After several years of notable decline of Turkish basketball, with the qualification of Fenerbahce Ulker to the Final Four of the Euroleague, we are positive that Turkish Basketball League (TBL) strength will rise even further. Turkish championship offers great excitement, with teams like Fenerbahce, Galatasaray, Efes and multiple others guaranteeing quality basketball.
After regular season concludes, first eight teams engage in playoff matches, which will start on May 21st. In general, the most successful club is Efes Anadolu, which won a total of 13 title over the history. Current defending champion is Fenerbahce Ulker, which won the title six times.
For the regular season, Fenerbahce won the first place and will play against eight-placed Galatasaray in the first round of the playoffs. It will be one of the most interesting ties of the season, following a controversial title win last season, when Fenerbahce faced Galatasaray in the finals. After the ties went into the seventh game, Galatasaray decided to abandon the match, claiming the chosen referee was biased towards Fenerbahce, so their fierce rival won the title. The tie was very much complicated, with no side showing any signs of giving up so it is a true shame for basketball fans that the seventh match was abandoned.
Fenerbahce is probably the biggest favorite, not only for this tie, but also for the whole championship, being highly dominant throughout the season, after recording 23 wins and 7 defeats. A place in the Euroleague was considered a huge success and the establishment of players like Bjelica and Bogdanovi? promises the next season being even more proficient. Fenerbahce has the pressure of performing well for the game ahead, but we think that nevertheless they are considered great favorites against Galatasaray.
Galatasaray, fierce rivals of Fenerbahce and fellow Istanbul-based club, have qualified for the playoffs in the very last games and only thanks to a weird basket-difference (zero) have they managed to qualify for the playoffs. Galatasaray is probably the highest motivated team of the season, referring to the controversial loss last season to Fenerbahce. Galatasaray last won the title in 2012/2013 season and they will seek to repeat that feature.
In the season so far, each side has recorded one win against one another. The odds for the upcoming match stand very much in the favor of Fenerbahce, but Galatasaray is probably not as much of an easy opponent. Despite evident class, led by Ender Arslan, Zoran Erceg and more, Galatasaray has the motivation to prove to everyone that they should have won the championship last year. Fenerbahce on the other hand does have the quality and is a better side, so if they win the first game they will most likely even progress to the semi-finals.
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