Credit: Reuters – Scanpix
Credit Reuters – Scanpix

Defending champions Anadolu Efes start their new Euroleague campaign against Real Madrid at Wizink Center. Both sides know each other all too well from recent history, as Anadolu Efes came over Real Madrid during the playoffs (3-2), despite two losses suffered in Madrid. 

Real Madrid made quite a shuffle in the roster compared to last season. Thomas Heurtel, Vincent Poirier, Guerschon Yabusele, Adam Hanga, Nigel Williams-Goss are now getting ready to play with their new jerseys in the Euroleague.

On the contrary, Anadolu Efes remains virtually unchanged except Sertaç Şanlı, leaving for Barcelona and Filip Petrusev joining as a replacement. Ergin Ataman made his pre-game comments emphasizing this point and did not spare his respect for the opponent, led by coach Pablo Laso.

 “We are starting the season with a tough away game against Real Madrid. We want to make a good start against a coach and team that we respect very much. There are 3-4 players in Real Madrid that changed compared to last season.

However, we will try to reflect our organized basketball with only one change depending on the situation of our injured players at the game time,” Ataman said before the upcoming game.

Efes’ head coach also emphasized that his team will have to show its character despite not being in the greatest shape.

Although we are not in the best form as of the beginning of the season, we want to start by giving them the best fight. Last season, we played all three matches in Madrid without the spectators. Now, we are proud to visit Madrid fans as the champions. I hope it will be a game where the fans enjoy the game,” Ataman added.

After the victory against Barcelona in the Supercopa final, Real Madrid remained unbeaten in the Liga Endesa after three games. Efes also started their domestic campaign against Yukatel Merkezefendi Belediyesi, although being pushed to overtime

The game between Real and Efes will tip off on Thursday at 20.45 CET.

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