Final Four team profile: Fenerbahce Istanbul

Apr 30, 2016 by Print
Final Four team profile: Fenerbahce Istanbul

Fenerbahce Istanbul lands in Berlin for its second straight Final Four intending to prove what a difference one year can make. After losing both games last season in Madrid at its first ever Final Four appearance, head coach Zeljko Obradovic's rebuilt squad excels at both ends of the floor. The road to Berlin was paved by an undefeated home record at Ulker Sports Arena, which helped Fenerbahce tie CSKA Moscow for the best record in the league so far at 22-5.

Fenerbahce boasts a stellar defense that ranked either first or second in opponents' scoring, performance index rating, assists and three-point shooting percentages. That defense allowed the team to win even on a night when the offense managed just 55 points. The team also proved that it possesses an explosive offense capable of winning shootouts as Fenerbahce cracked the 100-point barrier twice this season. Being able to rely on both its defense and offense to get the job done could prove the perfect combination in the do-or-die games on tap in Berlin.

On the road to the Final Four, Fenerbahce cruised through arguably the toughest regular season group with an 8-2 record and then put together six second-half rallies to win 10 of its first 11 games in the Top 16. By that time it had already clinched first place and used the final three rounds to get accustomed to life without the recently injured Jan Vesely. Despite missing one of its leaders, Fenerbahce stormed through the playoffs, too. A sweep of defending champion Real Madrid started with Bogdan Bogdanovic and Kostas Sloukas scoring 17 points apiece in a hard-fought 75-69 win in Game 1. In Game 2, Fenerbahce led by as many as 30 points on the way to dismantling Madrid 100-78. Ekpe Udoh's double-double highlighted a 63-75 Game 3 win in the Spanish capital to secure Fenerbahce's place in Berlin.

With added experience and confidence, plus the support of the many Fenerbahce fans expected at Mercedes Benz Arena, Fenerbahce has all the tools needed to climb the podium and make history as the first team from Turkey to win the continental crown.