Anadolu Efes earns Euroleague playoff ticket after overtime victory

Anadolu Efes earns Euroleague playoff ticket after overtime victory

Anadolu Efes earns Euroleague playoff ticket after overtime victory

With the hard-fought win over Bamberg, Efes Anadolu is now set to play the Euroleague playoffs for a place in the Final Four after the Top 16 stage. AA photo

Anadolu Efes earned its ticket for the Euroleague playoffs tonight, having to go hammer and tongs to beat Brose Bamberg 89-86 at its own court after overtime. 

Despite accumulating 10 defeats in as many games in the Top 16 stage before the game with no chance of qualification, the German visitors put up a fight and almost pulled off the surprise of the night. However, a stellar performance from former NBA star Jordan Farmar helped Anadolu Efes to cross the line for a crucial victory. 

At the end of the match, the Turkish side registered a 9-2 win record, holding their second place in Group F with only three games to go.

Farmar lifted his team to victory tallying an impressive 29 points and 7 rebounds. Dusko Savanovic added 14 points while Jamon Lucas made 11 assists for Efes. Five players scored more than 10 points for the visitors, with Bostjan Nachbar leading the German side on 24 points. Maik Zirbes contributed with 14 points from the bench.  

Efes Anadolu thought the hardest work was done after opening up a considerable lead right at the beginning of the game, going ahead 23-14 at the end of the first quarter and extending that lead to 13 points during the second quarter. After taking a timeout, Bamberg players hit back to bring the score back to 37-37. The hosts then accelerated their pace, reaching half time with a substantial 44-37 lead.

However, the Germans came back again early in the second half, scoring a 0-9 run after the break. Farmar kept his side in the game with a triple and Efes were able to regain the lead before the buzzer. In a thrilling fourth quarter the lead changed hands several times. Nachbar answered Farmar’s layup for a 76-76 tie and the Germans even enjoyed the last ball of the game, but Jacobsen missed a game-winning layup with only two seconds to go. Roared on by the cheers of its crowd Efes took control in the overtime that followed, helped by a Savanovic triple, and did not look back from then.

The Istanbul side will now play Zalguiris Kaunas in Lithuania on March 21, before hosting Unicaja Malaga at home the following week. 

Brose will hope to register its first win in the Euroleague Top 16 stage against fellow Germans Alba Berlin.

Elsewhere Fenerbahçe Ülker lost 87-67 to Caja Laboral in Spain. The Istanbul side, with no options left, drop to 2-9 in the Group E while Caja Laboral improves to 6-5 maintaining their play-off chances. Andres Nocioni, Maciej Lampe and Fabien Causeue all added 12 points for Caja Labora. Bo McCalebb led Fenerbahçe with 16 points.