Ataman: ”Not Every Team Can Achieve This...”

Head coach Ergin Ataman of Anadolu Efes, who won the home game 87-78 against Fenerbahçe Beko in the 4th match of the Türkiye Sigorts Basketball Super League Semi-Finals and reached the finals, shared his views after the game:

"First of all, I would like to congratulate my players for the great character they put on the field. Tonight, we took the lead for most of the game. We started the game well. We finished the first half with an unlucky basket. Nine points ahead, but we missed, we entered the halftime period with Guduric’s own three points scored. We fell back for a while. We fell back two points, three points, but we recovered quickly. We were the side that controlled the game throughout the match. Melih did a great job in Fenerbahçe Beko. After entering the game, he helped them in the game, especially in the last minutes, but in the end, he deserved the match. I especially congratulate my players who showed great character throughout the series. It's not easy, Fenerbahçe Beko is a big team, a big Euroleague team. Maybe a team that narrowly missed the Euroleague championship. They missed the Final Four with Sloukas' last-second basket. But after we conceded 42 points, everyone made fun of us and said, "This is over, Anadolu Efes is over, Anadolu Efes is on vacation, Anadolu Efes is out of season”. Our players showed great character and they already turned the game there, both on the opponent's field and here. We won by using our field advantage very well. Not every team can do this. Now we will wait for our opponent in the final. Elijah Bryant played very well throughout this series. He did not fail our trust in him. When you look at it, we actually left out our player, Beaubois, who was in the best form throughout the season, even in the first round of the playoffs. After losing the first game, we made a tactical change and put M'baye there and pulled Elijah to Beaubois' scorer role. He also put on a really great character. I congratulate him. Of course, congratulations to all the players. In other words, everyone contributed very seriously throughout this series at various moments. Larkin's performance and Clyburn's excellent 35-point performance were very important, especially in the match we won at Ülker Arena. After the first game in this series, Zizic fell ill and we couldn't play him because he actually got sick in the second game, because he had a serious infection. We put Pleiss on and after we saw him playing great, we continued with him. All the players contributed very well. Now, this battle will continue in the final series. There will be a tough opponent. Will Pınar be in Karşıyaka? Will it be Turk Telekom? We will continue on our way. Our goal is not only to beat Fenerbahçe Beko and reach the final. Fenerbahce Beko was a very serious obstacle for us on the way to the championship. He was a serious competitor. We have overcome it, now we will rest for a day and start the preparations for the final. Larkin actually has a very serious injury. He made a great sacrifice by playing today. Frankly, we wouldn't be playing Larkin today if he had a foreign quota player. We would have played Beaubois instead, but of course, we didn't want to change strategy. If he couldn't play, we would have had to put Beaubois and leave Larkin out of the squad. So we have time ahead of us. Now, the fourth match of the other series will be played tomorrow. I think that the disabled will also recover with the interventions of our healthcare team. Hopefully, we will make it to the final as a full squad. After that, we will make our choices match by match."

  • Ergin Ataman