Turk Telekom Ankara
Turk Telekom Ankara enters its sixth season in the competition, but just its second since 2010. One of the traditional powerhouses in Turkish basketball, Turk Telekom comfortably reached the Turkish League playoffs last season and is ready to keep its momentum building. It is a perfect fit: an ambitious club looking for new, high-level challenges. The club was founded in 1954, backed by the national telephone company PTT, though its basketball section did not open until 1980. PTT Ankara played in several regional leagues throughout the 1980s before joining the second division in 1990 and immediately earning promotion to the top flight. Turk Telekom went on to win the Turkish League regular season in 1994, though it fell in the playoff semifinals. Around that time, Turk Telekom also began making waves in Europe, coached by Ergin Ataman, and even played in the 1996-97 EuroLeague, the same season in which the team reached the Turkish League finals and won the Turkish President's Cup, the club's first title. A few trips to the Turkish semifinals and appearances in the Turkish Cup final in 2001 and 2003 cemented Turk Telekom's status among the best clubs in Turkey. Three years after making its EuroCup debut, it was back and looked like a contender after Khalid El-Amin and Michael Wright led it to a 9-1 regular season, however Wright was lost to injury and the team fell to UNICS Kazan in the first knockout stage. The club won the Turkish Cup and reached the Turkish finals in 2008 and lifted the Presidents Cup in 2009, however, a lengthy dry spell ensued. Turk Telekom failed to claim a Turkish League playoff berth from 2010 through 2014 and was relegated to the second division for the 2016-17 campaign. It then took the club two years to dig itself back to the top league. In its last EuroCup appearance, Turk Telekom kept its Top 16 chances open until the last game, led by Vladimir Stimac and Sylven Landesberg, but a road loss against Partizan NIS Belgrade prevented denied its passage to the second phase. The club made it to the Turkish League playoffs in both 2019 and 2021. Turk Telekom is clearly on the rise and ready for bigger goals. As one of the main sports references in Ankara, the Turkish capital, it has all it takes to be successful in the 2021-22 EuroCup.