An exciting week passed for EuroLeague and the source of this excitement was derby matches. Especially, Turkish basketball lovers couldn’t wait for Anadolu Efes – Fenerbahce Beko game. This game was so important for both sides because this was going to show the level of their basketball until then, pluses and minuses of their general performance. On Fenerbahce side, the roles of players have almost settled and the synergy between team mates and coach seemed strong even they were new to each other. Barthel was out of squad because of the injury. On Efes side, there was a bit of despondency because of the previous defeat. Some fans expected that Efes of last year was about to sparkle with or without Shane Larkin but that thought was still far away from the reality.
First attack came from Fenerbahce. Ulanovas got screen from Colo and took the ball over 3 pts line, found Vesely in color zone. Vesely found Lorenzo for 3 but the shot was resultless. But Vesely took the offensive rebound, again passed the ball to Ulanovas for another 3 pts and this time Fenerbahce got its first points. For an answer, Simon found Moerman outside after double team and Moerman finished with 3 pts. Colo, again, went for a screen to get Ahmet free from press and got himself outside. Vesely took the ball from Lorenzo over 3 pts line, played 1-1. When he got double team, he (again**) found Ulanovas for a successful 3 pts. This pattern became a classic for Fenerbahce. Simon played 1-1 after Pleiss screen when he found a mismatch with Ahmet and used it for 2 pts for his team. Micic tried mismatch with Vesely twice but both attempts were resultless. Colo played fast and found Ulanovas. Ulanovas couldn’t finished after he went for a lay up. Micic found Simon fast, Simon played 1-1 at low post against Colo and his attempt to the basket was successful. Simon also made a good defense and made Micic steal the ball. Efes couldn’t take the chance of transition game but after a good pas traffic, Simon got the ball from Dogus at the corner and found the 3 pts. Dixon found Melih at reverse side. Melih passed Dogus while penetration and finished well. Lorenzo also used a mismatch after screen and he finished with 2 pts while making Dunston get foul. The quarter finished with 23-16 score.
In second quarter, the number of turnovers for Fenerbahce was rising. Micic was still slogging on being in play fully. 3 pts attempts of Micic, Beaubois and Singleton failed. Hamilton went for screen, Colo penetrated from bottom and passed Melih from low post. Melih finished with a great 3 pts shot. Again, Micic and Simon failed with 3 pts shots to make points. Melih played against Simon, he couldn’t finish but Hamilton flied for a chasedown dunk. Colo used mismatch with Dunston after Hamilton’s screen. He made 2 pts while making Dunston get foul just like that Lorenzo did. Pleiss used his shooting talent to come back and after screen he finished with 3 pts. Assist came from Simon. Colo used a 2 pts shot but when he missed, Hamilton got the rebound and finished with an amazing dunk over two players. But Pleiss was about to answer back and he took the ball at the downside of the court, Hamilton stayed behind him and Pleiss finished with dunk. Shot attempts from both sides were fruitless. But then, Lorenzo played pick & roll with Vesely and Vesely made the score in free zone. Micic got the ball to front court fast, found Anderson. Anderson made 3 pts after screen of Pleiss. Micic added another 3 pts to the score. A bad pass choice came from Pleiss, Colo stole the ball and Lorenzo finished with fast break. Colo used shots with 3 pts after screen twice, contributing to the score. The half finished with 35-42 score.
Micic and Moerman tried to start the third quarter with 3 pts but their wish didn’t come true. Lorenzo got screen from Ahmet and Ahmet finished Lorenzo’s score attempt with a chasedown screen. Beaubois played double with Pleiss and found Micic at reverse forward zone, took back and found Simon for a nice 3 pts shot. Vesely contributed to score with 2 pts shot. Micic found a mismatch with Ahmet and went towards basket. He made 2 pts which came with basket foul. But he couldn’t make another point from free throw. Simon stole the ball when Lorenzo tried to pass Ahmet, played pick & roll with Dunston, Dunston found Moerman’s penetration very well but the result didn’t come. Ulanovas stole the ball after a good double team, Vesely found him at the corner but his 3 pts shot was unsuccessful. Colo used mismatch and found another 2 pts. Efes’s shooting attempts failed until Beaubois made 3 pts against Eddie. 14th turnover came from Fenerbahce and Simon made 3 pts freely after Dogus’ nice pass. Lorenzo made a long pass to Eddie and Eddie answered with 3 pts. After Beaubois failed 3 pts shot, Lorenzo found Dixon fast this time and Dixon finished with a nice 3 pts shot. Eddie went out of play with 5 fouls. The quarter finished with 54-61 score.
When it came to the last quarter, Micic passed Lorenzo on 1-1 but Hamilton’s timing was very good that he made Micic get offensive foul. After Colo’s double play with Hamilton, Pierre tried to play 1-1 but a block came from Dunston. Anderson found 3 pts with a shot over dribbling. Simon also used a hard shot and added 3 pts to the score. Ulanovas made 2 pts with chasedown after Colo’s failed attempt. Bugrahan tried to play 1-1 with Pierre but block came from Pierre and Bugrahan got a foul in addition. But the number of Fenerbahce’s turnovers keep rising. Added to this, Colo made an offensive foul. Pierre played 1-1 at the corner and then found Lorenzo for an outside shot. Lorenzo finished with 3 pts. Pierre also contributed to the score with a successful low post play. Efes tried to press with double team in the front court but Fenerbahce overcame this and Vesely finished with a dunk in color zone. Efes’ offense wasn’t effective to answer back. Colo found a fast break after stealing the ball. Beaubois insisted on attacking and finished with a reverse lay-up. With Lorenzo’s hard but successful lay-up, Vesely’s beautiful dunk after Colo’s ball stealing and Simon’s last second 3 pts shot, the match finished with 71-80 score.
The leadership was expected from Micic but instead he tried to stay up with his personal score attempts. Vesely showed that he is not only good at rebounds but also finding free players for outside shots, he finished the match with double-double. Colo was a combo, he made score and good defense beyond the leadership for the team, took the use of Efes’ false choices. Ulanovas made 3 pts shots a classic after his well-known low post plays. Pleiss made good defense and contributed with his shooting feature. Dixon showed that his soul was younger than his age and his game was still fresh. Dogus was still a key player for pressing defense. He made 100th ball stealing of his EuroLeague career in this match. Lorenzo didn’t hesitate to go towards basket, came with successful outside shots and double plays. Hamilton was there to support his team mates with chasedowns. Pierre came forward with rebounds. Contributions came from Eddie, Melih and Ahmet on Fenerbahce side and Beaubois, Dunston and Anderson on Efes side. Fenerbahce has broken the club record with 48 rebounds and also has given hope for next levels of EuroLeague but still has to fix turnover problems to get even further. Larkin’s comeback is still a riddle and Micic’s role decision will be a fit factor for performance of Anadolu Efes in next weeks.