Everything in the Euroleague quarter final playoff will come down to the decisive fifth game of the series at the Sinan Erdem in Istanbul this coming Wednesday. Barça Lassa bounced back from a miserable home defeat in game three to keep their hopes alive of making the Final Four in Vitoria with a fabulous defeat of Anadolu Efes (82-72) on Friday night, with Kyle Kuric leading the way with 19 points.
It didn’t always look that way though. Shane Larkin was on inspired form early on and the Turks banged in 6/9 in threes to take a commanding early lead (15-22).
Barça need to turn things around, and boy did they do it! The intensity upped by a huge margin and a 21-13 streak, with fine defence making up for the offensive uncertainty, and it was only because of a buzzer-beating score from Moerman that Efes were leading at the break (36-38).
The Palau could sense something was happening, and while Barça kept defending strongly, now the offensive plays were starting to work too, and just 12 points leaked in the third period meant they were going into the final ten minutes on +13 (63-50).
They managed to hold their ground in the final period, for although Anadolu Efes managed to cut down the deficit, there was never any real threat of them actually winning the game. Barça Lassa won by ten to tie the series and take us into a do-or-die rubber game on Mayday at 7.30pm CET in Turkey. Bring it on!
Barça Lassa: Pau Ribas (-), Kevin Pangos (6), Victor Claver (8), Chris Singleton (12), Ante Tomic (13), Kevin Seraphin (12), Adam Hanga (3), Thomas Heurtel (7), Pierre Oriola (2) & Kyle Kuric (19).
Anadolu Efes: Rodrigue Beaubois (10), Bryant Dunston (8), Krunoslav Simon (17), Vasilije Micic (4), Adrien Moerman (11), Shane Larkin (20), Dogus Balbay (-), Tibor Pleiss (2) & James Anderson (-).
Periods: 15-22 / 36-38 / 63-50 / 82-72
Referees: Robert Lottermoser, Sreten Radovic & Fernando Rocha.