Efes set to fight for the last London ticket
The last face-off between the teams saw Turkey’s Anadolu Efest beat Olympiacos, the defending Euroleague champion, with a stunning last minute comeback capped with a dazzling last-second winner by Jamon Lucas. AA photoAnadolu Efes and Olympiacos are set to battle tonight for the one last ticket to the Euroleague Final Four.
The Turkish team will visit the defending champion in the fifth game of the two teams’ thrilling playoff series at the Peace and Friendship Stadium in Piraeus.
The series is tied at 2-2 so only the winner will make it to the Final Four in London and the loser’s campaign will come to an end.
Efes has the chance to reach the Final Four for the first time since the 2001 FIBA SuproLeague and in doing so to become the first team to rally from a 0-2 deficit in the playoffs to win the series.
Olympiacos, the defending Euroleague champion, aims to reach its fourth Final Four in five years.
“For the fifth game of the playoffs we trust in ourselves. I believe that Anadolu Efes has the power to win in Athens the last game of the series,” Efes coach Oktay Mahmuti said. “The games against Olympiacos are very competitive. A hard game is waiting for us in Athens. The two teams know their positive and negative ways very well so this converts it all into a chess game. I think that the team who will fight on court and will control its nerves will grab the London ticket. For this, we have to put our own game and must fight on court for 40 minutes. Our goal is to return back to Istanbul with the third win and to reach the third Final Four in our history.”
Anadolu Efes beat Olympiacos with a stunning last-minute comeback capped with a dazzling last-second winner by Jamon Lucas and will try to carry the momentum to the deciding game.
“Fifth and last time”
“Now the series is 2-2 and we will face each other for the fifth and last time,” Efes center Kerem Gönlüm said. “The two teams know each other very well. In my point of view the team who wants and fights more will be the one to reach the Final Four. We gained morale by winning the last two games in Istanbul. We are in good condition and will put our best efforts on court to reach the Final Four.”
Efes must do its best to stop Vassilis Spanoulis, as Olympiacos runs its offense through its undeniable leader. Spanoulis, a two-time Final Four MVP, provides one-on-one skills, experience and a high basketball IQ.
Kostas Papanikolaou will be ready to make the difference at small forward with his deep shooting range, intensity and team-oriented game.