|10 October 2013|
BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|Turkey international Emir Preldzic starred for Fenerbahce in the President's Cup, hitting the game-winning shot with 1.8 seconds remaining|
The reign of Zeljko Obradovic at Fenerbahce commenced officially at the start of October and less than 10 days later the Istanbul powerhouse have collected their first silverware under the Serbian maestro.
On Wednesday night, just a week after registering three victories in as many games in the First Round of the SporToto Cup, Fener edged out arch-rivals Galatasaray Liv Hospital 64-62 to conquer the domestic President's Cup.
The competition is the Turkish equivalent of what is typically known as the Supercup in other countries, meaning the traditional clash between the league champion and the cup winner of the previous season.
Turkish international Emir Preldzic, who came up with the game-winning shot just 1.8 seconds before the final buzzer, led Fener with 14 points, three rebounds and three assists.
Croatian international Luka Zoric finished with 12 points and six rebounds, Lithuanian international Linas Kleiza had 11 points and six boards, while the MVP of last July's U18 European Championship, playmaker Kenan Sipahi, stayed on the court for almost 20 minutes and contributed seven points for Fenerbahce.
Ergin Ataman's team had the initiative for most of the first half and even led 37-33 at the half-time interval, but Fenerbahce took it up a notch on the offensive end in the clutch to assure that the first title of the season would end up in their trophy case.
For Galatasaray, Jamont Gordon picked up a game-high 16 points while young Turkish international Furkan Aldemir finished with 11 points and eight rebounds in a losing effort.
"This was a very nice evening, both teams fought hard as emotionally it was an important game," Obradovic said following the win.
"Congratulations to them [Galatasaray] who fought as a very good opponent and I would also like to thank the spectators, I think both us and the fans are happy and that is also important."
"There was not a lot of time to prepare for this game," MVP Preldzic said.
"But the entire team fought hard for 40 minutes and the fans here were excellent, I hope they will continue to support us like this in Istanbul."
Youngster Sipahi was perhaps the most excited of all in the Fener camp.
"This is a very important trophy, the win puts us is a very good mood to start the league," Sipahi said.
The Turkish BEKO Ligi tips off at the weekend and Fenerbahce play their opening game on the road, at Mersin BSB; Galatasaray's campaign meanwhile starts with one of the most demanding fixtures of the season, away to fellow title contenders Anadolu Efes.
TREFL SOPOT WIN POLISH SUPERCUP
Also on Wednesday night, Trefl Sopot prevailed 76-71 over Zielona Gora to conquer their second consecutive Polish Tauron Supercup titles.
Lithuanian guard Šarunas Vasiliauskas paved the way for Sopot with 20 points on 6-for-8 shooting from three-point range and was named MVP of the game, while young Polish international Michał Michalak collected a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Sopot had to come from behind and clinched the win thanks to an excellent display in the final frame, in which they outscored the Polish champions 25-15.
"We started with good defence and then we hit a couple of threes and had a couple of fast-breaks to get back into the game," Vasiliauskas explained afterwards.
The Polish league also gets under way at the weekend and Sopot entertain PGE Turów Zgorzelec at home in the opener.