Fenerbahce Istanbul won Game 1 of the Turkish Super Lig Final with the final score of 85-76 against their cross-town rivals Anadolu Efes. As expected, it was a tight game almost until the end in the Ulker Sports Arena and we can expect an interesting series going forward too.
While it was a tight game, Efes had the lead only in the first quarter and their biggest lead was just 4 points (7-11). Ergin Ataman’s team won the opening quarter, but after that, the home team, pushed from the back by the amazing atmosphere created by their fans, took control of the game and won the next 3 quarters. Efes managed to get back in the game in the fourth quarter, cutting the deficit to 6 points with just a few minutes to go, but a few clutch plays by veteran Nando De Colo clinched the game for the yellow side. The French guard finished with 13 points, while another veteran, Jan Vesely was the MVP of the game with 17 points and 7 rebounds. For Efes, Rodrigue Beaubois was the top scorer with 20 points.
The back to back EuroLeague champions had to play without their star player Vasilije Micic. The Serbian guard who won the EuroLeague Final Four MVP award just a few weeks ago got injured in the semifinal against Galatasaray and for now, it’s unclear when he will return, but he is expected to play at some point in this Finals series.
Also, there are some interesting situations surrounding the two teams that could affect their performance in these finals. First, Fenerbahce coach Sasha Djordjevic will leave the team after the Final (the name of the new coach is already known, as it’s almost sure that Dimitris Itoudis will take over the team). This means that many players will also leave the team in the summer, including Jan Vesely who might go to Barcelona. On the other side, there are also roster changes going on even if the domestic league final is still ongoing. Efes already announced the arrival of Will Clyburn and Ante Zizic is also very likely to sign with the team for next season. It remains to be seen if these rumors will affect the players, especially those that will most likely leave in the offseason.
Image credit: Fenerbahce Beko