After a decade of coming runner-up, 2023 was the year Turkish basketball club Fenerbahçe Alagöz Holding was finally crowned EuroLeague Women’s champions. Captain Olcay Çakır proudly lifted the trophy after the team beat CBK Mersin Yenişehir Belediyesi in an all-Turkish final in Prague on Sunday, 16 April.
The game itself was a one-sided affair, with Fenerbahçe starting strongly and building an early lead from which they cruised to a 99-60 victory, powered by the performance of their star players, most notably Breanna Stewart, whose 35 points were a vital part of the Istanbul team’s success.
Fenerbahçe had come close in previous years, finishing second place four times in the past decade, in 2013, 2014, 2017, and 2022. They were determined this year would be different.
Under the guidance of their coach Marina Maljkovic, Fenerbahçe invested in top foreign talent to help boost their chances of European success.
Courtney Vandersloot and Emma Meesseman joined Stewart in the big-name transfers to Fenerbahçe this season, strengthening an already impressive team that includes Alina Iagupova, Kayla McBride and Satou Sabally.
The quality of the squad had made Fenerbahçe one of the big favourites to win the EuroLeague Women Championship and the players did not disappoint.
It remains to be seen if they will emulate this success and retain the title next year, but it’s clear that Turkiye’s basketball powerhouse Fenerbahçe Alagöz Holding will be a force to be reckoned with for the foreseeable future.
Main image, top, of Fenerbahçe’s coach Marina Maljkovic (C-L) and team captain Olcay Cakir (C-R) celebrate with trophy after winning the Euroleague Women Final Four final basketball match between Fenerbahce Alagoz Holding and CBK Mersin Yenisehir in Prague, Czech Republic, 16 April 2023. Photo © MARTIN DIVISEK/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (13872962ag)