Game results in Round 22 of the regular season in the Turkish TBL shook up the standings. Two key games, especially, created a shift in the league leadership. Last week’s top team, Anadolu Efes Istanbul was upset at home by visiting 14th-placer Ronesans TED Kolejliler Ankara 73-81. The effect of the loss was critical. Last week, Anadolu Efes held a tiebreak lead over Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul. The day before, Fenerbahce Ulker came away with a key overtime victory over Istanbul Buyuksehir Belediyesi, 91-89, and now Fenerbahce Ulker has a full one-game lead and solo league leadership. Anadolu Efes is now 16-6 and has a tiebreak lead over third-placer Darussafaka.
The guests seized the initiative with a strong first quarter and managed to keep control of the game for majority of the contest. TED Kolejliler was successful in stifling Anadolu Efes’ star Croatian import Dario Saric, limiting him to 12 points. They stayed aggressive and forced him to commit a few more fouls than Saric would have preferred. In the end, the visiting club rode the massive game of Clay Tucker who exploded for 30 points and six assists. He caught fire, knocking down 5-of-8 shots from beyond the three-point arc. As a team TED Kolejliler made 11-of-21 shots from deep. Their frenetic approach on offense did result in 13 turnovers, but at the end of the day their output translated into solid third and fourth quarters to lift them to victory.
Both Anadolu Efes and Fenerbahce Ulker are locked in to make the league Playoffs, but with dangerous clubs like Banvit and Besiktas hovering in sixth and seventh place respectively, the league leaders may want to dodge a risky early match-up in the first round of the knock-out rounds.