Farmar, Erden lead Anadolu Efes to big road win against Alba Berlin
Former NBA star Jordan Farmar led Efes with 23 points in Berlin. AA photoAnadolu Efes took a huge step toward the playoff stage of the Euroleague by beating Alba Berlin in Germany 86-91 and maintaining their second place rank in Group F. Still deprived of former NBA star Sasha Vujacic, the Istanbul side still managed to recover from their disappointing loss in Athens against Panathinaikos last week and could mathematically clinch a playoffs spot with a victory in a home game against another German club, Brose Basket. For the Alba players, who dropped to a record low of 1-9, however, the defeat sealed their elimination after the Top 16 stage.
The victory was not an easy one for Anadolu Efes as the Turkish side had to hold off a resurgent Alba during the second half. Anadolu Efes had a slow entry in the game, Alba quickly taking the lead 10-3 in the early minutes of the game, capping a 7-0 run. However, Efes’s Americans, Jordan Farmar and Jamon Lucas, stepped in to take back the scoring advantage for the Turkish club. The visitors were ahead at the end of the first quarter 28-24. During the second quarter Alba equalized the score twice but Efes Anadolu managed to maintain the gap containing the German players’ rallies.
The Istanbul side started the second half with more intensity, quickly increasing their lead to 46-54. However, a 12-0 run with DeShaun Wood and Nihad Djedovic’s points put Alba ahead again 64-58. Anadolu eventually managed to tie the game 68-68 thanks to a buzzer-beating three-pointer by Sinan Güler.
The offensive festival continued in the fourth quarter with Efes Anadolu escaping and Alba coming back in the score. Semih Erden’s successive points and later a block to Ali Traore proved decisive as Efes cruised to a hard-fought win.
Farmar led Efes with 23 points, while Semih Erden’s 12 points and 8 rebounds also proved to be crucial for the victory. Kerem Tunçeri and Güler each clinched 10 points. Wood had an excellent game for Alba with 24 points. Ali Traore and Zach Morley added 12 apiece for the German side.
Anadolu Efes will now host a still winless Brose Basket in Istanbul on March 14, before playing critical games against struggling playoff contenders Zalguiris Kaunas and Unicaja Malaga.