Credit: Aykut Akici/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images
Credit Aykut Akici/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images

In front of a jubilant crowd in Istanbul, Anadolu Efes won a big game against Real Madrid (93-90), which was crucial on their quest for 4th place and home-court advantage in the EuroLeague standings.

Player of the Game
Vasilije  Micic
EFF
29
Vasilije Micic
Points 29
Accuracy 9-17
Rebounds 3
Assists 6

Rallying back from 13 points deficit and defending the last ball, Efes kept their undefeated status at home since they lost against Barcelona at the beginning of December.

"It was a really difficult game for us because Real Madrid successfully put out our strategy in the first half," said Ergin Ataman.

"We did not find our aggressiveness in offense, their switching defense was effective. We tried to attack with our guts to their bigs but missed all shots." 

They used a defensive strategy similar to last year's playoff matchup. They even matched their bigs with our guards; Micic-Larkin pick and rolls, Walter Tavares made 3 blocks on the layups," Ataman continued.

But as we saw many other times throughout this season or the previous years, Efes' roster depth and quality provided some makeshift solutions behind the leadership of Vasilje Micic (29 points, 6 assists), Shane Larkin (12 points), and Adrien Moerman (18 points, 4/5 threes).

"In the second half, we improved our defense and started playing more aggressively on their guards. In the offense, the most important thing was Micic's great game tonight. But after the 25th minute, Larkin also came back to the game.

He started to open Real Madrid's defense. He found Moerman for important shots. Last quarter we also found our defense and came back to the game," Ataman said.

In addition to all the usual suspects of Efes game savers, Elijah Bryant did not have much time to show his qualities yet as an ex-Maccabi and ex-Milwaukee Bucks player with an NBA title.

Points this season

48%
83,1
Points made: 83,1
Accuracy: 47,8%
Place in standings: 3
Record max: 109
Record min: 67
Best scorer: Vasilije Micic

But not only Bryant's crucial 3-pointer with 2 minutes remaining was a turning point of the game, but his defensive effort also helped Anadolu Efes to shut down the opponent in the last minutes. 

"Elijah Bryant was a player who had 10 points, 3 assists, and 4 rebounds. It is not an easy thing to come into a championship team and adapt to its system right away. The first player in his position was Krunoslav Simon, but Simon was injured. He played well against Zalgiris. Bryant's quality is well-known," Ataman praised the American.

Lastly, Ataman also opened up about Chris Singleton's injury.

"He had a problem in his finger, a capsule tear, and cannot hold the ball right now. It is not a major thing, but he probably won't be able to play on Thursday as well."

Show comments
Thank you for reporting a comment

Add comment

We have the right to remove comments which are offensive, contains abusive language, or violates other rules of the website
Anadolu Efes Istanbul
Real Madrid
54%
31/57
Field goals
51%
35/68
28
Rebounds
30
13
Assists
20
4
Steals
3
7
Turnovers
5
109
Efficiency
100

Best players

Vasilije  Micic
29 PTS
9/17 FG
8/8 FT
Gabriel  Deck
23 PTS
10/15 FG
2/2 FT
Adrien  Moerman
6 REB
6 DREB
0 OREB
Gabriel  Deck
10 REB
7 DREB
3 OREB
Vasilije  Micic
6 As
2 TO
37 MIN
Nigel  Williams-Goss
7 As
0 TO
26 MIN
Vasilije  Micic
29 EFF
55% 2P%
50% 3P%
Gabriel  Deck
31 EFF
69% 2P%
50% 3P%