Galatasaray rises to top after Efes win
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Galatasaray’s Jaka Lakovic is guarded by Efes’ Oliver Lafayette (R) during the derby. AA photoGalatasaray’s Jaka Lakovic is guarded by Efes’ Oliver Lafayette (R) during the derby.
Galatasaray Medical Park took over Anadolu Efes as leader of the Beko Basketball League after a 74-65 win over its Istanbul rival on March 4.
Josh Shipp scored 18 points to lead all scorers, while Jamon Lucas added 16 points, including five rebounds and six assists to lead Galatasaray Medical Park to a crucial victory.
Point guard Kerem Tunçeri led for Anadolu Efes with 14 points, through four rebounds and four assists, but this was not enough to avoid the defeat. The Lions are now on 16-3 at the top of the league, with Banvit and Anadolu Efes, both on 15-4 winning records and Beşiktaş Milangaz, 15-5, trailing.
The match came at the end of a week in which both Galatasaray Medical Park and Anadolu Efes bowed out of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague, the top-level club competition in European basketball.
“The game came with bigger importance after both teams were knocked out of Europe,” Galatasaray assistant coach Recep Şen said after the game. “We defended well and won.”
That was the first league match that Ilias Zouros had been in charge at Anadolu Efes. Greek national team coach Zouros replaced Ufuk Sarıca as Efes manager last week, before suffering a defeat at the hands of CSKA Moscow in the Euroleague.
Despite failing to enjoy a victory in his first two matches, Zouros refused to drown in negativity.
“We need to train hard, especially in terms of defense,” Zouros said. “But I believe we will be ready for the playoffs at the end of the season. We will achieve many things with this group of players.”