The defending champion Anadolu Efes is once again on the field to advance to the Euroleague finals. The Dark Blue-Whites, who made it to the Final-Four for the third time in a row, played the final in Vitoria and lifted the trophy in Cologne, will try to defend their title this time in Belgrade.
The opponent is Olympiakos from the other side of the Aegean. The rivalry between these two clubs has also become a Euroleague classic. Although Efes has been one step ahead in recent years, Olympiakos, which has a great tradition and is one of the two teams that won the championship twice in a row, will do its best to be a finalist.
Until he came here, Ephesus went through tough roads and had a very bumpy season. Despite the injuries and the field disadvantage, he eliminated Milan and still managed to advance to the Final-Four where he belongs once again.
For Olympiakos, the season has been great. Maybe they were not nominated as Final-Four candidates in October, but they deserved it with the basketball they played. In the semi-finals, they beat Monaco with 3-2, albeit with difficulty, and remained in the last four years later.
If we compare the two teams… Anadolu Efes is organizing over shorts like Larkin-Micic-Beaubois (Simon is injured), while Olympiakos is trying to do the same with Sloukas-Walkup and Dorsey. Number 4 Vezenkov, who shot and played face down, was selected for the 5th of the year. Here, the duo of Micic and Singleton is at least as valuable as Vezenkov.
Long Mustafa Fall has a physical structure that can change the balance under the crucible. But it has advantages as well as disadvantages. Against the Fall-Martin duo, we have similar tallies Pleiss and Dunston. We are much more experienced here.
As for the coaches, Bartzokas and Ataman have one Euroleague championship each. Bartzokas was named ‘Coach of the Year’ as he unexpectedly moved Olympiakos to regular season runner-up. But it cannot be said that he is as self-confident and fit as Ataman.
A very predictable team
When we look at it, Olympiakos plays in order, it’s a well-established but very ‘predictable’ team. It’s even clear what they’re playing, who’s going in and out at what minute. Will they want to surprise Efes? All teams, including Barcelona, Real Madrid, Milan, tried to get our representative out of order this year, instead of playing their own basketball.
Or will they play their own basketball? Anadolu Efes is used to both styles.
Because all the teams tried to overthrow the ‘King’ throughout the season. I think Ataman and his team have the answer to everything.
Anadolu Efes, on the other hand, will definitely try to play its own basketball. It’s basketball that has kept them at the top of Europe for 3 years. How successful they will be, we will see today in Stark Arena.
If nothing goes wrong, I think Efes is a much superior team than Olympiakos and they will win and reach the final.
We wish to have a double holiday as a country on may 19th…