The Turkish BSL finals got underway on June 5th and the results of Game 1 were not surprising as Fenerbahce Istanbul destroyed Tofas Bursa 103-63. While most people pegged Fenerbahce to be the favorites to draw first blood in this series, it’s unlikely that a blowout of this magnitude would be the path they would end up taking towards a Game 1 victory. Yes, they are coming off back-to-back Turkish League championships and are looking to “Three-peat” this season, but Tofas are no slouches. They finished second in the regular season standings with a 24-5 record, just two games behind Fenerbahce. Tofas also boasts of having one of the deepest benches in the league.
So what happened here? Well, simply put, the defending champs outplayed and outhustled Tofas in roughly every category that mattered. They ran up a solid lead to end the first period and continued to snowball their advantage from there, making the game far out of Tofas’ reach.
Brad Wannamaker paced four other Fenerbahce teammates who scored in double figures with 17 points. He did his damage in just 18 minutes on the floor, showing that Fenerbahce maximized every bit of time and effort from their players.
Bottom line here is that a win with this kind of a margin sends a strong message. Fenerbahce are here to defend their crown and have shown that they can dominate Tofas when the situation calls for it. Tofas need to learn what they can from this horrible loss, set it aside, and focus on the next game. “One game at a time” should be their approach if they want to wrench the title from Fenerbahce. If they cannot make major adjustments on defense, this could easily be a short BSL Finals series.