Galatasaray Liv Hospital Istanbul has firmly established itself as not only a true power in Turkish basketball, but a force to be reckoned with at the continental level too. Coach Ergin Ataman leads Galatasaray to its third Turkish Airlines Euroleague appearance in the last four years and the club has exceeded expectations each time. Last season, despite a crippling spate of injuries that affected the squad all season long, Galatasaray won four of its final five Top 16 games to reach the Euroleague playoffs for the first time in club history. In Turkey, Galatasaray remained among the very best and in contention for all titles. Led by Carlos Arroyo, Galatasaray reached the semifinals of the Turkish Cup and the Turkish League finals to complete a strong season.
Galatasaray can boast that it is the club that first introduced basketball to Turkey and at one point won 15 national titles in 43 years. Founded in 1905, Galatasaray is one of the oldest sports clubs in the world and takes its name from Galatasaray Lycee, a school that dates back to 1481. A teacher at the school brought basketball to Turkey in 1911. The club's basketball section opened in the early 1930s and found instant success with three consecutive Istanbul League titles from 1933 to 1936. Once World War II ended, Galatasaray continued dominating Turkish basketball with 16 Istanbul League titles and 11 Turkish championship trophies between 1940 and 1966. The club also competed well continentally, reaching the Euroleague eighthfinals in 1961 and 1964. Another Turkish League title in 1969 was followed by a 15-year drought until Galatasaray had its last run of dominance with three more national titles between 1985 and 1990. Galatasaray made eight consecutive Korac Cup appearances between 1993 and 2001, the highlight of which was reaching the eighthfinals in 2000. Its current resurgence started in 2008, when Galatasaray showed it was no average Eurocup newcomer. With a memorable shot by Cuneyt Erden, Galatasaray reached the Eurocup semifinals before losing against eventual champion DKV Joventut Badalona. In 2011, Galatasaray reached the Turkish League finals, but lost against Fenerbahce Ulker. Galatasaray made its return to the Euroleague in 2011-12 by dancing through the qualifying rounds. With Jamon Lucas and Jaka Lakovic among its top performers, Galatasaray got all the way to the Top 16 – beating both Euroleague finalists, CSKA Moscow and Olympiacos Piraeus – in the process. Back home, Galatasaray won the Turkish League regular season, but Besiktas Milangaz stood in its way to success in the playoff semifinals. After missing the 2012 Eurocup quarterfinals on a tiebreaker, Galatasaray once again dominated the Turkish League. It was the Turkish Cup runner-up and after placing atop the table with just three regular season losses, the club lost only once in 10 postseason games as it defeated Banvit BK in the finals to claim the championship. Last season may have seen the team finish without any new trophies, but there is no doubt the club continued to grow into a European powerhouse. Now the expectations are even higher for the team’s passionate fans who are eager to help spur Galatasaray on to greatness.
2013-14 SEASON RESULTS
Turkish Airlines Euroleague: Playoffs
Turkish League: Finalist
Turkish Cup: Semifinalist