The revelation team of the season in Turkey and in Fiba Europe Cup, Pinar Karsiyaka struggled a lot to win at Galatasaray. It has to be a big derby, but at the game time, 2 key-players of Galatasaray were out. Aaron Harrison with normal flu and Tai Webster, that refuses to play his own reasons were the absentees for Galatasaray. Unbelievable how easy Coronavirus can scare brave American players. Aaron Harrison forgot about the FLU GAME that made Michael Jordan legendary.
In these circumstances, it had to be an easy game for Pinar Karsiyaka who has 5 impressive foreigners and many other Turkish national team level players (James Metecan Birsen, Semih Erden, Yunus Sonsirna and so on). Galatasaray could count only on 3 foreigners plus homegrown players Yigit Arslan who actually made a huge game, Goksenin Koksal and a couple of young local players.
The difference between the teams had to be huge and at the halftime, Pinar was already ahead with 13 points (49-36). But in the 3rd quarter, Pinar Karsiyaka scored only 9 points and step by step Galatasaray in spite of the shorter rotation came back in the game. Even more, in the last stanza, the host team came close to a single possession, but in the end, Pinar found more energy and sealed the victory with 79-74.
It was a much more difficult game for visitors than we could expect. Maybe it was the fear of Coronavirus, maybe they saw other American players like Bobby Dixon, Shane Larkin, Zach Auguste who protested against the decision of the Turkish Basketball Federation to continue the championship behind closed doors. Or maybe, the players of Karsiyaka are disappointed that Fiba Europe Cup is suspended and they cannot play and win the title. But anyway they made a weak game, taking into consideration the important absentees of Galatasaray.
Photo: Fiba Europe Cup