Micic, Pleiss lead Efes past ALBA
Anadolu Efes Istanbul picked up its first victory of the season in its third attempt with a comfortable 72-93 road triumph at ALBA Berlin, which remains winless at 0-3. Efes raced into an early double-digit lead through a 0-12 run and never looked like relinquishing it, especially after Bryant Dunston came off the bench to score 11 points in the second quarter. ALBA initially kept itself alive through a flurry of three-point shooting, but that couldn’t be maintained and Efes cruised home. Vasilije Micic led the Efes offense superbly to claim a double-double of 13 points and a joint career-high 13 assists, while Tibor Pleiss top-scored with 23 points. Dunston netted 13 points in just 12 minutes and added 3 blocked shots, while Chris Singleton (10) and Krunoslav Simon (10) also registered double digits. Markus Eriksson led ALBA’s scoring with 13 points and Niels Giffey added 12 points while Jayson Granger dished 8 assists in defeat.
Micic opened the scoring with a mid-range jumper and Pleiss doubled the lead from close range. Eriksson and Singleton traded triples before Pleiss stayed hot with 4 consecutive points and Micic’s layup made it a double-digit margin, 3-13. James Anderson added a three-point play before Eriksson ended the 0-12 run with a three. Rodrigue Beaubois and Luke Sikma also struck from distance before Ben Lammers finally scored ALBA’s first two-pointer in transition. Micic and Maodo Lo struck from distance before Anderson added another three and a fastbreak dunk to make it 14-29 after 10 minutes. Lammers and Giffey were on target from deep at the start of the second frame, but two tough scores by Dunston kept Efes well ahead. Bugrahan Tuncer from deep and Adrien Moerman off a steal added to the lead, 22-39. Dunston continued to dominate with a blocked shot and three more close-range baskets before Pleiss and Simon took Efes past the half-century mark. Another Eriksson triple made it 35-53 at the break.
Eriksson and Sikma brought ALBA closer straight after the break, but Anderson and Beaubois reignited Efes from deep. Lo was the next to strike from beyond the arc, but Dunston returned to score immediately and keep the lead at 45-64. Simon and Beaubois netted from beyond the arc and Giffey scored twice from close range to make it 55-70 after three quarters. Pleiss made a three-point play and had an alley-oop layup to protect his team’s lead and Simon’s three-pointer helped make it 64-80 midway through the fourth as ALBA battled hard but couldn’t put together the run it needed to stage a comeback. Two more scores from Pleiss after Micic assists made sure there was no doubt and the lead steadily grew in the latter stages.
Defense shows Efes the way
Efes got on track for victory through defense, limiting ALBA to just one field goal in the opening 5 minutes. Efes had 2 steals, 1 blocked shot and 4 defensive rebounds during that strong opening on D.
Accurate shooting sets the tone
The visiting team also started well on offense, making 8 of its first 9 field goal attempts including three-pointers from three different players: Chris Singleton, Rodrigue Beaubois and Vasilije Micic. Efes couldn’t maintain that pace, but finished with strong shooting percentages of 25-of-40 shooting on two-pointers (62.5%) and 10-of-20 on threes (50%).
Hot and cold from ALBA
ALBA initially kept itself in contention through outstanding three-point shooting, making 8 of its first 11 attempts from beyond the arc. At the same time, though, the home team only converted 1 of 11 two-pointers, allowing Efes to establish a big lead.
Debut for Gazi
With his team comfortably ahead, Efes coach Ergin Ataman took the chance to give a EuroLeague debut to 23-year-old point guard Erten Gazi. The Fordham University graduate immediately made a mark with a fastbreak assist to Adrien Moerman.
Efes will look to make it two wins out of two in the two-round week at Zalgiris Kaunas on Thursday, while ALBA travels to CSKA Moscow the following night.
Tuesday, October 13, 2020