2018-19 Team Profile: Fenerbahce Istanbul

Fenerbahce Istanbul proved once again last season what a powerhouse of European basketball it has become when it reached its third consecutive Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Championship Game and lifted its third straight Turkish League title. Fenerbahce entered the season as the defending EuroLeague champion and looked the part the entire campaign. Despite playing four of the first six games on the road, a pair of back-to-back wins sent the team to a 4-2 start. After a home overtime loss at the hands of Olympiacos Piraeus, Fenerbahce went on to down CSKA Moscow in overtime on the road to start a four-game winning streak. The team stood at 9-6 midway through the regular season, before going on to win nine of the next 10 games, including home wins over Panathinaikos Athens and FC Barcelona Lassa, and back-to-back road triumphs at Real Madrid and Zalgiris Kaunas. Fenerbahce finished the regular season in second place with a 21-9 record and then ousted KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz 3-1 in the playoffs. At the Final Four in Belgrade, Luigi Datome and Ali Muhammed led Fenerbahce in seeing off a semifinal challenge from Zalgiris 76-67, but in the championship game, Real Madrid beat Fenerbahce 85-80 despite 28 points from Nicolo Melli, a championship game record in the Final Four era. Domestically, Fenerbahce fell to rival Anadolu Efes Istanbul in the Turkish Cup quarterfinals, but then eased to another Turkish League title by sweeping Banvit in the best-of-five semifinals and disposing of Tofas Bursa 4-1 in the playoff finals.

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