-balance jumper for a 33-46 Galatasaray margin. Drobnjak fired in a triple from the right wing and soon added free throws to give Besiktas some hope, 38-46. Owens kept pacing Galatasaray with a fade-away jumper and the free throw that came with it. Drobnjak took over with a left-handed jump hook and Apodaca added free throws – his first points of the night – as Besiktas drew to within 42-49 after three quarters.

Besiktas improved its defense with its starting lineup back on court early in the fourth quarter, causing Galatasaray to go scoreless for two minutes. Meanwhile, a free throw by Drobnjak made it a 6-point game, 43-49. Shumpert sank a jumper that Hite matched at the other end for a 45-51 Galatasaray edge with less than seven minutes remaining. Dalmau returned to the floor and Besiktas improved its offense right away, while Drobnjak and Shumpert stepped up with consecutive layups that brought their team back in the game at 49-51. Galatasaray called a much-needed timeout and Akyol sank a key three-pointer, but Shumpert kept Besiktas close, 51-54. Hite nailed a triple from the left corner only to see Nicevic hit free throws to keep Besiktas within 4 with three minutes to go. Drobnjak made a free throw, but he missed from downtown in his team's next possession. Hite made foul shots, but Dalmau hit an acrobatic shot and Apodaca made free throws to tie it at 58-58 with 64 seconds remaining. Shumpert drew an offensive foul on Johnsen and soon made free throws to complete his team's comeback and give Besiktas its first lead at 60-58 with 46 seconds to go. It all came down to the final Galatasaray possession, as Erden sank a corner triple with 7.3 seconds to go. Dalmau committed a turnover in the final play, allowing Galatasaray to keep fighting for ULEB Cup glory!

Thursday, April 10, 2008
Javier Gancedo, Turin
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Attendance: 4000
By Quarter1234
Besiktas Cola Turka11131818
Galatasaray Cafe Crown Istanbul19161412
End of Quarter1234
Besiktas Cola Turka11244260
Galatasaray Cafe Crown Istanbul19354961
Besiktas Cola Turka
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 YAGMUR, MEHMET 18:26 2 1/1 0/1   1 2 3 1 1 2     3 2 3
5 VEYSELOGLU, ERKAN 3:22 4   1/1 1/2                   1 4
6 SHUMPERT, PRESTON 34:08 14 5/9 0/3 4/6 4 1 5 1 3 1   1 2 7 17
7 OZER, CEVHER DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
9 DALMAU, CHRISTIAN 18:34 4 2/2 0/2     2 2 1 1 5     4 2 -1
10 NICEVIC, SANDRO 34:30 8 3/9   2/2   3 3 3 4 3 1   1 2 11
11 AYDIN, ONUR DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
14 PEKER, KAYA 18:52 3 1/4   1/2   7 7 1 1 2     3 5 8
18 DROBNJAK, PREDRAG 22:08 17 3/5 2/5 5/9 2 1 3   1 3       6 15
22 APODACA, RICK 34:20 4 0/1 0/1 4/4   2 2 1 2 1   1 2 3 6
32 GULER, SINAN 15:40 4 2/3 0/2 0/2 1 3 4 1   2   1 2 1  
54 OZKAN, KEREM DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Team                   1           1
Totals 200:00 60 17/34 3/15 17/27 8 21 29 9 14 19 1 3 17 29 64
        50% 20% 63%
Head coach: ATAMAN, ERGIN
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Galatasaray Cafe Crown Istanbul
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 TURETKEN, ERDEM DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
5 HITE, ROBERT 37:21 22 6/9 3/7 1/2   5 5   3 2 2   4 2 20
8 GAINES, CHARLES 25:49 8 3/8   2/2 4 6 10 2 1 3   1 4 2 10
9 OWENS, CHRIS 29:46 8 3/7 0/1 2/3 2 3 5 2 2 3     4 3 7
10 KAYA, MURAT DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
11 SOLAK, FATIH 1:48                         1   -1
12 BESOK, HUSEYIN 8:56 3 0/1 1/1     2 2     1     4   -1
15 NALGA, CEMAL DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
17 BROWN, DEE 22:52 6 2/4 0/1 2/4 1 1 2 3 1 4     2 3 4
18 AKYOL, CENK 19:57 7 2/2 1/2 0/2 1   1 1   1     1 2 6
20 ERDEN, CUNEYT 24:36 3   1/8         2 2 1     4 2 -3
35 JOHNSEN, BRITTON 28:55 4 2/3 0/1   2 5 7 2 1 5 1   5 3 6
Team                     1         -1
Totals 200:00 61 18/34 6/21 7/13 10 22 32 12 10 21 3 1 29 17 47
        52.9% 28.6% 53.8%
Head coach: OZYER, MURAT

Head Coaches

Besiktas Cola Turka
"We didn't play that well in the first half, which was the toughest time for us. We needed to play better defense, especially against Shumpert on the fastbreak. We improved a bit and in the second half and played much better, but at the most critical point, we made a very serious mistake, on Galatasaray's last shot. I told my players to foul and obviously we didn't do it and we lost the game. Cuneyt Erden hadn't scored all game and he made that shot, so from now on we are going to be supporting Galatasaray. Unfortunately, today we didn't have that many players who played well. They didn't play as they could have and I can't say we played that well as a team. In the last few seconds we could have won, but unfortunately we made a serious mistake, and we can say that Galatasaray deserved their victory. They played much better than we did at the beginning of the game, when we didn't succeed at doing what we wanted, as you saw. Especially Kaya Peker wasn't on his game, so it's logical that we lost. Today, he certainly didn't help the team."
Galatasaray Cafe Crown Istanbul
"It was a very important game for our team and for our club, for a couple of reasons. One of them was that, after several years of trying, we became a ULEB Cup team, and to make the best four of this competition was very important for our club, considering that two years ago, we almost fell to the second division in Turkey. We have made a very big rise since then, and now we have to work at keeping stability on this level. The second point is that this was a derby game. Galatasaray and Besiktas have been playing each other for 100 years in all sports. It is very important for our club, the members and our supporters, to win this. Speaking of tactics, in the beginning of the game, we started three big men, with Britton Johnsen at the small forward, which gave us a very good advantage in rebounds and on offense. We had a good lead at halftime, but in the locker room we talked about Besiktas Cola Turka being a very good team that would come back to play harder, so we had to keep playing good defense and smart on offense. As we thought, Besiktas did play hard. We made a couple turnovers, were not shooting well, and they got easy layups. These are stressful games, and at the end sometimes you need luck. The luck was with us tonight. I have to say that my players worked hard until the buzzer, through all 40 minutes. We were able to get a big shot without a timeout. Big credit for that goes to Dee Brown and Chris Owens, who created the shot for Cuneyt Erden. He was zero for seven shooting before that, and for him to make that one made us very happy, of course. I want to say congratulations to Besiktas. They played a good game and are the leaders of our Turkish League, so I wish them very good luck in their season."


Besiktas Cola Turka
"It is tough to come out and play well in a game like this. You have to play as a team and individuals are not really important. It is tough to lose in a situation like this. We fought until the very end and got the lead, but they had one more possession. Erden was shooting the ball poorly and not making shots, but he made the most important one. He didn't have time to think about it, he just let it go and hit it. We fought hard to make it to the Final Four and lost a good chance to win. We have to bounce back from this loss and do well in the Turkish League."
Besiktas Cola Turka
"It is very disappointing to lose this way but he hit a tough shot. We waited for the second half to play our game and should have done that much earlier. We had to be more aggressive in such as a situation. We lost two chances to win titles but we still have the Turkish League. We still have a shot for a title and hopefully we will manage to reach our goal."
Besiktas Cola Turka
WThis is sports and things like this can happen from time to time. Obviously, I am not satisfied or happy but we have to deal with this loss the way we can. We have not been able to win the Turkish Cup or the ULEB Cup, but we still have a chance in the Turkish League and we will do our best to please our fans.W
Besiktas Cola Turka
"We had a chance to win the game, but we couldn't do it in the end. We had to come back from a 14-point deficit and it is a hard thing to do in the second half. We improved our defense and got our momentum going but they made the last shot and the game was over. We are now going back to the Turkish League and try to do better."
Galatasaray Cafe Crown Istanbul
"The game could be differentiated in two parts. In the first half we played well, defended hard and they only scored 24points. In the second half they scored 36 and they came back. After a 0 of 7 in triples it was difficult to take the last shot, but the defense angle left me wide open to take it. I took it no matter what and we won. Now we will watch the next game and see who we have to face. We faced Akasvayu in the regular season and Gran Canaria in the Last 16, so we are ready for more Spanish teams!"
Galatasaray Cafe Crown Istanbul
"We had a tough game ahead of us but came out hot. We cooled down a little bit in the second half but Cuneyt made a big shot right when it mattered and took us to the semifinals, so I am excited. I just wanted to come out and be aggressive. I wanted to take my team to the semifinals and we all managed to make it. It doesn't matter who we face in the semifinals. We are going to go out with the same attitude and try to win the next game."
Galatasaray Cafe Crown Istanbul
"It was a great game we played good at the beginning and at the end we kinda slacked out, we wanted to make it a little interesting. They took a two-point lead. We wanted a spectacular finish so we just wanted to get the crowd to cheer a little. No, now seriously it was a hard game. At the end we lost focus and they went up by two. At the end it looked like we could be goig home but Erden hit a big shot and we're going to the Final Four. It i tough but we're ready for that. We packed up bags to be here until Monday so we will practice tomorrow, try to focus again and reboot. We want the championship."
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