Fenerbahce Istanbul proved once again last season what a powerhouse of European basketball it has become when it reached its third consecutive Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Championship Game and lifted its third straight Turkish League title. Fenerbahce entered the season as the defending EuroLeague champion and looked the part the entire campaign. Despite playing four of the first six games on the road, a pair of back-to-back wins sent the team to a 4-2 start. After a home overtime loss at the hands of Olympiacos Piraeus, Fenerbahce went on to down CSKA Moscow in overtime on the road to start a four-game winning streak. The team stood at 9-6 midway through the regular season, before going on to win nine of the next 10 games, including home wins over Panathinaikos Athens and FC Barcelona Lassa, and back-to-back road triumphs at Real Madrid and Zalgiris Kaunas. Fenerbahce finished the regular season in second place with a 21-9 record and then ousted KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz 3-1 in the playoffs. At the Final Four in Belgrade, Luigi Datome and Ali Muhammed led Fenerbahce in seeing off a semifinal challenge from Zalgiris 76-67, but in the championship game, Real Madrid beat Fenerbahce 85-80 despite 28 points from Nicolo Melli, a championship game record in the Final Four era. Domestically, Fenerbahce fell to rival Anadolu Efes Istanbul in the Turkish Cup quarterfinals, but then eased to another Turkish League title by sweeping Banvit in the best-of-five semifinals and disposing of Tofas Bursa 4-1 in the playoff finals.
Founded in 1907, Fenerbahce opened its doors to basketball seven years later, but waited decades until it claimed its first titles. Fenerbahce was the Turkish national champion in 1957, 1959 and 1965 before the Turkish League was formally founded in 1966. Fener, as it is popularly known among fans, also made EuroLeague appearances each year following the titles, but a quarter-century passed before club experienced more success. Fenerbahce beat Tofas for the 1991 Turkish League title, returned to the Turkish League finals in 1992, 1993 and 1995 and finished third in 1998 to qualify for the EuroLeague. With a strong team featuring Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, Marko Milic, Ibrahim Kutluay and Conrad McRae, Fenerbahce advanced to the playoff eighthfinals before losing to Real Madrid. The club reached the Korac Cup quarterfinals in 1996 and 2001 and ranked fourth in the 2005 FIBA Europe League, but it wasn’t until the summer of 2006 that the team became a European powerhouse. That’s when Fenerbahce merged with Ulker, one of the winningest clubs in Turkish basketball history, which had won four Turkish League titles between 1995 and 2006 with Harun Erdenay, Ibrahim Kutluay, Michael Anderson, Orhun Ene, Mirsad Turkcan and Serkan Erdogan among its many stars. Ulker made the Top 16 for five consecutive seasons between 2002 and 2006, beating all the best European teams in the process, and reached the 2005 EuroLeague Playoffs where it lost to CSKA Moscow. In the first two years of the new Fenerbahce Ulker, the team won back-to-back Turkish League titles and qualified for the EuroLeague Playoffs in 2008. Emir Preldzic, Turkcan, Omer Onan and Roko Ukic helped Fenerbahce win Turkish League and Cup doubles in 2010 and 2011 and the club won another Cup title in 2013. With the arrival of legendary Coach Zeljko Obradovic came another Turkish championship in 2014, and a year later Fenerbahce made history by reaching its first EuroLeague Final Four. However, its memorable run was halted in the semifinals by eventual champion Real Madrid. That turned out to be a title-free campaign, but Fenerbahce made up for that in 2015-16 when it reached the first of three consecutive EuroLeague championship game appearances, but lost an overtime thriller against CSKA. The team won another domestic double, lifting the Turkish Cup after a Bogdan Bogdanovic buzzer-beating triple in a thrilling final against Darussafaka Istanbul, before ousting Efes 4-2 in the best-of-seven Turkish League final series. The 2016-17 season was, by all means, a historic one as Fener became the first Turkish team to win the EuroLeague, forever changing the face of the proud club, which for years waited for that glorious moment. Coach Obradovic’s men finished the EuroLeague regular season in fifth place before sweeping Panathinaikos Athens in the playoffs behind the red-hot Bogdanovic. At the Final Four in Istanbul, Ekpe Udoh took the lead as Fenerbahce rolled past Real Madrid in the semifinal and Olympiacos Piraeus in the championship game. Udoh earned Final Four MVP honors and Obradovic conquered his ninth EuroLeague title with a fifth different team. The celebrations saw millions of Fenerbahce fans partying throughout the world. Fenerbahce used the momentum and went on to sweep its way through the Turkish League playoffs, winning all nine games and defending its crown. Now, after another successful season that had the team a step away from defending the continental title, Fenerbahce looks to add to its growing EuroLeague legacy.
|Turkish National League: 1990-91, 2006-07, 2007-08, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2013-14, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18|
|Turkish National Cup: 1967, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016|
|Turkish President Cup: 1990, 1991, 1994, 2007, 2013, 2016|