Legia’s latest defeat! Turkey’s rivals were too fast and too strong

Legia’s latest defeat! Turkey’s rivals were too fast and too strong

Legia lost at home to Galatasaray Istanbul in the Basketball Champions League 76:90. As a consolation, half in jest, Warsaw fans can say to themselves that this was their team’s last defeat in this year’s BCL competition. But all because there will be no more of these matches. The Polish vice-champions say goodbye to the European cups with one win and five losses on their record, which – unfortunately – gives them the last place in Group C.

Ray McCallum finished the performance with 20 points, Geoff Groselle with a double-double (12 points and 14 rebounds), and Travis Leslie, who physically looks perhaps the best of this trio, had 16 points. Only that they were unable to pull the team to victory.

At least in the second quarter, this meeting looked as it should in the optimal scenario of Legia’s performances in this season of the Champions League. The Polish vice-champions, after a weaker opening of the contest, won the second ten minutes of the game with 31:18 and, thanks to the first half, ended with a 43:38 lead.

Legia very much wanted to bid farewell to the competition with a victory, but even before this year’s Basketball Champions League – when the Warsaw players got to know their rivals and the schedule – it was assumed in the capital that the clash with Galatasaray would decide the exit from the group. And Tuesday’s rivalry at Torwar even had a setting appropriate to it – with a platform for a fan orchestra and almost full stands. Which was in stark contrast to Legia’s last league match at Bemowo, where it faced Trefl with the stands glowing empty. That clash, however, took place at 5:30 pm, when the… Warsaw is stuck in traffic jams and getting to even the most interesting basketball meeting is severely hampered. Despite this, it was asked – primarily on social media – why the capital needs a hall and European basketball cups, when there is no interest. Tuesday night at the Towar and the match starting at 8 pm, however, made it clear that the capital’s fans want the cups and want to watch Legia in them.

This season, however, they will no longer have the opportunity to do so. Coach Wojciech Kaminski’s team lost any chance of getting out of Group C, even from 3rd place, in the previous 5th round. In the 6th – the last one – they played only for honor and to please their fans.

At halftime, it looked like the Torwar stands would experience a little of that joy at the end of the BCL adventure, but with each passing minute of the third period, the situation looked weaker and weaker. Because it became more and more apparent what differentiates the Polish vice-champions from such teams as Galatasaray, the 3rd team of the previous season in Turkey, or the champion of Israel, with whom the Warsaw players lost in the previous round. These are not elements that can be seen in statistics showing the number of points scored by individual players, but are reflected in the final result. It’s all about the speed of the action – not just the speed at which individual players move around the field, but also the speed at which the ball moves between them.

In the third set, Legia’s lead melted away at a very fast pace. The Warsaw players were still in the lead (50:49) halfway through the quarter, but a little over a minute later the visitors from Turkey scored ten points, and the hosts barely 2. And as it turned out later, that’s when the Legionnaires’ hopes for a victory ended. The last quarter saw a few more impressive actions by the capital’s basketball players, but the Galatasaray team controlled the situation and achieved their goal of a sure away win.

Legia Warsaw – Galatasaray NEF Istanbul 76:90 (12:20, 31:18, 16:29, 17:23)

Legia: Ray McCallum 20, Travis Leslie 16, Geoffrey Groselle 12, Łukasz Koszarek 9, Grzegorz Kamiński 10, Grzegorz Kulka 7, William Garrett 2, Janis Berzins 0, Dariusz Wyka 0.

Galatasaray: Tyrus McGee 20, Angelo Caloiaro 14, Dylan Ennis 13, Sadik Emir Kabaca 12, Dee Bost 10, Ian Hummer 6, Sedat Ali Karagulle 5, Goksenin Koksal 5, Yonus Sonsirma 3, Mahir Agva 2, Muhaymin Mustafa 0.