Despite our difficulties, our campaign in Euroleague has been going way better than that of our next opponents, Fenerbahce, but even considering that, our victory would still be a surprise on the shores of the Bosporus.
The two clubs have faces each other a total of 24 times on the international stage including the two games played in the 1995/1996 Ronchetti Cup, during which a Turkish dominance is visible. Our rivals have collected twice as many wins as we have, the last time they overcame us was about half a year ago in the FINAL4 after a tight endgame grabbing third place in the tournament. Out of the twelve battles in Istanbul we were happy at the end of two! One of them took place back in the 2001/2002 season, when we played under the name Gysev Ringa, and the other occured three years ago, which led to a decisive game 3 in the playoffs. We managed to win the third game, and after that we wrote history and didn't stop until grabbing the silver medal in the FINAL4 hosted by us.
The renowned Spanish play-caller Victor lapena has done a great job last season with the Turkish giants, who had a really strong roster, but recent weeks haven't gone the way it was expected from them. Although they sent Galatasaray home with a 20-point defeat from the city derby (69-89), they suffered two unexpected losses afterwards. First, they were tricked at home by Basket Landes (65-70), and then they also fell short in Girona (71-59). Satou Sabally and Bria Hartley haven't been there with them in those games yet, but the line-up of Alina Iagupova, Kayla McBride, Amanda Zahui, Elizabeth Williams, Kiah Stokes and Jasmine Thomas and the Turkish substitutes represent a massive force. They will surely try to erase these losses against us, so we will have an especially difficult job to do. In this rough stretch of game the addition of Shey Peddy will surely come in handy, but we can't expect too much from her just a couple of days after her arrival.
Due to the absence of some players the games pose a big challenge for our coaching staff, too, about which we asked our physical trainer, Filip Stepisnik.