Efes bounces back against Unics and gets the first win

2021-10-21T20:56:01+00:00 2021-10-21T22:50:06+00:00.

Stefan Djordjevic

21/Oct/21 20:56


Elijah Bryant put on a strong debut for Anadolu Efes as he helped spark the comeback against Unics and give his team the first win in EuroLeague this season

By Eurohoops team/ info@eurohoops.net

Anadolu Efes couldn’t count on Vasilije Micic, Krunoslav Simon, James Anderson, and Dogus Balbay for the clash against UNICS Kazan but managed to pull off a EuroLeague win with 71-68 on the scoreboard.

It was far from an easy road to victory. The hosts were down most of the game including by 51-44 near the end of the third quarter. However, a triple by Erten Gazi to finish the period gave Efes the momentum needed to go on a 12-2 run and take over the lead.

Elijah Bryant made his debut for the Turkish team and was instrumental in the comeback with 14 points. He wasn’t alone in the effort with Rodrigue Beaubois scoring 14 and Tibor Pleiss 12 points.

Adrien Moerman added ten points (and nine rebounds) including a dagger three-pointer for a 67-60 lead at the two-minute mark.

For UNICS, Lorenzo Brown logged 16 points, five rebounds, four assists in addition to Isaiah Canaan’s 16 and Mario Hezonja’s 13 points, seven boards, five assists.

The much-anticipated debut in EuroLeague by O.J. Mayo finally came as spent ten minutes on the court for UNICS but the former NBAer didn’t dazzle, not even close. He shot 0-3 from the field, made one turnover, got blocked once, and committed a foul. One steal completed his stat line.

After this Round 5 clash, Efes finally got its first win and will have to work much more to recover from a 1-4 start. Unics is in a similar situation with the same 1-4 record.

Welcomed win but much room for improvement

Elijah Bryant was happy with the win but also noted that there is much room to improve, starting with himself.

“I think it was a great win, but I think there is great room for improvement, specifically myself – I missed 2 free throws that I shouldn’t have missed. At the end of the day, we got a win and that is all that matters. We are just keeping getting better each and every single day. I am tired; I think I am a bit jet-lagged, still. I got here yesterday night, or two days ago, but it is basketball. It is the same thing everywhere, getting out there and getting my lungs under me. The guys started me, coach trusted me… it is basketball, so it was fun.”

Coach Ergin Ataman shared a similar view and stressed how this is far from the team that was among the best in EuroLeague for the past three years. That makes this win so much more important.

“Of course, I am happy that we won this game. One more game, we played terrible. This is not our basketball. This is not the basketball that we played in the last three years, but without three guards, main players, I see that we did an excellent job to catch Elijah Bryant up in the last minute, because he helped us win. In the last 5 minutes, Moerman finally found his shot because in a day that we play terrible, it is important to win. I hope that our injured players will come back and we will start to play our regular basketball. This is not our basketball, but anyway, we found the way to win.”