Credit: Rodolfo Molina/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images
Credit Rodolfo Molina/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images

FC Barcelona (16-4) and Anadolu Efes (9-8) faced once again in a duel which has become a modern rivalry between two great teams. The Blaugranas could not win against the Turkish powerhouse last year (0-3), but they have managed to pull it off this season.

Player of the Game
Sertac  Sanli
EFF
16
Sertac Sanli
Points 13
Accuracy 4-8
Rebounds 7
Assists 1

Yesterday it looked like a playoffs game at Palau Blaugrana. The atmosphere, the intensity, Ergin Ataman's ejection… A perfect script for this battle. Barcelona got the victory 82-77, reacting after a tight loss 48 hours before at home against AX Armani Exchange Milan.

Sarunas Jasikevicius left the court in an exciting way, celebrating the win with his fans.

"I want to congratulate them for their support during the whole game. It helps us a lot. They have been outstanding. This is what we were asking for", began the Lithuanian coach in the press conference.

Jasikevicius quickly analyzed the game, explaining which was the plan a little bit.

"We have tried to rotate our guys. We wanted them ready for the last minutes. You know, it is not easy to control it against a team like Efes. They are the toughest rival in Europe.

Our defense was excellent today. This is the way we will accomplish things. I am glad that our players listened to us. Everything is based on defense," he said.

Rokas Jokubaitis ended the game with 16 points, including 7 in the last 6 minutes and the clutch action to seal the game.

"Rokas is growing a lot. Due to the Calathes injury, he has more opportunities. Well, to say it better, he is deciding games. He is leading us into victories. That's the truth," added the 45-year-old mastermind.

"The atmosphere was crazy tonight. I felt like at home," Jokubaitis noted. "We needed this victory as we have lost three games in a row. Coach asked me to be patient in the last play. Fortunately, I made the bucket."

Asked about Ataman's ejection, Jasikevicius ensured it was not the first time he had done something like this.

"He can express himself as he wants. We are in a democratic country. I should not give an opinion about my colleague," said Saras.

Ataman did not appear in the press conference after the game. His assistant coach Yakup Sekizkok was in charge of it.

"It's always difficult to play against a team like Barcelona. We tried to stop their size. And we did it well. But we made some mistakes in decisive situations, missing opened shots.

We talked before the game about Jokubaitis' ability to penetrate through his left hand. We let him do it again", he regretted.

Regarding the ejection, Yakup made a polite statement.

"I think it was a lack of communication between him and the referee. He was asking why he has been warned. He asked why continuously. After the first technical, I understand you may take the second one if you keep complaining. I would like to have a standard for all the EuroLeague coaches", he concluded.

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Barselonos FC Barcelona
Stambulo Anadolu Efes
51%
28/55
Field goals
36%
22/61
31
Rebounds
36
18
Assists
9
4
Steals
7
50%
10/20
3-pointers
19%
5/26
51%
18/35
2-pointers
49%
17/35

Best players

Rokas  Jokubaitis
16 PTS
6/10 FG
1/3 FT
Vasilije  Micic
18 PTS
3/8 FG
12/15 FT
Sertac  Sanli
7 REB
2 DREB
5 OREB
Bryant  Dunston
6 REB
2 DREB
4 OREB
Nicolas  Laprovittola
5 As
3 TO
24 MIN
Shane  Larkin
4 As
2 TO
31 MIN
Sertac  Sanli
16 EFF
60% 2P%
33% 3P%
Vasilije  Micic
17 EFF
60% 2P%
0% 3P%