By Eurohoops team / firstname.lastname@example.org
“We played smarter in the second half and I think all the guys showed great character and that’s something we have to show every game. I never feel pressure, I’m so happy to be part of a team that has so much talent”, commented Micic on EuroLeague TV after the game.
Micic left the court with 22 points, 9 assists, and 5 rebounds, as the Frenchman tapped 19 points and 7 rebounds.
Despite missing Shane Larkin (he suffered an ankle injury at the Turkish Cup and has been sidelined since mid-February), the visiting side got great help from Tibor Pleiss (18 points), Rodrigue Beaubois (15 points) and Krunoslav Simon (11 points), who all stepped up to lead their team to their 11th straight victory.
ALBA went for the surprise of the round and put on a challenge to their visitors for nearly three quarters, with Martin Hermansson and Rokas Giedraitis leading their team with 19 and 17 points each, though Efes‘ quality showed throughout the game. The hosts tried to turn the tables on the Turkish team in the fourth period, trimming the deficit to 10 points (86-76, 35’), though Micic was there to save the day.
The playoffs hunt
Already-qualified Efes improved to a 23-3 record and still remains the leader of the competition, though things are getting tougher for the German side. Only two victories behind Khimki Moscow who currently ranks 8th in the standings and with a 9-17 record, and still with lots of ground to cover to remain in playoffs sight, since 7 more teams are on the hunt for a playoffs spot.