By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
Five players scored in double figures for Anadolu Efes as the Turkish team routed Zalgiris Kaunas 89 – 62 at home to capture its seventh win in a row in EuroLeague and do it once again in a highly dominant fashion.
Shane Larkin scored a team-high 18 points and had four steals, Vasilije Micic added 17 points while Sertac Sanli and Rodrigue Beaubois dropped 12 points apiece. Krunoslav Simon had 12 points to complete the winning puzzle for Efes that assumed a 26 – 12 lead in the first quarter and went on to hold absolute control for the rest of the match.
“We feel good. Obviously we’ve been playing well lately, winning our last few games in a good way, so we feel like we have momentum right now and are playing at our best level of the season,” Larkin said. “This is the most important time to play well. A lot of people were questioning us early in the year but I think we’re going out every single night now and proving who we are.”
Thomas Walkup (15 points, eight assists), Marius Grigonis (14 points) and Augustine Rubit (13 points, eight rebounds) stood out from Zalgiris that was unable to stop or match the offensive show of its opponents. This loss brings the Kaunas side to 15 – 14 and below the playoffs zone.
“The story of the game for me started on the defensive end,” Zalgiris coach Martin Schiller said. “We could never really get a grip on them. In the first five minutes I thought we got some good looks which we couldn’t convert, and it helps morale if you make some shots. But the bottom line is defensively we are not satisfied.”
On one hand, Efes coach Ergin Ataman was, again, pleased with how his players performed. On the other, he wouldn’t say no to some extra buckets from the 3-point line.
“Congratulations to my players. Another victory with great hustle, great basketball, great defense,” Ataman said. “Although we missed a lot of open three-point shots, and we could maybe have made a new record. We made 15 three-point shots but we missed a lot of open shots. But perfect defense, perfect teamwork, so good win. We take the victory and the head to head advantage. It’s good, and we continue our run.”
“On defense we were very aggressive and on offense we shared the ball well, everybody touched the ball,” Ataman added. “We will continue on this road because we want to go higher in the standings.”
Photo: EuroLeague Basketball