Turkish Airlines EuroLeague: Istanbul clubs fight back

Turkish Airlines EuroLeague

While CSKA Moscow and Fenerbahce Istanbul took 2-0 leads in their Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Play-Offs series on Thursday, the other two series are finely balanced. Neither Real Madrid or Olympiacos could build on wins in Game 1, allowing Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul and Anadolu Efes Istanbul to restore Turkish pride.

It is worth remembering that the Final Four is the next step and it is being held in Istanbul this season. With that in mind, there is huge incentive for the Istanbul teams to make the showpiece in their home city.

With three clubs in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague final eight, Turkey is the best-represented country in the knock-out phase this season.

Real Madrid vs. Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul, 80-84

Darussafaka claimed a huge win in the Spanish capital and is now in charge of the series. Despite being 1-1 and both clubs needing two wins to progress, it is the Turkish club that has home advantage for the next two contests. Naturally, Real Madrid is capable of winning in Istanbul, but Darussafaka is where it wants to be.

As for the win on Friday, it is no mean feat to leave Madrid with a victory. Los Blancos are one of the most complete sides at home, so full credit should go to Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul. Identical socrelines (19-22) in the first and second quarters handed the visitors a 38-44 advantage through the long break. Real Madrid had wrestled a 68-66 lead through thirty minutes, but in the final act the Turkish guests rolled in 18 points to claim the win.

Brad Wanamaker drained 21 points in victory, followed by Ante Zizic and Scottie Wilbekin with 17 points, and Will Clyburn with 13 points.

Sergio Llull paced Madrid with a game-high 22 points, while Gustavo Ayon took 16 points. These two also led Los Blancos in Game 1, but more players will have to step up in Istanbul.

Editor’s Note: If you want more information about the EuroLeague, or other international leagues, you can check out Court Side’s Game Center.

Olympiacos Piraeus vs. Anadolu Efes Istanbul, 71-73

Anadolu Efes edged out Olympiacos in Greece to tie even with the former Turkish Airlines EuroLeague champions. The Turkish giant is now in the same position as Darussafaka, tying its series knowing the next two games are in Istanbul. Both series played on Friday are finely poised.

The game started in high-octane fashion and consistent scoring from both teams put the score at 22-23 for the guests. Olympiacos soon found the momentum and used a 22-14 second frame to build a 44-37 lead at the midway buzzer. The hosts collapsed in the third with just 10 points, but Anadolu Efes could not capitalize fully. Through three quarters the Piraeus contingent still led 54-51. The visitors had the momentum, however, and used it to edge the contest through an exciting fourth act.

Bryant Dunston claimed 16 points in the win, while Tyler Honeycutt connected for 15 points.

Vassilis Spanoulis and Georgios Printeszis both claimed 20 points and 6 scoring passes in the losing effort.

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