By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Anadolu Efes trailed by eight at halftime (44-36) but with two straight three-pointers by Adrien Moerman at the start of the third period, the tables were turned.
Efes dominated ALBA Berlin with a 26-9 partial score in the third quarter and went on to get the easy 84-76 win.
“We played tougher in the third quarter”, explained Moerman after the game. “We were behind by eight points, but we kept playing our game and played more aggressively. This is why we won. A lot of players can be aggressive on this team, and we did that in the third quarter and second half.”
Moerman finished the game with 15 points and eight rebounds, Vasilje Micic scored also 15 and dished eight assists, Shane Larkin followed with 15 points and six assists, while Bryant Dunston just missed the double-double with nine points and nine assists.
For Efes coach Ergin Ataman, it was all about the change of the defensive mentality of his team: “In the second half, we improved our aggressiveness on the ball, and we played much better one-on-one isolation defense. In the first half, ALBA had 14 points in isolation and 17 on the fastbreak. We stopped this at the beginning of the second half, then we found our tempo. The defense was very important because after the rebound we started to push the ball and play our game”.
Jayson Granger once more was the leader of ALBA with 17 points, Ben Lammers added 14, but when Efes finally clicked after a mediocre first half, the Germans couldn’t keep up. After all, ALBA is still missing Luke Sikma and Niels Giffey due to injury and was coached by Israel Gonzalez, because Aito Garcia Reneses remains in self-quarantine after a positive COVID test.
That was the 10th win of Efes, which still tried to get to the playoffs and got to a winning record (10-9), while ALBA dropped to 7-12.