Turkish Airlines Euroleague
June 19, 2013
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Tel Aviv 2004
Qualifying Rounds 2012
NIKE International Junior Tournament
2011-12 Team Profile: Fenerbahce Ulker
With great talent and ambition on the court, on the sidelines and in the boardroom, Fenerbahce Ulker has proven itself to be a rising force in European basketball and with the 2012 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four taking place in Istanbul, this season could be the perfect time for the Turkish champion to join the true elite. Despite a pair of four-game winning streaks and a 3-0 start to the Top 16, Fenerbahce missed the Euroleague playoffs last season on a tiebreaker, but bounced back to win the Turkish Cup and League double for the second season in a row. The trophies are all in sync with the great winning tradition the club has championed. Founded in 1907, it opened its doors to basketball as the sport established itself in Turkey and claimed national titles in 1957, 1959 and 1965 before the Turkish League was founded in 1966 and it advanced to the Euroleague in 1958, 1960 and 1966. A quarter-century passed before more highlights, which began when Fenerbahce beat Tofas for the 1991 Turkish League title. Fenerbahce returned to the Turkish League finals in 1992, 1993 and 1995, but finished second each time. It placed third in 1998 and qualified for the Euroleague. With a strong team featuring Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, Marko Milic, Ibrahim Kutluay and the late Conrad McRae, Fenerbahce advanced to the eighthfinal playoffs before losing to Real Madrid. The club reached the Korac Cup quarterfinals in 1996 and 2001 and ranked fourth in the 2005 FIBA Europe League, but it wasn't until the summer of 2006 that the team became a European powerhouse. That’s when Fenerbahce merged with Ulker, one of the winningest clubs in Turkish basketball history. Ulker was founded in 1975, but its basketball section was created in 1993 by buying a Turkish League spot from Nasasspor. It won four Turkish League between 1995 to 2006 with Harun Erdenay, Kutluay, Michael Anderson, Orhun Ene, Mirsad Turkcan and Serkan Erdogan among its many stars. Ulker made the Top 16 for five consecutive seasons between 2002 and 2006, beating all the best European teams in the process. It had its best finish when it made the 2005 Euroleague playoffs before losing to CSKA Moscow. Ulker also won five Turkish President's Cups and three Turkish Cup titles. In the first season of the new Fenerbahce Ulker, the team won the Turkish title. In 2007-08, a group of rising stars took Fener to the Euroleague quarterfinals and another Turkish crown. A plague of injuries saw Fener lose its Turkish League title the next year and in 2010 Fenerbahce Ulker was knocked off in the Euroleague regular season on a buzzer-beating shot in the final game of this phase, but the team regrouped to lift its third Turkish League title in four years. Last season it was back knocking on the door of the Euroleague playoffs and reigning supreme at home. And that success laid the groundwork for what the Fenerbahce Ulker faithful hope will be a magical 2011-12 season.
Roko Leni Ukic
Can Maxim Mutaf
Thursday, August 04, 2011
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