Anadolu Efes Istanbul drew first blood in the Turkish Basketball season by defeating Pinar Karsiyaka Izmir by a narrow 76-74 margin to win the President’s Cup. The game pits the defending Turkish TBL champions against the reigning Turkish Cup holders as a curtain raiser for the regular season. Efes, beaten by Karsiyaka to the league title last season exacted revenge as the cup holders emerged with the silverware after a hard fought game.
Anadolu Efes started really strong with a 26-12 run in the first quarter to take early control of the contest, but Pinar Karsiyaka reduced the deficit in the second half to make it a 37-30 game through halftime. By the end of thirty minutes the league champs had continued to fight back and the rally resulted in the teams heading to the final split with one point the difference, Anadolu Efes leading 54-53. Karsiyaka continued to look dangerous, but Anadolu outpaced their opponents in the fourth act, mostly because of Bryant Dunston coming up with the key points.
Birkan Batuk topped the winners with 18 points, while Jayson Granger added 17 points, and Bryant Dunston came up with 16 points, many of them vital.
Two players really stepped up for Karsiyaka, Justin Carter with 26 points, and Kenny Gabriel with 11 points and 10 boards, for the game’s only double-double.