Anadolu Efes looks to tie series in Greece
Anadolu Efes forward Dusko Savanovic (R) jumps to score in front of Olympiakos’ Georgios Printezis during the two teams’ Turkish Airlines Euroleague playoff game in Athens. Olympiacos hosts Efes for the second game tonight. AFP photoAnadolu Efes will try to even playoff series when it meets Olympiacos in the game two of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague series tonight.
In a very intense battle on April 10, Olympiacos topped Efes 67-62 in Game 1 behind 26 points from Georgios Printezis - a career-high night in his 126th Euroleague game.
“We lost the first game of the playoffs after a balanced game,” Efes coach Oktay Mahmuti was quoted as saying on the Euroleague website. “We were good in defense but our three-point percentage was not as we would have liked. If we put our own game on court, I think that we can win the second game of the playoffs.”
If Efes wins, its will steal the home-court advantage from Olympiacos as the series will be carried to Istanbul next week.
“Our aim is to tie the series to 1-1 in Athens so as to get the advantage,” Mahmuti said. “If so, I believe that in front our extraordinary crowd we can reach our Final Four goal by winning the two games in Istanbul.”
Holders win opener
On April 10, defending champion Olympiacos pulled out a dramatic 67-62 win over Efes.
In a game that did not feature a double-digit lead, Georgios Printezis sparked a 7-0 run near the end of the third quarter for Olympiacos to take the lead for good. But the visitors hung around, cut it to 65-62 with 50 seconds to go and relied on their defense to get the shot at overtime. However, Kyle Hines came away with an offensive rebound and secured a win for Olympiacos. Printezis led in victory with a career-high of 26 points on 4-for-7 three-point shooting, while Vassilis Spanoulis had nine points, eight assists plus six rebounds for the winners. Hines grabbed nine rebounds along with his six points.
For Efes, Kerem Gönlüm scored 17 points, Jamon Lucas had 10 plus six assists, and Semih Erden nine points plus seven rebounds.
“Our priority now is to forget what happened tonight and start thinking of the next game,” Lucas said. “We are 1-0 behind, but there is no other option for us than to do everything possible in order to tie the series.”