Turkish club PÄ±nar KarÅÄ±yaka will play for the FIBA ââBasketball Champions League (BCL) title on Sunday after beating Spaniard Casademont Zaragoza 84:79 in the semi-finals on Friday.
In its second European final round, the Izmir club will meet another Spanish opponent, the defending champion Hereda San Pablo Burgos, who defeated the French SIG Strasbourg 81:70 on the same night.
American-Jamaican guard Sek Henry led his team to victory, playing with 24 points on the Nagorny Dome in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. French striker Amath M’Baye scored 17 points while American center Raymar Morgan scored 14 points and six rebounds.
For the Spaniards, striker Jacob Wiley was the team’s best scorer with 21 points. The Argentine guard Nicolas Brussino scored 18 points and seven rebounds in the loss to the Turkish club.
PÄ±nar KarÅÄ±yaka had defeated Czech team ERA Nymburk 84-73 in Wednesday’s quarter-finals, while Burgos eliminated Israel’s UNET Holon and reached the final of the fifth edition of BCL.
Coach Ufuk SarÄ±ca stressed that not a single new player has been added to the squad since last year and told reporters at the post-game press conference that he trusts his players for the final and that they are a fighting team that could achieve anything.
A victory in the final on Sunday makes the former coach of the national basketball team SarÄ±ca, who won the Turkish Cup, the Presidential Cup and the Basketball Super League (BSL) with KarÅÄ±yaka, the third Turkish coach to win a European title after AydÄ±n Ãrs and Ergin Ataman.
The Aegean club, which has played in European competitions since the 1975-1976 season, will be in a European final for the second time after the FIBA ââEuroChallenge Cup in the 2012-13 season, which was won by the Russian team Krasnye Krylia Samara. This year’s BCL participation marks Kar 11yaka’s eleventh European application in a row since the 2010-2011 season.
In a total of 237 European championships, PÄ±nar KarÅÄ±yaka won 129, was faced with 106 defeats and two draws. The Izmir club have played a total of 13 games against Spanish teams, lost six times and won seven, including a 71-62 win over Barcelona in their first EuroLeague game and campaign of the 2015-2016 season.
The Turkish club Banvit BandÄ±rma previously played in the BCL final in the 2016-2017 season and lost 63-59 against the Spanish representative Iberostar Tenerife.
If PÄ±nar KarÅÄ±yaka wins on Sunday, it will be the sixth Turkish men’s basketball team to win a trophy after Anadolu Efes at the Korac Cup (1996), BeÅiktaÅ at the Eurochallenge (2012), Galatasaray and DarÃ¼ÅÅafaka at the ULEB Eurocup (2016 and 2018) Europe wins. and FenerbahÃ§e in the EuroLeague (2017). The club could also fill its coffers with a â¬ 1 million ($ 1.21 million) championship reward or â¬ 400,000 runner-up on top of the â¬ 570,000 previously earned in BCL.
A small group of KarÅÄ±yaka fans is in Russia to support the team. The DemirÃ¶ren news agency (DHA) reported that a small fire broke out early Friday in a hotel where fans are staying, which caused panic, but was soon extinguished by firefighters.