Anadolu Efes plays for ticket to Top 16
Zagreb’s Miro Bilan (L) vies with Efes’ Semih Erden in the teams’ first match. AFP photoAnadolu Efes looks to punch the ticket to the Top 16 stage of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague tonight when it meets Cedevita Zagreb.
The Istanbul team is on the third spot of the Group C at the top-level European basketball competition with four wins and three defeats out of seven matches. The Croatian side is fifth with two wins. The top four teams will advance to the next stage.
Zalgiris Kaunas, with a 6-1 record, has already booked its place in the Top 16, while Olympiacos is on the second spot with 5-2.
Spain’s Caja Laboral (1-6) takes on EA7 Milan (3-4) in the other game in the Group C.
This will be the first game Cedevita Zagreb will play with Aleksandar “Aco” Petrovic at the helm after Bozidar Maljkovic surprisingly stepped down from his post.
Anadolu Efes coach Oktay Mahmuti said that the change in personnel will make things tricky for his team.
“Cedevita Zagreb will play its first game after changing the coach,” he said. “Probably there will be some changes. As I have said before the first game against Cedevita Zagreb, they have got many talented players who have Euroleague experience. We would like to play our own game and win at the end.”
Efes point guard Kerem Tunçeri added that the team eyes a victory no matter the circumstances.
“To guarantee finishing the regular season in the first four places of our group it will a very important game for us,” he said. “Cedevita Zagreb changed its coach. With their new coach there may be some changes in their system. Anyway we will go to Zagreb to win the game.”