Luke Sikma dunks and brings down Efes in Berlin

2023-03-23T22:00:46+00:00 2023-03-23T22:53:10+00:00.

Bojan Brezovac

23/Mar/23 22:00
Micic - Alba

Luke Sikma scored a game-winning bucket for ALBA in Berlin as Anadolu Efes falls short again in what felt like the end of an era

Βy Eurohoops team/

Anadolu Efes had the dream of a rare EuroLeague three-peat, but after what happened in Berlin, this may stay just a dream.

Being down 19 in the second quarter, Efes managed to get back in the game against ALBA.

However, in the end, it was all for nothing as the German team managed to escape with the win as Luke Sikma scored the game-winning bucket dunking the ball after an offensive rebound for a 95-93 victory.

As Maodo Lo said who missed the lay up which ended up being Sikma’s dunk: “That’s what Luke does. He is active on the offensive rebounds so that’s a play I expected from him. He was there and we are just happy we were able to win against this very talented team. The momentum was on their side after they cut the deficit but we got some wind after making some tough shots to come out on top today.”

“We won’t play the playoffs”

Efes is now on an impossible mission to get to the playoffs with only four games remaining. The raining champions have 14 wins, while Zalgiris is in the number eight spot with 15 wins and still has a game to play this round against Fenerbahce in Istanbul.

While in theory, they can still make it, coach Ergin Ataman was blunt after the game: “We won’t play the playoffs. Good luck to the other teams”

In the press conference, he slightly altered his prediction, giving to Efes just a 1% chance to make it.

A big night by Micic but…

An incredible game by Vasilje Micic was not enough. The Serbian point guard scored 30 points, and Will Clyburn followed with 19.

On the other side, Jaleen Smith led the way for ALBA with 25 points, while Sikma added nine points, five rebounds, eight assists, and the biggest bucket of the night.

Micic and Zizic scored the majority of points for the Turkish side, to be exact 26 points off 40 total by the half. That was just not going to be enough for ALBA, having already lost all playoff hopes, and playing without pressure.  The German team was scoring at will and the half-time score showed just that with a nine-point lead (49-40).

ALBA jumped out to an early second-half double-digit lead that ballooned to 61-42. But against all odds, Efes was not giving up. Will Clyburn was on fire as the home side could not find the answer to Efes’s big 25-7 run to finish the third quarter (68-67).

It was a back-and-forth battle till the end as Micic and Smith traded buckets.

It all led to a crazy finish where Tibor Pleiss scored a big three-pointer, after which Vasilije Micic made a layup, but Tamir Blat even it up with a three-pointer (93-93), setting the stage for Sikma’s big moment.

ALBA Berlin head coach Israel Gonzales didn’t hide his satisfaction: “I am very proud of my players and very happy for them. I think the key today was that we were mentally strong. Efes scored with every shot early on but we stayed focused and gained a big advantage, we kept our focus even after we had lost it. This is very important ahead of the next difficult games we are going to have”.