Ertugrul Erdogan picks Anadolu Efes as slight favorite

2022-05-21T15:48:45+00:00 2022-05-22T09:03:42+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

21/May/22 15:48

Heading to the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague championship game, Anadolu Efes is considered the slight favorite by Ertugrul Erdogan

By Johnny Askounis/

Previewing the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four championship game, Turkish tactician Ertugrul Erdogan talked to Eurohoops’ own Antonis Stroggylakis about Anadolu Efes looking to defend its crown versus Real Madrid in Belgrade’s Stark Arena later today, Saturday (19:00 CET).

“Honestly, it isn’t an easy game. Before the Final Four, I couldn’t pick a frontrunner to win the championship. Both Semifinals were decided by one possession. This means that all four teams are good,” he explained referring to the finalists edging out Olympiacos and FC Barcelona Thursday to clinch a berth in the championship game.

“Now, there is only one game left. Talent-wise, Efes looks closer to the title. But experience-wise Real Madrid can’t be underestimated. I don’t believe it will be an easy game for either side,” he added and locked in his prediction, “I think Efes is closer to winning the championship than Real Madrid.”

A Turkish team will compete for the EuroLeague championship for the sixth time in a row. Fenerbahce made the Final in 2016, 2017, and 2018 capturing the title in the middle attempt. Combined with the championship-game loss in 2019 and after the abandoned 2019-20 campaign, Efes extended the streak to five seasons and won it all in 2021.

“They are most likely going to put [Tibor] Pleiss and of course [Bryant] Dunston on [Edy] Tavares, but basically they never change their game,” Erdogan projected the approach of his country’s team, “In defense and offense, they play the same. It sounds simple but they get results. Probably, they are going to try to control the game via offense.”

“Injuries,” was his immediate reply on the three decisive factors of a Final nodding to Nigel Williams-Goss picking up an injury early in Thursday’s Clasico and being ruled out of the Final, “Second is the players’ performance, especially the guards. And the last one is the coaches’ performance. There are many good coaches here and they all made adjustments for the Semifinals. At this point, you can only adjust one or two things. But I believe [Ergin] Ataman is not going to make a lot of adjustments. I expect more from Pablo Laso’s side.”

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