Fenerbahçe crowned EuroLeague basketball champions

There were big celebrations in Istanbul last night as one of the country’s leading clubs won the EuroLeague – basketball’s equivalent of the UEFA Champions League.

Runners-up last year, Fenerbahçe emerged victorious on Sunday night after convincingly beating Greece’s Olympiacos 80-64 on home territory – marking the first time a Turkish team had ever won the trophy.

Fenerbahçe took the lead within the first few minutes of the match and dominated for the remainder of the game, with the Greek champions constantly behind. The gap grew to twelve points in the third quarter (60-48) and after creating such a commanding lead, the Turkish side never looked back, going on to win the European championship in style in front of an ecstatic home crowd.

The match took place in front of a capacity 14,000 audience that included numerous celebrities at the Sinan Erdem Dome in Bakırköy Istanbul. Many municipalities had also erected giant outdoor screens for fans across Turkey to watch the game, with celebrations going on long into the night.

Bobby Dixon in action for Fenerbahçe, supported by Ekpe Udoh


Basketball is a major sport in Turkey, but winning at this level has always eluded its big clubs. Last year, Fenerbahçe came close, losing by five points (101–96) to CSKA Moscow in extra time. There was no stopping them this time round.

The club has been managed by Serbian coach Zeljko Obradovic since 2013. Considered one of the best basketball coaches in the world, he has won the EuroLeague title with five different teams.

After the final, Obradovic paid tribute to Fenerbahçe supporters: “Thanks to the fans for creating an amazing atmosphere. Their support is very special for us… They help us and are always supporting us.”

Fenerbahçe’s Ekpe Udoh wins Most Valuable Player Award

While the game saw many Fenerbahçe players shine, it was American Ekpe Udoh who stole the show. Obradovic had brought Udoh into the team last season. The 6 ft 10 in giant powered his way through the final, scoring 10 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and a title-game record 5 blocks for Fenerbahçe. It came hot on the heels of his incredible semi-final performance against Real Madrid, posting 18 points, 12 rebounds, 8 assists and 2 blocks as Fenerbahçe took the game 84-75.

It earned Udoh, who turned 30 on Saturday, the MVP [Most Valuable Player] Final Four Award. His 12 assists in a single Final Four game are the most by a centre in competition history, and is tied 13th by any player worldwide. He also set a semi-final record with a performance index rating of 36 and his index rating of 29 was the most in the championship game since 2013.

Earlier in the day, last year’s winners CSKA Moscow beat Real Madrid 94-70 to take third place.