Galatasaray beats Besiktas by slightest of margins to take 1-0 lead
Galatasaray Medical Park edged Besiktas Milangaz 75-74 at home and took a 1-0 lead in the semifinals of the championship playoffs of the Beko Turkish Basketball League (TBL) on Tuesday evening.
The host team started off the game on a good note, leading the first quarter 19-11, and widened the point difference in the second quarter, taking a 42-28 lead at halftime. Galatasaray dominated the early minutes of the third quarter as well, increasing the difference by 17 at the 27th minute (52-35); however, Besiktas made a comeback and was five points behind its opponent at the end of the third quarter: 58-53. The visiting side came much closer to even the score as 33 seconds were left to the end of the game, bringing the score to 72-71. In the thrilling last seconds, Galatasaray Medical Park won three points by free shots. With a three-pointer, Besiktas's Marcelus Kemp set the score at 75-74. Galatasaray's Furkan Aldemir was the best scorer of his team in the game with 17 points, while Besiktas's Zoran Erceg was the best scorer of the game with 23 points.
The second leg of the semifinal series is set to take place at the same venue on Thursday.
Galatasaray equalized the score of winning games with Besiktas after Tuesday's victory. In the first half of the season, Besiktas defeated Galatasaray 73-67 while Galatasaray won the second half's game 92-81. Besiktas eliminated its opponent in the Spor Toto Turkish Cup after a 76-67 victory.
Tuesday's game attracted prominent sports personalities. Among the audience members were Turkish Basketball Federation (TBF) executives, former men's national basketball team head coach Bogdan Tanjevic, Galatasaray Chairman Unal Aysal and the club's football team coach, Fatih Terim.
Speaking at a post-game press conference, Galatasaray coach Oktay Mahmuti said the point difference at the end of the first half helped them win the game.