Bahcesehir College weathered another valiant fightback from Unahotels Reggio Emilia to claim the FIBA Europe Cup title with a 90-74 second leg victory.
They became the competition’s first winners from Turkey after securing an overall 162-143 triumph in front of a FIBA Europe Cup Final record crowd of 13,485.
Turning point: It was a game of runs in the first half as the hosts took control with a devastating 24-3 spell to open up a commanding 30-11 advantage before the Italians hit back with the next 20 points to take the lead on the night. Bahcesehir calmed the storm to lead by six at the half and quickly reestablished a double-digit cushion early in the third. This time, there was no comeback and the hosts turned on the style to win with a flourish.
Game hero: Jamar Smith top scored with 17 points – including a run of 11 straight in the first quarter with the American guard also adding 4 assists in the win to earn the MVP award. Smith was 5-of-7 from beyond the arc and also had valuable support with three other players in double figures.
Stats don’t lie: Reggio Emilia used a 20-0 run to breathe life into the Final, but their lead only lasted for 1:45 as Bahcesehir overcame the lapse to put in an impressive performance. The Turkish team forced 15 turnovers, which they turned into 20 points and shot 52 percent from the floor.
Bottom line: Bahcesehir were deserved winners and they capped a perfect season at home to celebrate their title triumph in front of their home fans. Reggio Emilia were valiant runners-up as they again refused to go down without a fight, but they eventually ran out of steam with the final mountain to climb proving too much.