Beşiktaş eliminates Galatasaray and earns berth in TBL finals

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/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

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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