Sanli, record threes fire Efes past Valencia
Anadolu Efes Istanbul kept building its momentum with a 99-83 home victory over Valencia Basket on Tuesday evening. Valencia grabbed a double-digit lead in the first quarter, but Efes hit back to take a 46-40 advantage at halftime. The visitors kept on fighting, but eventually ran out of energy as Efes pulled into a big lead in the fourth quarter. Sertac Sanli was the star of the show, netting a career-high 20 points, while Rodrigue Beaubois shined in the latter stages to finish with 19 points. Vasilije Micic scored 16, Shane Larkin netted 15 and Krunoslav Simon added 14 in the win as Efes made a club record 18 three-point shots. Bojan Dubljevic paced Valencia with 15 points and 6 rebounds, with Klemen Prepelic (13), Derrick Williams (13) and Mike Tobey (12) all scoring in double figures. Efes won its fifth straight game to improve to 16-10, while Valencia remained outside the playoff zone at 14-13.
Joan Sastre netted 5 early points to send Valencia ahead, but Simon and Micic scored inside as Efes also made a fast start. Williams, Dubljevic and Sam Van Rossom all netted from deep for a 6-14 Valencia lead midway through the opening quarter. Dubljevic capped a 0-11 run with a jump hook, before Simon’s floater rescued Efes and Larkin added a triple. Tobey drilled a three to keep Valencia ahead. After Sanli scored twice to bring Efes closer, Tobey beat the first-quarter buzzer from mid-range for an 18-23 lead. Beaubois and Micic gave Efes a flying start to the second frame and a pair of threes from Sanli sent the hosts ahead 28-25. Sanli stayed hot with a dunk, but Prepelic tied it up from deep, 30-30. Larkin, Prepelic, Adrien Moerman and Beaubois were all on target from long range, sending Efes ahead 39-37. Sastre responded with a three-point play to send Valencia back in front before Micic weaved his way to the basket and then knocked down a three. Beaubois capped a 7-0 run to finish the half with Efes leading 46-40.
Dubljevic started the second half by scoring and Williams twice dunked to send the visitors ahead, 46-47. Sanli restored Efes’s lead from the foul line and Simon stretched the advantage by drilling a pair of threes. Larkin also struck from deep to make it 59-52. Williams and Tobey responded with triples for Valencia, but Sanli scored again and then beat the third-quarter buzzer from deep to give Efes a 68-58 lead. Beaubois opened the final frame with another three-point strike, which was answered by Prepelic and Van Rossom to make it 71-64. It continued to rain threes as Beaubois struck twice more and Prepelic hit at the other end before Chris Singleton also joined the fun to stretch the lead to 81-69 with 5 minutes remaining. Yet another Beaubois three-pointer maintained a strong advantage and Micic scored twice inside to make sure Valencia wouldn’t fight back. Larkin added a couple of late triples to stretch the margin as Efes ended just short of triple figures.
Efes sets club record in shootout
Both teams enjoyed excellent shooting nights from beyond the arc. Efes set a new club record by knocking down 18 of its 31 long-range attempts, led by Rodrigue Beaubois with 5 of 7. Valencia’s figures were also pretty good, connecting on 14 of 31 three-point attempts.
Sertac shines for career highs
Many of Efes’s triples came late when the game was already won. And the man most responsible for putting the host in that position was Sertac Sanli, who beat several career bests by scoring 20 points on 7-of-10 field goal shooting with 2 assists, 3 steals and a PIR of 26. That came less than a week after he shot 6-for-6 from the field in the win over Fenerbahce
Ball movement creates good looks
A big reason for Efes’s shooting success was its excellent ball movement, which yielded 23 assists, plenty of open shots and just 10 turnovers. Eight different Efes players recorded at least 1 assist, led by Shane Larkin with 6.
Efes has a huge showdown with CSKA Moscow on Thursday, while Valencia stays on the road to visit Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv the same night.
Tuesday, March 2, 2021