After failing to make the Final Four for the first time in seven years, Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul has its sights set on mounting another serious title assault after revamping its roster over the summer. The Turkish team’s famously fervent fans will be more than eager to see their heroes back in action, and it promises to be an exciting season for the men from the Asian side of Istanbul.
FULL TEAM SCHEDULE
ROUND 1: First test for another new era
Following the summer departure of Coach Igor Kokoskov after just one season in charge, Fenerbahce will begin another ‘new era’ as the ball gets rolling with a home game against Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade. Ironically, it is exactly the same scenario as last year: Kokoskov started his brief reign with a 77-63 opening round home win over Zvezda, so Fenerbahce will be hoping for the same outcome in a game that will see them welcome a familiar face in the form of Zvezda’s marquee summer signing Nikola Kalinic.
ROUND 6: Vesely aims to erase memories
Jan Vesely was undoubtedly one of the top performers in the 2020-21 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, averaging 13.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists before an untimely injury prevented him from making an impact during the crucial latter games of the season. That injury came in a Round 33 meeting with FC Barcelona, giving Vesely even more motivation to erase those bad memories by producing a dominant display against the Spanish powerhouse for a game that is already big enough without that added personal angle.
ROUND 8: Rivalry renewed
Some of the most memorable games in recent EuroLeague history have been contested between Fenerbahce and CSKA Moscow and this intense rivalry’s most recent installment came at the end of last season as CSKA swept the playoffs series with a commanding trio of wins. This will be Fener’s first chance to avenge those defeats and former CSKA star Nando De Colo will be particularly eager for the game after averaging 20.2 points in his five games against the Russian giants last season.
ROUND 12: Derby date with a point to prove
For a few years, Fenerbahce was undoubtedly the top dog in Istanbul. While local rivals Anadolu Efes often struggled to even reach the playoffs, Fenerbahce charged into five consecutive Final Fours between 2015 and 2019 and won the title in 2017. But the roles have been reversed now, with new continental champ Efes firmly installed as the number one team to beat – not only for Fenerbahce, but for any team in Europe. So this first Istanbul derby of the season will be surely a ferociously competitive encounter – especially after Efes won their last EuroLeague meeting by 32 points.
ROUND 31: New duo return to Vitoria-Gasteiz (Baskonia-Fener)
Fenerbahce made a couple of big acquisitions from the same source with the arrivals of all-action forward Achille Polonara and creative guard Pierria Henry from Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz. The new Fenerbahce duo, who both spent two seasons with Baskonia, will make their first return to northern Spain for this matchup. Polonara ranked second in the league in rebounding last season (6.6 per game) while Henry was the second-best assister (7.3 per game) and Baskonia fans will be hoping their former heroes are kept uncharacteristically quiet at Buesa Arena.
Seen at: Euroleague.net