Anadolu Efes Istanbul is coming off one of its more successful seasons in recent years, during which coaching dean Dusan Ivkovic got the club back to not only contending for titles on all fronts, but also won the Turkish Cup – the club's first major trophy in six years. Last season was Ivkovic's first on the Efes bench and he guided it back to the Turkish Airlines Euroleague playoffs. During the season Efes beat both Euroleague finalists, Real Madrid and Olympiacos Piraeus, on its home floor and after advancing to the playoffs, it battled hard in a memorable series against Madrid. Ivkovic's men lost each of the first two games despite having double-digit leads. Matt Janning hit a buzzer-beating triple to win Game 3, but eventual champion Madrid prevailed in Game 4. Efes had more success at home, defeating rival Fenerbahce Ulker 70-60 to lift the Turkish Cup, and reached the Turkish League finals after a three-year absence, but lost 4-1 against Pinar Karsiyaka Izmir. Now, Coach Ivkovic will try his best to keep Efes as a Final Four contender and bring more trophies to the storied club, which was founded in 1976. Efes needed just three years to start collecting titles; it won its first Turkish League trophy in 1979 and made it to the Euroleague quarterfinals group stage in the 1979-80 season. Two more Turkish League titles came in 1983 and 1984, but Efes did not become a dominant club and a European contender until the 1990s, when it went on a glorious run and took the Turkish crown in five of six seasons through 1997 under the tutelage of head coach Aydin Ors. That's when Efes also 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 Thessaloniki 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 Olimpia 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 of reaching the 2004 Final Four, too, 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. It was stopped in the Turkish League finals in 2010 and 2012 by Fenerbahce and Besiktas, respectively, and Efes made the Euroleague playoffs in 2013, but lost to eventual champion Olympiacos in five games. After another underwhelming year, Efes got back to winning trophies last season and hopes to continue its rise in the coming season.
2014-15 Results: Euroleague: Playoffs, Turkish League: Finalist, Turkish Cup: Champion