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Efes stays alive, advantage for Real

By Aris Barkas/

After overtime and a buzzer beater by 23 years old guard Dogus Balbay, Anadolu Efes beat Besiktas 84-82 in Game 5 of Turkish finals on Friday night. Besiktas still have the advantage by leading 3-2 the best of seven series and can win the championship on Monday at their home court, but Efes proved that they will not surrender.

Kerem Gonlum (19 p., 6 r.) and former NBA player Sasha Vujasic (18 p. 5 r.) were the best for the winners, even thought Balbay stole the show in the end. For Besiktas former NBA player Carlos Arroyo had one more big game with 20 points and 8 assists.

In Spain, Real Madrid shocked Barcelona and beat the Catalans at their home court 75-69. The finals are tied at 1-1 and the next two games of the best of five series will be played at Madrid. Sergio Rodriguez with 14 points and 4 assist was the leader of Real. On the other hand the performance of Erazem Lorbek (22 p., 5 r.) was not enough for Barcelona.

In Belgium there is a new champion. Oostende got the title in a dramatic way after overtime in Game 5 of the finals against defending champions Spirou Charleroi by beating them 75-74 (3-2). American guard Matt Lojeski was the man of the moment, hitting a last second three that gave the win in Oostende. He also had 18 points and 10 rebounds and his teammate Kennedy Winston added 14 points and 9 rebounds. Spirou got 19 points by Demont Mallet.

In France, Chalon/Saone made an incredible come back in the last quarter with a partial score 35-21, beat Orleans 83-81 and qualified to the finals by 2-1 wins. American guard Blake Schilb with 19 points was the top scorer of the winners, but the best player on the court was Orleans’ Cedrick Banks who scored 29 points (7/12 3p.).

Finally in Serbia, Crvena Zvezda beat Partizan 68-56 and the best of five finals series is tied (1-1). It was a game controlled by Zvezda with American forward Omar Thomas (18 p., 7 r.) leading the way. Miroslav Raduljica with 17 points and 7 rebounds tried his best for Partizan.

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