Efes Anadolu succombs to second straight defeat against Olympiacos
Olympiacos' Kyle Hines (C) jumps to score next to Semih Erden of Anadolu Efes during their Euroleague playoff basketball game in Athens on April 12. AFPphotoAnadolu Efes was severely defeated 71-53 in their second game against defending Euroleague champions Olympiacos in their best-of-five playoff series in Pireaus. The Greeks are now within one victory of returning to the title battle in the Final Four that will be played in London. The Istanbul side now needs three straight victories to knock down their rivals.
Anadolu Efes, who had blamed poor shooting from outside the arc for the defeat in their first game, were completely wiped out by a Greek side boosted by their fervent crowd. The Blues failed to materialize an excellent start of the game with an 8-0 run. After trailing 2-12, Olympiacos employed a strong defense and the quality of Vassili Spanoulis to rally within 14-16 in the end of the first quarter. The hosts quickly took the lead in the second quarter increasing the gap to 35-26 before the break. Efes Anadolu could not react against Giorgios Printezis during the third quarter and Olympiacos continued to build up their lead to 52-40. The Greek side did not soften their defense during the fourth quarter of the game and finally cruised to a clear victory.
Spanoulis led his team with 15 points and 8 assists and Kyle Hines scored 12 points for Olympiacos. Kerem Gönlum was again the top scorer player for Efes, amassing a total of 13 points plus 14 rebounds. Stanko Barac added 9 points and Jordan Farmar clinched 8 points in defeat.
The next game will be played April 17 in Istanbul. If Efes wins, they will also play Game 4 in their own court. In case of another victory of the Blues, both teams will move back to Piraeus for the decisive showdown.