The second Eurocup Semifinal contest tipped off on Wednesday as Galatasaray welcomed Gran Canaria to the furnace of Istanbul. As ever, the Turkish fans were in fine voice and created a daunting atmosphere for the visiting Spanish team. It was a hot crowd that spurred on the home team as Galatasaray put together a quality display to win 89-75.
It was no mean feat, downing last season’s runner-up in such commanding fashion, but Galatasaray looked in control for long periods. It means the Turkish club has put a foot in the final, and now has dominance in this Eurocup Semifinal.
Don’t discount Gran Canaria just yet, the Las Palmas outfit is capable of going big in offence at home, but at the halfway point of the two leg tie, 15 points looks like too big a mountain.
Galatasaray Istanbul vs. Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas, 89-75
It took a while for Galatasaray to take charge, so first fans were treated to a high octane first quarter in which both teams troubled the rim with regularity. Through an exhilarating opening frame, the hosts just about had the edge and led 25-24 through the first split. The Turkish club kept its rhythm to the tune of 24 second period points, but Gran Canaria slipped off the heady pace and only mustered 18. The guests found themselves trailing 49-42 through the long break.
It did not get much better for the Spanish outfit once the teams emerged for the second half, with Galatasaray holding its first half momentum to take control for good. The home team plundered another 24 points and stopped Gran Canaria at 14 in the third act, a display that all but closed the game, the scoreboard reading 73-56 through thirty minutes. The fourth quarter quickly became a stroll for Galatasaray as the visitors could not rally from the sizeable deficit.
Errick McCollum and Chuck Davis hit for 18 points each in the win, while Davis celebrated a double-double by adding 10 rebounds. Vladimir Micov added 15 points in the win, followed by Stephane Lasme with 14 points, Goksenin Koksal with 13 points, and Blake Schlib with 10 boards.
A dejected Gran Canaria looked to Alen Omic’s 15 points and 6 rebounds to pace the losing effort, while Eulis Baez managed 12 points.
Galatasaray’s head coach, Ergin Ataman was seeking perfection from his team after the win, using the post-game to say the team missed chances from downtown and could have put Gran Canaria to bed. He promised the Turkish club will be going to Spain next week in search of a win.
“We won’t go to Spain to keep the point difference. We will fight and we want to win. We missed many three-point shots. After the first period, we fixed our defense. We didn’t use Sinan Guler and Stephane Lasme too much. I think 14 points is really important at this level. I want to thank our all fans.”