TURNING POINT: Besiktas, under pressure, reeled off seven straight points in the fourth period and never trailed again.
GAME HEROES: Pops Mensah Bonsu and Zoran Erceg were immense but it was Carlos Arroyo who came through in crunch time.
STATS DON'T LIE: Chalon will reflect on a 11-of-18 performance from the foul line plus Blake Schilb's 4-of-13 shooting night as he came under enormous defensive pressure.
|It's taken a while but Turkey can now celebrate a second European title. Pops Mensah-Bonsu and Zoran Erceg were immense for the champions, scoring 52 points and capturing 35 rebounds between them|
Turkey has waited a long time for a European trophy to come home.
Besiktas Milangaz ended that drought, emerging on top in a pulsating EuroChallenge final to defeat Elan Chalon 91-86 in Debrecen.
Pops Mensah-Bonsu had 26 points and 20 rebounds and was named as the game's Most Valuable Player but it was a collective effort.
Zoran Erseg had 25 and 15 and stood tall so often. Others stepped forward at crucial times.
Chalon, in their second continental final, fought valiantly until the very end. Ultimately, they did not have quite enough and came up just short.
It would have been worse, however.
When David Hawkins sent Besiktas 15-3 ahead midway through the opening quarter, Chalon were stopped in their tracks and struggled to make an impact.
They needed patience, but also ignition, to edge back into contention.
Emboldened after their achievements at home and abroad this season, they declined to relent.
Trailing 32-15 after Besiktas hit five consecutive points at the start of the second period, French international Steed Tchicamboud sparked his side belatedly into action as Blake Schilb broke free of his shackles.
|Besiktas point guard Carlos Arroyo hit two consecutive 3-pointers in crunch time to put the game beyond Elan Chalon's reach|
The American found Michel Jean-Baptiste-Adolphe open for a lay-in that capped a 7-1 run that closed the gap to just 42-38.
Hope was restored. Confidence remained.
And the 44-40 deficit at half-time looked far from unsurmountable. So it proved.
Chalon rattled off seven unanswered points to sweep ahead 55-53 with 1:40 left in the third quarter as Besiktas felt the heat.
The Pro A side had the momentum in their favour and belief ran through their veins.
Fighting for every loose ball, battling for each open shot, their push was relentless but ultimately, it came up short.
Erceg sent the Turks into the fourth period with a 57-55 advantage and although Abdul Aminu levelled once more, Chalon would never lead again.
A 7-0 run put them into a hole and there was no way out.
Carlos Arroyo dropped two long-range bombs within 90 seconds and his team began to exhale when they pulled 82-70 clear with 2:03 left.
Tchicamboud, who hit a team-high 19 points, attempted to spark one last brave rally but it was too tough an ask as Besiktas completed their mission from the foul line and the celebrations began.