The Turkish Cup will start today in a Final 8 format. Three of the games will be played in Istanbul: Darussafaka – Anadolu Efes, Galatasaray – Tofas and Fenerbahce – Bandirma, while Turk Telekom will host Pinar Karsiyaka in Ankara, where the semifinals and the final will take place later. All the games are real derbies because the teams’ level is very tied, for sure the most balanced in Europe.
This is happening for one reason: the fact that the Turkish Basketball Federation took the good decision starting with the last season to reduce the number of foreigners to only 5 per team in the domestic league. It doesn’t matter if you are Anadolu Efes or Fenerbahce and you have 10-11 foreigners in your roster for the Euroleague games when you play in the Turkish league or Cup you will use only 5 of them. This was the right decision stimulating a true competition and involving in the battle for the trophy all the teams. It is true that some of the teams have better players, but in the end, what I really see is the honest possibility for each club to take a chance on winning the cup.
Reducing the numbers of foreigners in the internal competition of Turkey, gave more space to develop young local talents and we all can see a new generation of Turks who are playing better and better each game. They rose amazingly in the last season – when the rule with only 5 foreigners was applied – and are continuing to grow and improve more than expected. This is happening when you trust homegrown fellows to play more minutes per game, to have a much more important role on the court. They can make the competition even more attractive and, without a doubt, the most balanced in the entire continent.
Photo: Fiba Europe Cup