Besiktas brings Eurochallenge title to Turkey, the second-ever European Club championship in basketball

Besiktas Basketball wins Eurochallenge, makes Turkey proud
Besiktas Basketball wins Eurochallenge, makes Turkey proud

Besiktas Istanbul wins FIBA EuroChallenge championship: Giant of a man Mensah-Bonsu, super 4 Erceg, Puerto Rican pride Arroyo lead Beşiktaş to 91-86 win, championship title, Turkey’s second-ever European club championship.

Debrecen / NationalTurk – Beşiktaş Istanbul are winners of the 2011-12 FIBA EuroChallenge title with a 91-86 victory over French side Elan Chalon in Hungary’s Deberecen. The win represents for Besiktas advancement to Eurocup play for 2012-13, but moresoever it brings Turkey’s second-ever European club championship: An Efes Pilsen side led by Conrad McRae, Petar Naumoski and Ufuk Sarıca ultimately hoisted the then 1996 Korać Cup.

Turkey has waited a long time for a European trophy in basketball to come home. Besiktas Milangaz has brought an end to that drought, emerging on top in a pulsating EuroChallenge final to defeat French club Elan Chalon 91-86 in Debrecen, Hungary

Besiktas’ center Pops Mensah-Bonsu earned Most Valuable Player (MVP) honors in the Eurochallenge finals – and the sobriquet of ‘ Mr. Double-Double monster – with a monstrous 26-point, 20-rebound effort in the final match.

Besiktas Basketball wins Eurochallenge, makes Turkey proud

Besiktas dominated the paint with London native Pops Mensah-Bonsu ‘s 26 points and 20 rebounds but Besiktas basketball ‘s Eurochallenge triumph was a collective effort. Serbian power-forward Zoran Erceg had 25 and 15 and stood tall so often. Former NBA player Carlos Arroya stepped forward at crucial times and clinched the win for Besiktas with his cold-blooded efficieny from the arc and the line.

Chalon, in their second continental final, fought valiantly until the very end. Ultimately, they did not have quite enough and came up just short despite coming from 17 point deficit.

When David Hawkins sent Beşiktaş ahead at 15-3 midway through the opening quarter, Chalon were stopped in their tracks and struggled to make an impact.

They needed patience, but also ignition, to edge back into contention. Emboldened after their achievements at home and abroad this season, they declined to relent.

Trailing 32-15 after Besiktas hit five consecutive points at the start of the second period, French international Steed Tchicamboud sparked his side belatedly into action as Blake Schilb broke free of his shackles. A switch from man to man into zone defense helped Chalon to stop Besiktas.

The American found Michel Jean-Baptiste-Adolphe open for a lay-in that capped a 7-1 run and closed the gap to just 42-38.

Hope for Chalon was restored. Confidence remained. And the 44-40 deficit at halftime looked far from unsurmountable. So it proved.

Chalon rattled off seven unanswered points to sweep ahead 55-53 with 1:40 left in the third quarter as Besiktas felt the heat.

Watch Pops Mensah- Bonsu ‘s pride and gratitude post-game

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The Pro A side from French basketball had the momentum in their favour and belief ran through their veins. Fighting for every loose ball, battling for each open shot, their push was relentless but ultimately, it came up short.

Erceg sent the Turks into the fourth period with a 57-55 advantage and although Abdul Aminu levelled once more, Chalon would never lead again: A 7-0 run thereafter put them into a 62-57 hole and there was no way out.

Carlos Arroyo dropped two long-range bombs within 90 seconds and his team began to exhale when they pulled into the clear at 82-70 with 2:03 left.

Tchicamboud, who hit a team-high 19 points, attempted to spark one last brave rally but it was too tough to ask as Besiktas completed their mission from the foul line and the celebrations began for the Turkish side who brought a trophy in European basketball only for a second time in history.

Besiktas Basketball team should be kept intact says coach Ataman

Ergin Ataman, the coach of Besiktas thanked his players and stated openly he wants to work with this team and that the sponsorship from Milangaz should continue next year as well. The sponsor of Besiktas basketball, Milangaz is owned by the former Besiktas chairman Yıldırım Demiroren, who is now the president of Turkish Football Federation.

Besiktas Basketball saw NBA star Deron Williams at the start of season, who then returned along with Semih Erden back to the NBA after the lockout was resolved. Pop Mensah-Bonsu and Carlos Arroyo filled then the void and Besiktas never looked back, they have claimed the Turkish cup, won now the Eurochallenge and will battle in the Turkish playoffs to win the Turkish League trophy and make the Black Eagles from Bosphorus soaring high again.

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