TODAY’S ZAMAN – Fener fells Galatasaray to earn Final Four spot and revenge

Fener fells Galatasaray to earn Final Four spot and revengeFenerbahe overcame reigning EuroLeague Women champion Galatasaray Odeabank 63-52 at ulker Sports Arena Metro Enerji in Istanbul on Wednesday to win the series 2-1 and earn a ticket to the Final Four, in the prestigious continental competition.Galatasaray head coach Ekrem Memnun was a very sad man after the match.

andldquoUnfortunately, we played badly, and therefore our EuroLeague aenture has now ended,andrdquo he said.andldquoWe really prepared well for this series.

Had we won this first game, we would have progressed. But we lost the first game with a lot of simple mistakes.

Fenerbahe played very well in the series. We were unable to organize our game and were unable to respond with the same toughness.

I congratulate Fenerbahe,andrdquo Memnun noted.Fenerbahe thus gained sweet revenge for its loss to Galatasaray in last seasonand#39s final in Moscow.

Ironically, the heroine for Fenerbahe at ulker Arena was US center Tina Alexandria Charles, herself a former Galatasaray player (2011-12).The 26-year-old Charles finished with an excellent near double-double of 19 points and nine rebounds, as well as two big blocked shots as Fenerbahe won the deciding third playoff clash.

Galatasaray actually started well, leading 11-5, but once Fenerbahe regained its momentum, there was no turning back, according to a report on the fibaeurope.com website.

Fener then jumped into the driverand#39s seat with a brilliant 30-8 run spanning across the first and second quarter break, not needing to look back after such scorching momentumIt was during a 13-0 burst by Fenerbahe in the second period when they made their biggest statement of intent, as Turkey power guard Birsel VadrarlI Demirmen dropped a triple and added another play for the highlights reel only seconds later with an exquisite play going to the hoop.Both teams then canceled each other out during the third quarter, but when TuIba PalazoIlu converted from downtown early in the fourth period to make it 57-39 Fenerbahe, they already had one foot on the plane to Prague.

Galatasaray briefly looked to be wagging their tail, but were left regretting a poor night from downtown as Fenerbahe held on with relative ease. Only Spain forward Sancho Lyttle returned a double-digit score for the defending champion, with 11 points — something that highlighted their offensive woes and the tenacity of the outstanding Fenerbahe defense.

In response to a sports reporterand#39s question, asking: andldquoThe cluband#39s stance on basketball is clear Has this affected you?andrdquo Memnun replied: andldquoWe didnand#39t think about these things when coming here. The fact is that the team that was last yearand#39s European champion has been eliminated in the quarterfinals.

I do not want to speak about the club. I am not the person to do that,andrdquo he stated.

andldquoThere are things that I can control, and I do those. I am trying to do the best I can with what I have in hand.

I do not want to comment any further andhellip I am completing my 34th year at Galatasaray. There are tough days ahead and I think we will overcome them,andrdquo he added.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman