LIVE BLOG from Istanbul: Wednesday, May 17
LIVE BLOG from Istanbul: Thursday, May 18
Today’s the day!
The moment that everyone has been waiting for – from players to staff to every Turkish Airlines EuroLeague fan out there – is hours away: tipoff of the 2016-17 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four! At 18:30 local time, CSKA Moscow takes on Olympiacos Piraeus, followed by the other semifinal, Fenerbahce Istanbul vs. Real Madrid. Tickets have been sold out for many months, so if you lucky enough to be going to the Sinan Erdem Dome, you are in for a big basketball treat – the best EuroLeague teams fighting for the ultimate trophy. If not, don't worry: the Final Four games will be broadcast to 213 countries and territories all around the world. Even if the games are not available in your country's TV, you can always buy the Final Four package on EuroLeague.TV and stream the games to your desktop, tablet or smartphone. There is no excuse not to enjoy arguably the best weekend in world basketball! The teams are ready, and so are we with special coverage on EuroLeague.net. So sit back, relax and enjoy what promises to be one of the best Final Fours ever!
Istanbul - Friday, May 19, 17:05
EB ANGT sees surprises, Doncic, Fener fans!
There will be a new champion at the Euroleague Basketball ADIDAS NEXT GENERATION TOURNAMENT! Last season's champion, U18 FC Barcelona Lassa, is out of the race to reach the EB ANGT Championship Game after its second straight loss and that’s just one of several surprises taking place. In Round 1, all four qualifying tournament winners - U18 Real Madrid, U18 Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade and U18 Zalgiris Kaunas and Barcelona – lost their respective games. So, the tournament is wide open now. CFBB Paris has impressed with its team defense and shooting accuracy. Round 2 saw some former EuroLeague stars in the building, namely Jaka Lakovic - who now works for Barcelona's junior team, Boris Gorenc, Alberto Angulo - who works for Madrid, and Ademola Okulaja, as well as Spanish national team head coach Sergio Scariolo. This year's Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Rising Star Luka Doncic - who is young enough to play the tournament! – was in the stands to see some of his Real Madrid friends. Anadolu Efes Istanbul point guard Jayson Granger also watched U18 games yesterday. A good number of Fenerbahce fans arrived to Ahmet Comert Arena, adjacent to Sinan Erdem Dome, to see their U18 team play against U18 Real Madrid, in what was a nice move before tonight's semifinals. Euroleague.net took the chance to talk to one of them, Yigit Akpulat.
"I am a big basketball and Fenerbahce fan, and having the chance to see both teams, junior and senior, just a few meters away is a great opportunity for me," Akpulat said. "I bought my Final Four ticket months before Fenerbahce actually qualified, because I had a lot of faith in Coach Obradovic and the great team we have. As for our junior team, it is great to see them compete against Real Madrid - same game, same day, different age levels!", he added. Asked about the EB ANGT, Yigit said he wants Fenerbahce to win, but is aware that Madrid is a big powerhouse. "I enjoyed seeing Luka Doncic play in the EuroLeague last season, his Rising Star award is well-deserved," he said. "I heard Dino Radoncic is really good, too, so it was a good way to get the Final Four started for me - get to see our junior team and a potential superstar before the EuroLeague semifinals. Of course, I wouldn't mind if our junior team loses if that means our senior team beats Madrid tonight!"
Istanbul - Friday, May 19, 16:35
The FanZone is open for fun!
The Turkish Airlines EuroLeague FanZone opened its doors on Friday morning, and right away started serving its purpose as the starting point for basketball fans of all ages during the 2017 Final Four. Located at the Marmara Forum mall in Istanbul, it took minutes for basketball fans of all ages to pour into the FanZone. To the beat of music mixed with basketballs bouncing on several courts, any visitor can stroll in between more than a dozen easy-to-access pavilions that the family of EuroLeague Basketball sponsors have set up to provide fans with fantastic experience. Fans have already been waiting in lines to play games, enter contests and purchase souvenirs in Nesine Arena, Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Experience area, Powerade and Turkish Towels stands, as well as to take photos with the EuroLeague trophy at the 7DAYS stand. The central event of this opening day tipped off at noon at the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Central Court, where nine EuroLeague Legends are taking part in One Team Legends and Exhibition Game. UFormer EuroLeague greats are having a blast with children from local One Team programmes, and then later on will be available to sign autographs and take photos with the FanZone spectators. So, with hours counting down to the tip off of Final Four semifinals at the Sinan Erdem Dome, hurry up to the FanZone at the Marmara Forum. It's a can't-miss experience!
Istanbul - Friday, May 19, 12:25