Credit: REUTERS/Sergio Perez
Credit REUTERS/Sergio Perez

Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul took the first step in winning the Turkish Basketball League title by beating rivals Anadolu Efes 85-76 (18-20, 19-17, 22-16, 26-23) in Game 1 at the Ulker Sports Arena.

Points this season

Points made: 74,5
Accuracy: 47,5%
Place in standings: 12
Record max: 96
Record min: 43
Best scorer: Jan Vesely

The reigning EuroLeague champs played without injured Vasilije Micic, while Shane Larkin exited the contest with five minutes left. The American guard was held down to 8 points, 4 assists and 5 turnovers. 

Markel Starks, Dyshawn Pierre, Achille Polonara, Danilo Barthel, Jehyve Floyd were missing for Fenerbahce. However, the hosts had many players to lend a hand offensively. Jan Vesely stood out with 17 points and 7 rebounds, while Nando De Colo added 13. 

For Efes, Rodrigue Beaubois and Elijah Bryant were the only ones who scored in double-digits. 

Game 2 will be held in the same gym, on June 9, 19:30 CEST.

Although the hosts started on 1/8 from the perimeter, they managed to force Efes to 8 turnovers in the first 14 minutes. 

Two straight lay-ups by Nando De Colo made it 24-20 for Fenerbahce, who made a 6-0 run. In Vasilije Micic's absence, the guests were lacking offensive flow. Jan Vesely dominated the paint, helping his team maintain the lead (37-30). That's when Shane Larkin hit his first three-pointer of the game which eventually led to a 0-7 run for Ergin Ataman's squad. 

Rodrigue Beaubois stormed into the third quarter, scoring 12 points, while Bugrahan Tuncer filled in for Micic dishing out assists at will. Sasa Djordjevic's team didn't give up the lead, largely thanks to Melih Mahmutoglu, who provided five straight points. 

Vesely and De Colo handed Fener another double-digit edge (79-68) with four minutes left. Efes never managed to pose a serious threat, as shots didn't fall and Larkin couldn't help. 

Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul: Jan Vesely 17 (7/9 FG, 3/4 FT, 7 REB), Nando De Colo 13 (5/9 FG, 2/2 FT, 7 AST, 3 TO, 4 ST), Devin Booker 11 (4/7 FG, 1/2 FT), Pierria Henry 9, Marko Guduric 9. 

Anadolu Efes Istanbul: Rodrigue Beaubois 20 (7/13 FG, 2/2 FT), Elijah Bryant 13 (5 TO), Tibor Pleiss 9, Bugrahan Tuncer 9 (8 AST).

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