Club profile: Anadolu Efes Istanbul

Jul 01, 2014 by Print
Anadolu Efes celebrates - EB13
Anadolu Efes IstanbulAnadolu Efes Istanbul opens a new era with the arrival of legendary head coach Dusan Ivkovic, who returns to the Turkish Airlines Euroleague for the first time since winning the competition with Olympiacos Piraeus in 2012. Ivkovic will work to lead Efes to a successful 2014-15 season that lives up to the club's tradition and expectations. Efes comes off an underwhelming 2013-14 season in which it finished the Top 16 with a 2-12 record, losing its last nine games, and was eliminated in both the Turkish League playoffs quarterfinals and the Turkish Cup title game by the same team, Pinar Karsiyaka Izmir. Perhaps its highlight this season was an incredible Top 16 win against EA7 Emporio Armani Milan on a buzzer-beating, three-quarter court shot by Zoran Planinic - one of the greatest game-winners in professional basketball history. Founded in 1976, Efes needed just three years to start collecting titles. Efes 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 titles contender until the 1990s, when it took the Turkish crown in five of six seasons through 1997, led by 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 Thessaoliniki 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. Fenerbahce Ulker and Besiktas stopped Efes from adding more titles in recent years, but Efes always remained in the hunt. Efes was close to another Final Four in 2013, when it took a 15-point lead against Olympiacos Piraeus in Game 5 of the playoffs, but the Reds prevailed. Efes also finished second in the Turkish League regular season and reached the playoff semifinals. After a step backwards last season, Efes moved fast to sign a legendary leader in Ivkovic, who will do his best to turn this historic club into a Final Four contender.
Turkish Airlines Euroleague: Top 16
Turkish League: Quarterfinalist
Turkish Cup: Finalist