Beşiktaş eliminates Galatasaray and earns berth in TBL finals

Beşiktaş knocks Galatasaray out in the basketball playoff semifinals. (PHOTO TODAY’S ZAMAN)

May 23, 2012, Wednesday/ 17:09:00

Beşiktaş Milangaz edged out Galatasaray Medical Park 84-73 in Game 4 of the men’s Beko Turkish Basketball League (TBL) on Tuesday to earn a berth in the finals of Turkey’s premier basketball league.

The match between the basketball powerhouses pitted Beşiktaş’s high-scoring Carlos Arroyo and David Hawkins against a Galatasaray offense led by Nihad Dedovic and former NBAer Jamon Lucas. A fiery start saw the teams on even footing at 6-6 by minute two, but at the end of the first quarter Galatasaray pulled ahead with a narrow 22-18 lead.

That lead widened slightly in the second half, with Galatasaray taking a 41-35 lead over Beşiktaş despite determined counterattacks by Eagles Arroyo and power forward Pops Mensah-Bonsu.

The Arroyo-led counterattack took over the court in the third quarter, with three pointers by Arroyo, Hawkins and Zoran Erceg narrowing and then overtaking Galatasaray’s lead. But the 45-40 Beşiktaş lead seemed short-lived as Dedovic’s three pointers and center Furkan Aldemir brought Galatasaray ahead by 59-58 at the end of the buzzer.

The Beşiktaş shooting stars -- Arroyo, Hawkins and Bonsu -- finally found their rhythm at the beginning of the fourth quarter, beating off a fast-paced attack by the red and yellows and pulling ahead 67-66 in the first minutes of the period. Beşiktaş at last won out in the last five minutes of the game, gaining a comfortable 84-73 lead over their exhausted rivals at the final buzzer.

The win marks the third victory for Beşiktaş in a best-of-five with longtime rivals and last year’s runner-up Galatasaray, and will earn the Eagles the right to host the winner of the Anadolu Efes-Banvit semifinals at the Sinan Erdem Dome later this month.

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