2016-17 Team Profile: Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul
In what was a season-to-remember, Galatasaray Istanbul claimed its first-ever European trophy last season by lifting the Eurocup. Led by competition MVP Errick McCollum and All-Eurocup selections Vladimir Micov and Stephane Lasme, Galatasaray cruised through the regular season, but reached the elimination rounds only after a home win over Dinamo Banco di Sardegna Sassari in its Last 32 finale. Come the home-and-away eighthfinals and quarterfinals series, Galatasaray used its home-court advantage in the return legs to overcome Game 1 losses against Pinar Karisyaka and FC Bayern Munich respectively. In the semifinals against Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas, Coach Ataman's troops won by 14 points at home and prevailed in overtime on the road to reach the finals against Strasbourg. Galatasaray lost 66-62 on the road in Game 1, but led by Eurocup Finals MVP Lasme and a vintage all-around performance from team-captain Sinan Guler, Galatasaray took the second leg 78-67 in front of a packed Abdi Ipekci Arena to claim its historic title and earn a place in the 2016-17 Turkish Airlines Euroleague.
Founded in 1905, Galatasaray is one of the oldest sports clubs in the world and takes its name from Galatasaray Lycee, a school that dates back to 1481. A teacher at the school brought basketball to Turkey in 1911. The club's basketball section opened in the early 1930s and found instant success with three consecutive Istanbul League titles from 1933 to 1936. Once World War II ended, Galatasaray continued dominating Turkish basketball with 16 Istanbul League titles and 11 Turkish championship trophies between 1940 and 1966. The club also competed well continentally, reaching the Euroleague eighthfinals in 1961 and 1964. Another Turkish League title in 1969 was followed by a 15-year drought until Galatasaray had its last run of dominance with three more national titles between 1985 and 1990. Galatasaray made eight consecutive Korac Cup appearances between 1993 and 2001, but its current resurgence started in 2008, when Galatasaray reached the ULEB Cup semifinals. Three years later, Galatasaray reached the Turkish League finals and earned its way to the 2011-12 Euroleague by dancing through the qualifying rounds. With Jamon Gordon and Jaka Lakovic among its top performers, Galatasaray got all the way to the Top 16 – beating both Euroleague finalists, CSKA Moscow and Olympiacos Piraeus in the process. Back home that same season, Galatasaray won the Turkish League regular season before losing in the playoff semifinals. A year later, Galatasaray reached the Turkish Cup final and finished atop the table with just three regular season losses and went on to lose only once in 10 postseason games as it defeated Banvit Bandirma in the playoff finals to claim the 2013 Turkish championship. Galatasaray's star continued to shine next the season in the Euroleague. Led by Carlos Arroyo and head coach Ergin Ataman, Galatasaray advanced to the Euroleague playoffs for the first time in club history, before being ousted by FC Barcelona. Galatasaray missed out on trophies at home that season and the next, but continued its growth into a European powerhouse and a force to be reckoned with at the continental level by winning the Eurocup last season.
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