Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul has confirmed the signing of center Sertac Sanli on a two-year deal. Sanli (31 years old, 2.12 meters) arrives from FC Barcelona, where he averaged 6.2 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.0 assists and a 5.1 PIR across 36 appearances, of which 20 came as a starter, in the 2022-23 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season. He heads back to Turkiye after a two-year spell at Barca, in which the club reached two Final Fours in a row. Sanli, a EuroLeague champion with Anadolu Efes Istanbul in 2021, has played 135 games in the competition over a six-season span.
Sertac Sanli returns to Turkiye, joins Fenerbahce
Making a name in the EuroLeague
Sanli first appeared in the EuroLeague back in the 2011-12 campaign with Galatasaray Istanbul, playing limited minutes across three games. Seven years later, in the 2018-19 season, the big man returned to Europe's premier club basketball competition with Efes, again playing limited minutes. The following season, however, he saw a big jump in his game time before doubling his time on the court in the 2020-21 campaign, which is when Efes won the first of its back-to-back titles. In the summer of 2021, Sanli opted to join Saras Jasikevicius's project at Barca, with the Turkiye international going on to reach two Final Fours in a row with the Blaugrana; in European basketball's showpiece event, Barca twice fell in the semifinals to archrival Real Madrid. Sanli is coming off a season in which he played by far the most minutes in his EuroLeague career, 617:56, an increase of 133:53 minutes compared to the 2021-22 campaign, which goes to show how highly Coach Jasikevicius thought of him.
Sanli's journey back to Turkiye
After beginning his career with Pi Koleji Ankara in his native Turkiye in 2008, Sanli joined Galatasaray in 2010 and remained there until 2015, but he did go out on loan to Tofas Bursa in 2011, to Royal Hali Gaziantep in the 2013-14 season and to Usak Sportif in the 2014-15 campaign. The following year, in 2015-16, he moved to Trabzonspor Basket on a permanent deal, before spending the next two seasons – 2016-17 and 2017-18 – at Beşiktas Basketbol. In 2018, Sanli signed for Efes, which saw him return to the EuroLeague. Since then, Sanli has established himself as one of the most versatile big men in the competition. Next season, he will hope that he can reach another EuroLeague Final Four, this time playing under the orders of Fenerbahce head coach Dimitris Itoudis.