BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|It's celebration time for Fenerbahce, who prevailed over arch rivals Galatasaray to capture their seventh consecutive domestic title |
Fenerbahce stunned Galatasaray with a huge fourth quarter on Thursday night to capture the Turkish league title for the seventh time in a row.
Trailing by 10 points going into the last quarter, Fener outscored Gala 34-14 and won 96-86 for a 3-1 victory in the final series.
The American duo of Cappie Pondexter and Angel McCoughtry poured in the points for the winners.
Pondexter had 29 and McCoughtry added 24.
Zane Tamane (12pts), Birsel Vardarli and Nevriye Yilmaz (both 10) and Ivana Matovic (eight) also contributed in the scoring department.
The title has kept coach George Dikeoulakos on a hot streak.
The Greek led Athinaikos to a EuroCup Women, Greek Cup and league treble and last season steered Lotos Gdynia to the Polish Cup.
Fener captured this season's league crown despite losing superstar Penny Taylor to a knee injury during the EuroLeague Women Final Eight.
"I am proud of my team," Dikeoulakos said.
"I am proud of being here. It's really very important to have players with character, brave players. We came from behind and won the game. I'm very happy."
The victory ensured that Fenerbahce did not finish the season empty-handed.
They fell to Galatasaray in the Turkish Cup final and both sides came up short at the EuroLeague Women Final Eight that was recently played in Istanbul's Abdi Ipekci arena.
Galatasaray did not have the services of 2011 FIBA Europe Women's Player of the Year Alba Torrens for much of the season after she suffered a serious knee injury late in the EuroLeague Women regular season.
The team got 32 points from Diana Taurasi and 23 points and 11 rebounds from Sylvia Fowles in Game 4 but the output wasn't enough.