Yugoslavia European Champion 2001!

09 September 2001

In the final of EuroBasket 2001, Turkey was the side who started the game well. The Hidayet Turkoglu-Predrag Stojakovic match-up (two teammates from the NBA) proved to benefit no side as both players struggled from the field in the first quarter. 3:27 to go in the quarter, Turkey had a 7-0 run thanks to Besok and Kutluay who had scored the team's first 16 points. Ibrahim Kutluay scored 13 in the quarter. When Turkey took their time-out 01:36, Yugoslavia could make only 1 field goal in their last 7 possessions. Coach Pesic substituted Obradovic for Jaric which suited Yugoslavia in the sense that Obradovic, a real point guard, organized the offense. The quarter ended with a 22-15 Turkey lead.

08:38 remaining in the half, Coach Pesic made another change, this time substituting Stojakovic for Drobnjak. Playing with 4 backcourt players gave them versatility. They especially took full advantage of the Bodiroga-Turkcan match-up. The Yugoslav team got their first lead at 04:54: 30-31. Being on a 12-4 run, Yugoslavia hit field goals in 6 possessions. The substitute Harun Erdenay kept Turkey ahead at the end of the first half with 9 points: 40-38. The thing that concerned Turkey's coaching staff was foul trouble as Huseyin Besok, leading all players with 7 rebounds, was on the bench with 3 fouls.

Besok remained on the bench as Coach Ors selected Asim Pars to start the second half. Zone defense from both teams, the offenses failed to hit outside shots for the first 6 minutes in which Turkey managed to score only 7 points. A 7-0 run by Yugoslavia ending at 00:55 with two jumpers from the right corner, they took the lead which was cut down to a single point by Mehmet Okur, who was playing with a severe injury: 57-58.

Yugoslavia started the last quarter brilliantly, finding a field goal 5 of their first 6 attempts, getting a 10-point lead: 59-69. Scepanovic scored 7 points in that series. Aydin Ors used his last ammunition by playing Besok and Turkoglu, both with 4 fouls, 04:23 to go in the match. However, the breaking point of the match was when Stojakovic made a one-handed jumper in the lane after Yugoslavia collected 3 offensive rebounds in the same possession. Yugoslavia handed the ball to Bodiroga from then on, and he took good care of it. Playing the last minutes as an experienced team should, Yugoslavia won the trophy without losing a single game in the tournament: 69-78. Scepanovic scored a game-high 19 points. Bodiroga and Stojakovic contributed with 18 and 15 respectively. Kutluay scored all 13 of his team-high 16 points in the first half. No players reached double figures in rebounding which Besok leading the way with 9.

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