By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Crvena Zvezda Meridianbet Belgrade was in urgent need of a win and despite facing the former champs, they simply had to get it.
The Serbs beat Anadolu Efes 97-83, getting to a 4-7 record and stopping losing ground in the standings while keeping the Turks to 5-6 on a five-team tie for the 10th spot.
Luka Mitrovic with 19 points and Nemanja Nedovic with 23 made things happen for Crvena Zvezda.
“We are not giving up on this season, this game can be a turning point like it was against Efes last season for another team I know”, Nedovic said, referring to Partizan’s win over the Turks last year.
Joel Bolomboy added 13 points and Yago Dos Santos scored 15.
On the other side, the duo of Shane Larkin (21 p.) and Willy Clyburn (17 p.) tried their best but it was not enough.
Two key second-half runs for Zvezda
In a balanced game during the first half, Anadolu Efes got a 49-40 lead just before halftime with newcomer Mika Daum scoring 10 points in less than six minutes of action.
Thanks to a three by Teodosic, Zvezda trimmed the lead to six (49-43) before the third period where the tables were turned.
With the hosts scoring 27 points in seven minutes, they got a 70-63 lead as Nedovic scored 13 points in the quarter.
However, Efes reacted with a 7-2 run and the two teams entered the last period with the Serbs leading by two (72-70).
Zvezda’s answer was a 6-0 run to make an 8-point game (78-70) and that was the end of it.
As Zvezda coach Giannis Sfairopoulos said: “I’m smiling because this is a big win, against a very strong opponent. I’m satisfied because we wanted the win badly and to get back on track after the defeat against Milan. The difference in the second half started with defense and I want to congratulate Lazic and Lazarevic for their effort against Larkin”.
Photo credit: EuroLeague