Anadolu Efes out to grab Euroleague Final Four ticket
The last remaining ticket for the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four in Vitoria-Gasteiz will be decided on May 1 when Anadolu Efes hosts Barcelona Lassa in a do-or-die Game 5.
The teams could not be more even, having split their last 10 games over the past three seasons. They are both looking to get to European basketball’s pinnacle event for the first time in many years.
Barcelona’s last Final Four appearance was five years ago, while Efes last played the Final Four in 2001.
Efes is 13-4 at home this season, including 2-1 against Barcelona. Barcelona is 7-10 so far on the road.
Efes won Game 1 at home and Game 3 in Barcelona, but coach Svetislav Pesic’s squad evened the series each time by winning Game 2 in Istanbul and Game 4 at home.
The Efes backcourt has starred in its wins with Vasilije Micic going for 21 points and seven assists in the series opener and Shane Larkin firing in 30 points in Game 3.
Ante Tomic scored in double figures in each of Barcelona’s two wins, but it was the team’s defense, which held Efes to 72 points in both Games 2 and 4, that made the difference.
“Barcelona Lassa has a very good roster and a very experienced technical staff which I respect so much,” Efes coach Ergin Ataman said.
“They beat us by playing tough basketball in the last game played in Spain. But now it is our turn. With the motivation from our fans, by playing the basketball we played during the whole season in a tough and a smart way, we must win the return game and must go to Final Four -which we deserved- all together.”