Credit: imago images/Seskim Photo-Scanpix
Credit imago images/Seskim Photo-Scanpix

After a rough start to the season, Euroleague title holders Anadolu Efes found the best remedy that they ever needed.  A 26 points win against Zalgiris Kaunas to climb to 2-5 made Ergin Ataman hopeful on the way to going back to the good old days. 

Player of the Game
Tibor  Pleiss
EFF
22
Tibor Pleiss
Points 17
Accuracy 7-10
Rebounds 7
Assists 0

“It was an important game for us, and we played well, in my opinion,” Ataman said after the game. “We played with big energy and self-confidence. We shared the ball, we played great basketball. We played like champions. We remembered that we were champions.”

For the home side, Vasilje Micic was back on the court in the starting five after his injury break. Without Micic, Efes suffered heavy losses against Fenerbahce (in the Turkish League) and Panathinaikos and had significant difficulty coming over UNICS.

Micic did not play the top game but still contributed to the win with 11 points and 4 assists.

“EuroLeague is a marathon, and tonight, we gave some better signals after all those injuries and problems that we’ve suffered,” Ataman shared his optimism. 

“Since Krunoslav Simon and Vasilje Micic came back from injury, we had more options on the small rotation. This was one of the most important aspects of the basketball that we’ve been playing for the last three years, “Anadolu Efes’ coach added.

While James Anderson is still sidelined due to injury, more recoveries get discernable. Krunoslav Simon admits having some match fitness issues, but he is happy for the team reaction after a series of losses. 

“I still don’t feel so good. I was out 35 days because of injury, so it was not easy for me, but today was good, we played good basketball,” Simon said. “This is how we are supposed to play for the next games. We have enough time to get back on track, so this was the first step, and we are happy about it. “

For Efes, the best offensive contributions came from Tibor Pleiss, a season-high 17 points and 7 rebounds. Filip Petrusev also played one of his best games since he arrived in Efes, scored 14 points with 7/9 2FG accuracy.

Besides the individual performances, Ergin Ataman focused on team-related statistics.

“We had 44 rebounds, that was important for to get transitions for the offense. We made 26 assists, that was one of the key things for our offense, “Ataman concluded.

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Stambulo Anadolu Efes
Kauno Žalgiris
57%
37/65
Field goals
33%
22/66
44
Rebounds
28
26
Assists
15
5
Steals
5
1
Blocks
4
90%
9/10
Free throws
88%
7/8

Best players

Tibor  Pleiss
17 PTS
7/10 FG
2/2 FT
Artūras  Milaknis
14 PTS
4/11 FG
2/2 FT
Anadolu Efes Istanbul
Few players
7 REB
Zalgiris Kaunas
Few players
4 REB
Anadolu Efes Istanbul
Few players
4 As
Mantas  Kalnietis
5 As
1 TO
16 MIN
Tibor  Pleiss
22 EFF
67% 2P%
100% 3P%
Artūras  Milaknis
12 EFF
0% 2P%
50% 3P%