02 October, 2023
24 April, 2024
21 Tony Taylor (BKSK)
to read

Can Bahcesehir College become the first team to win FIBA Europe Cup twice?

MUNICH (Germany) - Bahcesehir College have the chance to become the first team to win the FIBA Europe Cup twice when they square off against NINERS Chemnitz in the Final.

Fraport Skyliners were the first winners back in 2016, defeating Itelyum Varese in the inaugural edition. Since then, a different name has been inscribed on the trophy, from Nanterre 92, Umana Reyer Venice, Dinamo Sassari, Ironi Ness Ziona, and most recently, Anwil Wloclawek.

Bahcesehir won the title in 2022, beating Reggio Emilia over two legs to lift the cup aloft. They will aim to repeat that feat with the first leg on Wednesday, April 17, and the second leg a week later, April 24.

Do they have what it takes? Let's dig in!

The Experience   

For a club founded in 2017, Bahcesehir College has certainly found its feet in European competitions, and they have a lot of big-game experience going into the Final.

Their success in 2022 is seen as one of the more dominant wins, as they only dropped one game in 18 en route to a win over two legs in the Final against Reggio Emilia.

Now, going for their second title, they might not have any survivors from their success in 2022, but they do have a player who has won this competition previously. Phil Scrubb claimed the inaugural FIBA Europe Cup with Fraport Skyliners back in 2016.

A year later, Axel Bouteille was runner-up with Elan Chalon, and George Earl Kell III also came up short with Arged Bmslam Stal in 2021.

 The Star Power

The Turkish side's one constant this season has been French forward Jerry Boutsiele. The 31-year-old has averaged 15.8 points on an incredible 64.3 per cent from the field while pulling down 8.3 rebounds a game.

Registering double figures for scoring in 14 of the 16 games this season, Boutsiele's true masterpiece came in the second leg of the Semi-Finals, when he torched Varese for 25 points and 11 rebounds, going 12-for-16 from the floor.

One of the few who has tasted a FIBA Europe Cup Final, Bouteille is just a little behind Boutsiele's points average, putting up 15.4 points a game and 5.1 rebounds. The 28-year-old Frenchman is shooting a stellar 45.9 per cent from three-point range and will look to insert his presence in the Final.

The Home Advantage

To say Bahcesehir College have made the Ulker Sports and Event Hall a fortress is quite an understatement.

They have only dropped one game this season—an opening-day 89-88 loss to ERA Nymburk—but have won their last seven at home since. They avenged first-leg losses on the road to win in Istanbul against FC Porto and Varese in the Quarter-Finals and Semi-Finals, respectively.

As they have the all-important home-court advantage in the Final against NINERS Chemnitz, Bahcesehir boasts a near-perfect 16-1 record at home over their last two seasons in the FIBA Europe Cup. Not too bad of an advantage.