Anadolu Efes Istanbul comes off its best Turkish Airlines Euroleague season in recent history after reaching the playoffs and taking eventual champion Olympiacos Piraeus the distance before bowing out. Now the club looks to build on its success and take another step forward as it targets its first Final Four appearance since 2001. Among the winningest teams in Turkish basketball history, the club began collecting titles practically from the beginning. Just three years after its 1976 inception, Efes won the Turkish League for the first time and lifted two more trophies in 1983 and 1984. Efes made its Euroleague debut in the 1979-80 season and reached the quarterfinals group stage. A streak of domestic dominance in the 1990s saw it take the Turkish crown in five of six seasons through 1997, led by head coach Aydin Ors. Efes also managed to put Turkey on the continental basketball map for good. In 1993, Larry Richard, Petar Naumoski and Ufuk Sarica took Efes to the Saporta Cup final, but Aris escaped with a 50-48 win. Naumoski missed a close shot in the final seconds that would have forced overtime. In 1996, Naumoski and Sarica joined forces with the late Conrad McRae and a young Mirsad Turkcan to lead Efes to the Korac Cup crown by downing Milano in the finals on point difference. It was the first European title for a Turkish team. Efes became a Euroleague regular and in 2000 the club achieved another first among Turkish teams by making the Final Four, a milestone it repeated in the 2001 SuproLeague. Hedo Turkoglu, Mehmet Okur, Predrag Drobnjak, Ibrahim Kutluay and Damir Mulaomerovic all helped make it happen. Efes came within one shot away of the 2004 Final Four, but was denied by Skipper Bologna’s Gianluca Basile. The club reached the Euroleague quarterfinals in 2005 and 2006 and lifted Turkish Cup trophies in 2006 and 2007. Efes did even better in 2009 by winning the Turkish League and Cup double. Fenerbahce Ulker and Besiktas stopped Efes from adding more titles in recent years, but Efes always remained in the hunt. Efes inked Dusko Savanovic, Tarence Kinsey and Sasha Vujacic, among others, to try to reach the 2012 Final Four played in its home court, but back-to-back losses against eventual champion Olympiacos denied the club the chance to reach the playoffs. Last season Coach Oktay Mahmuti returned and Jordan Farmar and Semih Erden both signed. A streak of seven straight win sin the Top 16 helped Efes reach the playoffs and Jamon Lucas’s tip-in at the buzzer in Game 4 of the playoffs against Olympiacos was one of the plays of the season. Ultimately, the Reds prevailed in Game 5. Efes also finished second in the Turkish League regular season and reached the playoff semifinals. After playing so well in 2013, but coming away without the needed results, there is no doubt that Efes will be hungrier than ever this season with nothing short of a Turkish championship and a ticket to the 2014 Final Four considered acceptable.
Korac Cup: 1996
Turkish National League: 1978-79, 1982-83, 1983-84, 1991-92, 1992-93, 1993-94, 1995-96, 1996-97, 2001-02, 2002-03, 2003-04, 2004-05, 2008-09
Turkish National Cup: 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2009
Turkish President Cup: 1986, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2006, 2009, 2010