Ergin Ataman on Anadolu Efes season: “Nothing is lost yet”

2023-03-13T11:03:34+00:00 2023-03-13T11:07:17+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

13/Mar/23 11:03

Anadolu Efes reaching the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Playoffs proves much more challenging than anticipated

By Johnny Askounis/

It doesn’t look good for Anadolu Efes with only seven games left in the double-legged round-robin schedule of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season. The team coached by Ergin Ataman sits 1.5 games away from the Playoffs zone.

In a suspended contest stemming from Round 24, the Istanbul outfit will play host to Real Madrid tomorrow, Tuesday. Staying in Europe’s premier club continental competition but in a quick turnaround, it will be Partizan Mozzart Bet’s turn to visit Thursday.

“The postponed game being scheduled this week is bad for us, especially before the most important game versus Partizan,” mentioned the Turkish tactician following the away win against Bahcesehir Koleji in BSL Regular Season Round 20 action Sunday.

“This is an important week,” Ataman furthered, “Nothing is lost yet. We have five more games at home. That’s why we need to defeat Real Madrid and then focus on Partizan with boosted confidence.”

Sitting in third place of Turkey’s top division behind Fenerbahce Beko and Turk Telekom, Efes improved to 15-5 with Shane Larkin, Elijah Bryant, and Vasilije Micic all suiting up in Ulker Sports Arena.

“Reviewing the game, we had physical and mental fatigue due to the loss against Maccabi,” he assessed the performance of his players two days after the disappointing loss to Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv, “We had a good reaction after the first five minutes. We played with energy, were active, and defended well. We need to score more points. We can’t score as much as we want.”

“The first reason, of course, is that our guards are out of rhythm,” he referred to the main factor, arguably, leading to back-to-back EuroLeague championships, “Micic gave us hope before the important games next week. Larkin and Elijah also played well. We need to increase our tempo a little more to combine good defense with a fast offense.”

Yet to be cleared for game action, Rodrigue Beaubois was labeled as doubtful to play against Madrid by Ataman. Team captain Dogus Balbay is recovering from left hip surgery in December. However, the rest of the players are expected to be available through the crucial week.

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