ESRA – KarIIyaka conquers Efes to seal semi berth in TBL playoffs

KarIIyaka conquers Efes to seal semi berth in TBL playoffs PInar KarIIyaka survived one of the toughest road games of the season in Istanbul and cruised past Anadolu Efes 73-67 to go up against Fenerbahe ulker in the semifinals of the men’s Beko Turkish Basketball League (TBL)hampionship playoffs on Monday. Five KarIIyaka players reached double-digit figures to contribute to their side’s victory at Abdi Ipeki Arena The visitors’ Robert Dixon, who had eight assists and seven rebounds, and Efes’ Zoran Planinic were the top scorers, with each netting 14 points.

The visitors dominated Efes in rebounds, 45-35, though they lost the ball 21 times. Efes coach Vaggelis Aggelou said in his post-game remarks his side lost the game due to its poor performance in the second half despite putting up a good fight in the first.

He blamed the low percentage of successful shots for the defeat. “I congratulate PInar KarIIyaka I wish them luck in future games,” Aggelou said, thanking their fans for not abandoning them throughout the season.

 Efes captain Kerem Gnlum said they have no excuse for the defeat and that KarIIyaka was more motivated to win. Efes ended the season with a whimper, losing the series where they were the favorites to go through.

The team bade farewell to the topflight Euroleague in the final round of 16. It was a turbulent season for the Istanbul powerhouse.

Coach Aggelou arrived in the middle of the season when the club terminated the contract of Oktay Mahmuti after a mutual agreement. No comment  KarIIyaka coach Ufuk SarIca did not make any statements following the game.

Center Mutlu Demir said his team had been confident of winning and are now focused on the semifinal series against big-budget Fenerbahe ulker Both teams started off the game well, though BarII Hersek’s points gave the visitors an 18-14 lead in the first quarter Jawad Williams’ three-pointer handed KarIIyaka a seven-point lead, 21-14. Planinic helped Efes to nail a 7-0 run to claim the upper hand in the 17th minute, 31-27, while the hosts eventually took a 37-35 lead going into halftime.

 Cedi Osman’s back-to-back points increased the margin to six, 44-38, in the third quarter but KarIIyaka was too strong to give up. Soner Ienturk and Jon Diebler fired up the guests to help KarIIyaka obtain a 58-52 edge going into the last 10 minutes.

Coach SarIca’s men reached a double-digit margin in the 36th minute, 69-55, and Efes’ 7-0 run with one minute left was insufficient to prevent its defeat, and KarIIyaka wrapped up the game 73-67. The schedule of the semifinal games has yet to be announced.

KarIIyaka’s opponent in the next phase, Fenerbahe ulker, aanced to the semis after a rout of UIak Sportif in two games. Zeljko Obradovic’s Fenerbahe, the runner-up of the regular season, is one of the favorites to clinch the title this season, but it has lost both games against the Izmir side thus far.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman

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