Eagles make Euroleague debut, Efes plays at EA7

Eagles make Euroleague debut, Efes plays at EA7

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Eagles make Euroleague debut, Efes plays at EA7

Beşiktaş forward Vladimir Dasic (R) drives to the basket while being defended by Anadolu Efes’ Sasha Vujacic. AA photo

Beşiktaş hosts Partizan in its first-ever Turkish Airlines Euroleague game tonight, while Anadolu Efes visits EA7.

Beşiktaş is pitted in a tough group including two title hopefuls, CSKA Moscow and FC Barcelona Regal, while Brose Baskets and Lietuvos Rytas are also in the Group D. The Istanbul club will try to continue the momentum of a dazzling year in which it landed four trophies: the Turkish league, the Turkish Cup, the Eurochallenge and Turkey’s Presidential Cup.

The Euroleague debutants have many players experienced on this level. Point guard Curtis Jerrells began his Euroleague career with Partizan Belgrade and played at Fenerbahçe Ülker last year.
American center Randal Falker, the latest addition to the Beşiktaş squad, has also made Euroleague appearances with France’s Cholet Basket. Montenegrin forward Vladimir Dasic, formerly of Real Madrid and Union Olimpija, is likely to be key to the realization of Beşiktaş’s European dreams. Veteran Turkish playmaker Tutku Açık, athletic guard Serhat Çetin, resilient forward Cevher Özer and scoring ace Patrick Christopher add depth to the Beşiktaş squad.

There is little doubt that Beşiktaş fans will continue to create their electric atmospheres at the Abdi İpekçi Arena, after powering the team to its first league title in almost four decades. Barcelona Regal hosts Brose Baskets in the other Group D match.

For Efes, the expectations will be high as always, especially after the team suffered a painful Turkish league final series defeat to Beşiktaş and a top-16 exit from the Euroleague.

Turkey’s most decorated basketball club has added former Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Formar to its squad, which already boasted Slovenian sharpshooter Sasha Vujacic, Croatian center Stanko Barac, Turkish playmaker Kerem Tunçeri, Serbian forward Dusko Savanovic and Uruguayan big man Stanko Barac. With new coach Oktay Mahmuti, Efes will try to make a winning start to the Group C.

The highlight of the night will be the Group A clash between Real Madrid and Panathinaikos. In the Group B Montepaschi Siena hosts Alba Berlin.