Pinar Karsiyaka got a nice one-two punch from Birkan Batuk and Osiris Eldridge and claimed an 88-81 victory over BC Zadar in the EuroChallenge Group G opener in Turkey on Tuesday evening.
|Birkan Batuk was red hot for Pinar Karsiyaka in their EuroChallenge home opener|
Batuk and Eldrige each scored 19 points for the Izmir side.
The game was knotted at 48-48 early in the second half when Pinar Karsiyaka started to make their move.
Omar Sneed made a lay-up and drew a foul on the play but failed to sink the free-throw.
Batuk then picked off a pass by Marko Car and raced in for a lay-up and a four-point lead.
Pinar Karsiyaka's Batuk shortly after lowered the boom.
With his team on top, 54-52, the 20-year-old small forward made a three-pointer, a fastbreak lay-up after a Zadar turnover and another three-ball for a 62-52 lead.
The hosts added one more basket for a 12-point advantage.
Zadar managed to pull to within four points late in the game but the burst of points from Batuk proved decisive.
"We played against to a hard team in a hard atmosphere. During the game we had chance few times but we couldn't use them. In our roster we have a lot of young players who don' t have European exprience before, so far it was hard for them to play in a full arena. Whatever we have another chance in next game in Zadar."
PINAR KARŞIYAKA Head Coach Hakan Demir:
"First of all we played against to a hard team, and during the game we had up and downs. They were an athletic team so even we were leading by ten we could not feel confident. It was important to start group games by winning for us and we did. I congragulate my players and I appriciate to the fans who made the arena full."
Zadar Player Brandon Brown:
"We played well but that was not enough to win. From inside it was hard to play against to them, and also if you can not find a good percentage from outside, than it is hard to win in that situation. But we will have one more chance in Zadar, and I believe my team mates and I will be different in there."
Kasiyaka Center Furkan Aldemir:
"It was so important for us to start by winning this competition, we are happy that we did. All my team mates played hard, in some parts maybe we had some up and downs, but we did not give up. Also I want to say thank you to our fans who did not leave us alone, and made the arena full."