Efes seeking win over Brose for ticket to playoffs
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Anadolu Efes forward Dusko Savanovic is guarded by three Brose Baskets players during the two teams’ first meeting in the Euroleague. AA photoAnadolu Efes hopes to clinch a berth in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague playoffs with a win over Brose Baskets tonight.
Sitting second behind Real Madrid in the Group E, Efes is on a 8-2 winning record and plans to guarantee its place in the last eight of the group stage in the top basketball competition in Europe.
If Efes beats Brose tonight and Group E leader Real Madrid knocks off Unicaja tomorrow, the top two teams will go through.
Bamberg, which sits last in the group at 0-10, has been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.
Efes coach Oktay Mahmuti said the team seeks a win to make it to the playoffs.
“We must approach all games with seriousness and discipline no matter which team we are playing against,” the coach said. “If we win against Brose Baskets we will get one more step closer to the playoffs. Maybe will guarantee according to the results of other games in our group. But our aim is to finish our group in the first two rows to have the home court advantage in playoffs. If we put our own game on court I think that we can win the game.”
In the two teams’ first meeting in January, Efes used a big fourth quarter to pull away from Brose for a 76-94 victory. Sasha Vujacic led seven Efes scorers in double figures with 17 points and eight rebounds and Jordan Farmar chimed in with 15 points and seven assists. Efes will no doubt look for the same contributions from its backcourt this time at home.
Bamberg has a different look since that game, with Teddy Gipson, a key scorer that night with 16 points, no longer on the roster, while Matt Walsh and Jeremiah Massey have improved coach Chris Fleming’s lineup.
“It doesn’t get easier for us, Istanbul is obviously a very good team with a lot of good players,” Walsh said. “We are already eliminated, so we just have to go out and play free and as hard as we can. Every time we play we expect to win, so we want to give ourselves a chance at the end like we did in Madrid.”
Walsh will not have it easy though with Efes boasting one of the league’s top defenders, Jamon Lucas, on him. Anton Gavel, Casey Jacobsen and Karsten Tada join Walsh in a backcourt that will have to deal with not only Farmar and Vujacic, but playmaker Kerem Tunçeri and athletic wing Sinan Güler off the bench. Efes features great depth inside with centers Semih Erden and Stanko Barac and power forwards Dusko Savanovic and Kerem Gönlüm.
Another Turkish team in the competition, Fenerbahçe Ülker visits Caja Laboral in a Group F game tonight.
The Yellow Canaries are seeking their third win in 11 matches, although they have virtually lost hopes of qualifying for the next round in the competition.
Also tonight, Maccabi Electra hosts BC Khimki and Montepaschi Siena takes on Olympiacos in the Group F.