Bahcesehir College and Unahotels Reggio Emilia will meet in the FIBA Europe Cup Final after the two teams came through their last four encounters.
Reggio Emilia overturned a narrow first-leg deficit to beat Bakken Bears 164-146 on aggregate, while Bahcesehir eased past ZZ Leiden in Istanbul for a 167-153 overall triumph.
Kartal Ozmizrak led the Bahcesehir by a season-high 24 points off the bench on 7-of-8 shooting in 17 minutes, with Sam Dekker netting 16 first-half points as they secured a 90-82 victory on the night.
Leiden had wiped out the overall deficit with a 9-2 start before the hosts settled and moved into a 25-19 lead after 10 minutes. Bahcesehir narrowly extended their advantage on the night to eight points at the half before pulling further clear in the third quarter.
Berkay Candan and Erkan Yilmaz both netted triples at the start of the fourth, with the gap moving beyond 20 points. Leiden rallied to reduce their arrears, but the damage was done, and their campaign reached its conclusion.
Later, Reggio Emilia raced out of the blocks with 31 points in the first quarter on their way to an emphatic 92-72 success on home soil. Andrea Cinciarini put on a passing clinic once again for the hosts with 18 assists – equaling the competition’s record – to go with 15 points in the win.
Bakken edged the second quarter but still trailed by 18 points at half-time with a mountain to climb. The Italians restored their 21-point advantage heading into the fourth, and they could close out the win with relative ease.
Justin Johnson posted a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds, with five players in total in double figures in scoring in the win, while Travis Taylor had 15 points and 13 boards for the Bears in defeat.
The Final will take place over two legs, with the first game set to take place on April 20.