Will Clyburn hands Efes the win in Bologna

2022-11-25T22:36:10+00:00 2022-11-25T23:54:09+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

25/Nov/22 22:36


Turning on the heat in the third and holding on in the fourth quarter, Anadolu Efes balances its W-L tally in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague

By Eurohoops Team/ info@eurohoops.net

In a fiery battle between the reigning Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and 7DAYS EuroCup champions, Anadolu Efes ran away with the win, 85-80, against Virtus Segafredo Bologna in PalaDozza Friday.

With a 16-point advantage cut to one point entering the final minute of the Regular Season Round 10 contest, Will Clyburn connected a clutch three-pointer. The former EuroLeague champion, first-season player of the Istanbul outfit, ended up with a team-high 21 points plus seven rebounds and four assists.

“The key was we kept fighting on the defensive end, getting stops and rebounds. It fueled offense,” was his immediate reaction, “Everybody showed up to play. Everybody made big-time shots in the second half. I am glad we got the win.”

Ergin Ataman’s side led for most of the first half but by slim margins. An 8-0 sprint shaped the first double-digit lead with 5:02 remaining in the third quarter. Behind a brief flurry of effective shooting from outside, the distance grew to 16 points.

Also dealing with a rough shooting night, Vu Nere almost came all the way back from being down 16 points. Successful plays in defense helped them get back in shooting distance. The momentum was temporarily halted as Milos Teodosic was issued a technical foul for protesting a call and was tossed on a fifth foul. The experienced Serbian guard had six points, four assists, and two rebounds.

Narrowly holding on with Isaia Cordinier missing the opportunity to tie, 83-83, in the dying seconds of the tight affair, Efes paired wins in Italy over the two-game week and went up to 5-5 overall with a third win in a row. “It is not easy to win here with this atmosphere. A great, very hot atmosphere,” explained Ataman, “We take these two wins. It will be very important for our road. Now, I think we have more confidence. Our road is to start going up in the standings.”

Amath M’Baye put in nine of his 11 points in the third quarter pushing his side to the largest lead of the game. Delivering more French help, Rodrigue Beaubois checked in 19 points with 5/8 field goals and pulled down eight rebounds.

“It was a very hard game. We knew that this team will not give up. They fight from the beginning to the end,” said Beaubois following a game-high PIR of 30, “I am happy we found a way to stick together and play hard. We got the win.”

“I think we played very good basketball in both games,” the winning head coach, Ataman, summed up the perfect week through Italy, “We played great defense. For tonight, we had the chance to win the game easier, but we made a lot of turnovers, especially so many turnovers from the point guard.” He was referring to Vasilije Micic who got 12 points but also recorded eight turnovers, including four in crunch time.

Gabriel Iffe Lundberg turned in a season-high 22 points behind 9/14 field goals but to no avail. Jordan Mickey and Semi Ojeleye finished with 15 points each. On the injury list, Tornike Shengelia (ankle) was out alongside Awudu Abass (knee). Youngsters Leo Menalo (back) and Gora Camara were sidelined as well.

“I am absolutely proud of the effort our players do every single day. That’s not news,” mentioned play-caller Sergio Scariolo, “Unfortunately, we had some little mistakes due to lack of experience… We are gaining experience. We fought until the very end against the two-time EuroLeague champion.”

“If more than half of the team has gained a quite high level of experience in its first EuroLeague season, it’s a good sign,” he added, “We can become an even better defensive team, and move the ball to take a very open shot. We need to have that patience to keep on moving our opponents. Our effort every day is to gain the next EuroLeague season by giving our best”.

For Efes, Shane Larkin (finger) sat out once more but can become available for his season debut as early as next week. Among other players not suiting up were Dogus Balbay and Egehan Arna. Back home, the next EuroLeague game is at home against Olympiacos Thursday. In Turkey’s BSL and looking to jump to 6-1, a visit to Manisa Sunday comes up before the collision with the Reds.

Playing in his country for the visiting team, Italy international Achille Polonara was held to two points in ten minutes. “Polonara is lacking the three-point shot, unlike M’Baye. But we decided to put him in the starting five in the last three games and he’s giving us confidence,” Ataman shared the plan in the postgame press conference, “When Larkin will come back, we will play more running game and high-paced basketball, and I think he will improve.”

“Tonight Pajola was the best for Virtus. I really like him, he always gives 100% on defense with that intensity and aggressiveness,” he added commenting on 23-year-old point guard Alessandro Pajola producing five points in 16 minutes for the hosts.

The third loss at home sent Scariolo’s side to 4-6. The Bologna outfit will welcome Happy Casa Brindisi gunning for an 8-0 start in Italy’s LBA Serie A Sunday. Moving to Round 11 of EuroLeague slides in the visit to Crvena Zvezda mts Friday.

Photo Credit: EuroleagueBasketball.net