On Friday night we`ll witness a very big match in the Turkish Finals, with a lot of tension, nerves and emotions: Anadolu Efes vs Fenerbahce Istanbul. This year the TBL`s Champion will be decided in Game 7, something that last time happened in the 2013-2014 season when Fenerbahce won 4-3 over Galatasaray.
For a match like this, the words are almost useless because everything can happen here. Of course, Anadolu will play on home court in front of their fans and that can play a huge factor in the game`s final score. Anadolu`s fans wait for a basketball title since 2009, when they beat, guess who? Fenerbahce Istanbul by 4-2. So it`s been 10 years since the last triumph for Efes in the National League and this year they will aim to stop this championship drought. They were runner-ups in 2015 and 2016, but never this close to a championship title.
The tension before the game is very high. In game 5 Fenerbahce accused Anadolu for not allocating an ambulance for Luigi Datome after suffering a head injury in a rebound battle. On the other hand, Anadolu`s coach, Ergin Ataman stated that he was the main target for Fenerbahce`s fans verbal abuse, so he decided not to take his family with him because he didn`t want to “take a risk”. Therefore in Game 7, Fenerbahce`s fans were banned, so that will make it even harder for Fenerbahce to win on Anadolu`s home soil.
The finals began with a big win from Fenerbahce in game 1, 73-56 and everybody was scared that this final act will end sooner than we thought. But Anadolu managed to win game 2 and game 3, on Fenerbahce`s Arena, 74-57, so the chances were re-balanced. After this moment every team won their home court games, and that results in a long waited and wanted Game 7, a game where everything is possible and every scenario is open.
As a personal opinion, I think Anadolu will win in the Turkish Finals. Both teams are equal; both teams have very good rosters and played very good basketball throughout the entire year. But the final result will be on Anadolu`s side, just because of their home court advantage. It will be a “hell ride” for Fenerbahce in Sinan Erdem Dome. I also expect to see another big game from Shane Larkin and Vasilije Micic. Good luck for both teams.
Bogdan Vasile Tirc