The next season of the Basketball Champions League will include in the group phase two new teams from Turkey. The first one is Turk Telekom a team who changed the competition after being last year in Eurocup. The squad from Ankara came back from the 2nd league and they had a decent season reaching the Turkish Cup semifinals and the BSL playoff. They finished the regular season on the 7th spot but had the misfortune to meet Fenerbahce in the first round of playoffs. Turk Telekom was eliminated with 2-1 but defending their home ground. This year, I expect Turk Telekom to be back on the European elite and very dangerous especially when they will play at home.
The second “newcomer” squad from Turkey is Gaziantep Basketbol. They had the best season since 2012, finishing on the 5th spot in the domestic league. In the first round of the playoffs, they met Galatasaray, and lost the series with 2-1, despite a great home court win. They are back in Champions League after a year break and they seemed to be a very motivated team.
Back in 2014, they had an impressive season in Europe, playing the semifinals of the EuroChallenge. BasketballCL is a stronger competition but if they continue the hard work from the last season Gaziantep has a big chance to qualify to the playoffs.
Bogdan Vasile Tirc
Turk Telekom and Gaziantep