On March 11, 2020, Darussafaka Sports Club and Galatasaray were on the court for BGL Final Group 28. week. Even most of the basketball leagues all around the world are suspended because of new pandemic ”Coronavirus”, the basketball leagues in Turkey still run and there is a debate about that between players, management and supporters. Especially, there was a huge reaction to this sore issue from foreign players and they shared their thoughts on social media, some of them refused to step onto the court. The decision to not suspend the leagues can put the players and other workers of the organizations in danger because this area is so suitable for close contact but while authorized persons have been looking for a solution, I’m going to write about the matches and the present of the basketball as long as players are on the court.

Galatasaray took the advantage after the jump ball but couldn’t use it. Darussafaka wanted to start with 3 points, first try by Enes Doruk Tüzün was unsuccessful but Hasan Efe Uzun got the offensive rebound, took the ball to outside 3 points line, passed the ball and Alp Kepenç finished with 3 points. Galatasaray couldn’t make score at first but there was a pressing defense from Galatasaray. Tüzün lost the ball playing himself and Emir Oflaz got the ball, passed the half line and finishing with a lay up passing his defense player and making Galatasaray’s first points. Ege Özçelik passed the half line, Efe Uzun used the screen and took the ball, penetrated inside and tried to pass the ball but Kadir Can Özdemir blocked him. Galatasaray turned back with 0/2 free throws after a defensive foul and Özçelik made easy score by penetrating inside against defense players. Galatasaray came up empty-handed from offense and Özçelik found an empty corridor inside because of Galatasaray’s slow defense and penetrated but Özcan Korkut stopped him with a foul at the last moment. There was a pass traffic on Galatasaray side against Darussafaka’s good defense. Umut Şener got the ball near the end line, played one-to-one. A strong defense came from Mahmut Can Çelik but Şener made score with a turn. Can Çelik objected, indicating that there was an offensive foul but he took a technical foul because of continuing to argue. Galatasaray made a good defense in front court and forced Darussafaka to make turnover. Korkut played one-to-one again but this time he took offensive foul because he used his elbow against Can Çelik’s good defense. Çelik also answered with 3 points. Ahmet Safa Yılmaz made score in restricted area even there were 3 defense players. But Efe Uzun answered back with 3 points quickly. Darussafaka also crashed the boards with 2 offensive rebounds, Tüzün made score and the defense player got foul. Two center players, Tüzün and Emre Can Akdümbek played double very well and got score. The score was 21-17.

Buğra Ertaş made first score of the second quarter with 3 points. Galatasaray made a pressing defense in front court and forced Darussafaka to make turnover but they also made a turnover. Galatasaray made a full court press, Darussafaka passed it but made no score because of good defense. No score came again from Galatasaray but Darussafaka made a turnover again with Özçelik’s ball loss and Osman Tevrüz’s good press. After a good pas traffic, Oflaz penetrated inside, pass the ball to Tevrüz and Tevrüz made 3 points freely. Efe Uzun answered him back even Galatasaray made full court press. Efe Uzun and Akdümbek made a good double team, forced Oflaz to make turnover and Efe Uzun made score with a good pass he got. Şener didn’t use shot even he was free. He penetrated and gave an unsuccessful try. Yakup Evren Ekinci passed his defense player and made score with a hard lay up. After throw-in by Galatasaray, defence was slow to catch and Safa Yılmaz made score inside. Darussafaka passed quickly Galatasaray’s full court press, Özçelik found Akdümbek and Akdümbek made score making his defense get foul. But Safa Yılmaz made an easy score inside against his defense player. Galatasaray began to make zone press forcing Darussafaka to shoot outside. Tüzün made 3 points against zone press. Akdümbek also found Tüzün inside and Tüzün made the defense player get foul even he couldn’t make score. Oflaz used screen and found Günay, Günay penetrated inside and made score. Galatasaray turned back to one-to-one press. Oflaz got the ball, passed all defense and made score with a lay up himself twice. Galatasaray catched up Darussafaka and first half score was 35-35.

In third quarter, Tüzün made a good defense and stole the ball, played himself and got no score but a foul from defense. Günay used the screen and made score with a high one-hand shot. Özçelik played himself and made 3 points. Oflaz’s free 3 points shot was unsuccessful but Şener got offensive rebound and Günay made 3 points. Özçelik played himself again, found the corridor and made score with a lay up easily. Safa Yılmaz also made easy points inside, answering back. Safa Yılmaz played one-to-one and made score again after Can Çelik’s turnover. Darussafaka began to make zone press but Şener made score inside after a hard shot. Özçelik got the rebound after Galatasaray’s abortive offense, passed the court very fast and made score with a reverse lay up. Galatasaray made a turnover. Özçelik penetrated inside, his try was unsuccessful but Can Çelik got offensive rebound and made his defense get foul. Darussafaka made full court press and Galatasaray’s offense was abortive and Tüzün got the rebound, passed the ball to Kepenç and Kepenç finished the attack. This time Darussafaka’s full court press was successful and Can Çelik stole the ball. Because Can Çelik made defense openly, Safa Yılmaz passed him, found Yunus Halil Severoğlu. He couldn’t make score but Safa Yılmaz took offensive rebound and finished it. Özçelik found Ekinci’s run inside very well and Ekinci made score easily. Ekinci also penetrated inside and made score also got his defense fouled. When Oflaz made a good penetration and shot, Enes Alaybeyoğlu made an offensive foul inside. After a Galatasaray throw-in, Safa Yılmaz saw Günay’s run and Günay made score. Galatasaray was ahead this time with 52-54 score for the quarter.

For the last quarter, Darussafaka got back to one-to-one press and first points made by Safa Yılmaz after he had played against Can Çelik. In second try, he couldn’t finish the attack like the first one, he was about to lose the ball but Günay take the ball and made score quickly. Darussafaka crashed the boards with 3 offensive rebounds this time and fourth try was successful. By the time there was a throw-in for Galatasaray, Buğra Ertaş made an offensive foul. Özçelik also made an offensive foul at a moment of penetration. Günay’s 3 points shot was unsuccessful but Safa Yılmaz got the rebound and finished it, also made his defense take foul. Ekinci and Akdümbek played double well. Galatasaray’s offense was unsuccessful and this time Kepenç saw Akdümbek and Akdümbek made score again. After good passes, Ertaş made 3 points freely. Günay made an easy lay-up, also got his defense fouled. The match finished with 59-69 score and Galatasaray got the win.

When I watched the match, I saw that every player without looking their position fought, did their responsibilities, helped each other. I couldn’t see an ego which I see it most of the time in BSL and other professional leagues. Both sides fought for rebounds, but Darussafaka was the effective side for offensive rebounds because they ”crashed the boards” with the right idiom to say. I should say that when a center player is pressed near end line, pass the ball to another player, he shouldn’t do dribbling to the same area. That’s a big mistake because he gets double team from defense and he gets press like before and stopped the flow of the offense. He should pull the ball back and try another play. The teams tried full court press and zone press time to time. There were mistakes due to the slowness of defense or making stance in wrong angle, creating an open area for penetrations. But in general, the defenses on both sides were really good. Centers of Darussafaka didn’t wait for short players, they played double themselves. Tüzün’s look for the right players is really good. Safa Yılmaz was very effective in restricted area playing one-to-one and also chased the ball. Emir Oflaz was fearless about penetrating inside. I could say that for Evren Ekinci, too. But for me, the most effective player on the court was Ege Özçelik. He’s very athletic, he takes rebounds, penetrates without a doubt, and sees the right man in the right position. I think that’s what we need in professional leagues. Ego shouldn’t step ahead of passion.