|11 February 2013|
BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|F.Y.R. Of Macedonia international, Bo McCalebb, played an integral role in Fenerbahce's win, scoring 10 points|
Fenerbahce Ulker conquered their third Turkish Spor Toto Cup title in the last four years while Trefl Sopot lifted the Intermarche Basket Cup Trophy in Poland on Sunday.
The Istanbul powerhouse came from behind in Eskisehir to beat arch rivals Galatasary Medical Park 63-57 in the final of the Turkish Cup competition.
The head coach of the new cup champions and the Italian national team, Simone Pianigiani, was forced to miss the final, just like he did their quarter-final and semi-final clashes, after contracting a virus on Thursday.
Fenerbahce started strong but found themselves trailing 32-29 at half-time, after a poor second quarter in which they scored only eight points.
Nerves got the best of both sides in the third quarter, as they cancelled each other out and ended up scoring just 12 points apiece.
Everything changed in the final frame though. While Gala continued at the same tempo, Fener switched gears and pulled away to outscore their opponents 22-13 in that period behind an inspired performance by big man David Andersen.
The Australian international went six-for-nine from two-point range and two-for-four from behind the three-point arc to lead all scorers with 21 points, alongside five rebounds.
Another frontcourt player, Turkish international Oguz Savas, had 14 points and six rebounds while Bo McCalebb of F.Y.R. Of Macedonia added 10 points.
Senegalese center Boniface Ndong meanwhile had 12 points for Galatasaray in defeat while young Turkish international Furkan Aldemir led all players in rebounds with nine boards, to go with his six points.
"We played very good defence and that is the most important in a big game like this," said Andersen.
"We earned a very important win today and this trophy is of special importance to me," added Savas, who was over the moon.
"It came the day after the birth of my child, hopefully both the title and my daughter will bring us good luck."
The eventual champions had defeated Besiktas 75-66 in the first semi-final, while Gala reached the title game after prevailing 81-68 over BEKO Ligi leaders Banvit, on Friday.
SOPOT LIFT POLISH CUP
The big-name Intermarche Basket Cup final that everyone in Poland was expecting never materialised, as AZS Koszalin stunned Euroleague outfit Asseco Prokom Gdynia 82-75 in Saturday's semi-final.
The other favourite, Trefl Sopot, met expectations as they dispatched PGE Turów Zgorzelec 90-76 in their own semi-final clash, but still had to work extra hard against the hosts to lift the trophy on Sunday.
Making the most of their home-court advantage, Koszalin took an early three-point lead but Sopot balanced proceedings in the second quarter and went up 28-26 at the end of a low-scoring first half.
They pulled away and led by as many as 14 points after the interval, but the gutsy hosts never gave up the battle and kept their visitors on their toes until the final buzzer.
However, Sopot's experience and dominance on the boards (they out-rebounded the hosts 47 to 33) enabled them to hold on and reach a 64-59 victory to celebrate the conquest of the first domestic title this season.
Frank Turner and Adam Waczyński led the charge for the winners, scoring 18 and 15 points respectively and grabbing eight rebounds each, while Filip Dylewicz had 14 points and six rebounds.