Credit: Zuma Press – Scanpix
Credit Zuma Press – Scanpix

The Turkish Basketball Super League season tipped off today, and the reigning champions, Anadolu Efes Istanbul (1-0), faced off against Merkezefendi (0-1) and edged them 94-93 (29-18, 17-19, 19-29, 21-20, 8-7).

The Turkish Airlines EuroLeague champions kicked off to a fast start, gaining a 24-8 lead. However, Merkezefendi retaliated and brought themselves back within single digits to end the first half (46-37).

They continued gaining on Efes in the third quarter and even got back in front after a 15-2 run (50-52). The lead changed hands five more times during the period, with Merkezefendi holding a one-point advantage going into the fourth (65-66).

The underdogs started the final quarter with a 3-pointer, but Efes answered with seven straight points while holding Merkezefendi scoreless for the next four minutes (72-69).

However, Merkezefendi stayed within striking distance, and that was enough for them to send the game into overtime with a clutch 3-pointer by Adam Smith.

Efes went up three times in the extra period, but their opposition tied the game on all three occasions. In the end, Efes converted one of two free throws, and that was enough for them to secure a one-point victory.

Anadolu Efes: Vasilije Micic 22 (4 REB, 3 AST), Bryant Dunston 22 (4 REB, 3 STL), Filip Petrusev 13, Adrien Moerman 12 (11 REB), Shane Larkin 10 (7 AST), Tolga Gecim 6, Ahmet Tuncer 5, Dogus Balbay 2, James Anderson 2.

Merkezefendi: Adam Smith 29 (7 AST, 4 REB), Rihards Lomazs 22, Zwencyl Upson 15 (11 REB), Jeremy Holowel 11 (8 REB).

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