Barça Lassa gave it everything they have and more in Istanbul in the last of the best-of-five Euroleague quarter final series. But it was not to be. Anadolu Efes will be going to Final Four after an 80-71 win on Wednesday evening, largely on the back of their 17 three-pointers.
Things had got off to a promising start, with Tomic and Singleton racking up the points and the Turks being forced into a number of errors, and a 23-28 lead at the end of the first period gave plenty of reasons for hope.
But after 18 minutes with Barça in command, Anadolu Efes pushed five ahead just before the break, making the most of a short period in which the Catalans started losing balls and letting chances go astray.
After four minutes without score, the third period finally burst alive, but sadly with the home side doing most of the scoring. A 5-0 streak threw Barça right back into contention at 58-57, but a Larkin three on the buzzer meant they’d be four behind going into the final quarter.
It again took Barça four minutes to find the basket in the last period, and that lapse proved fatal, with the Turks leaping to +11 (68-57). Barça reacted well, pulling back to 75-71 to set up what could have been an intense final two minutes – but five uncontested points from Efes put paid comeback and also Barça Lassa's chances of making it into the Final Four.
It’s been a cracking series, and Barça go out with their heads held high. But sadly, European glory will have to wait for at least one year more
Anadolu Efes: Shane Larkin (18), Rodrigue Beaubois (11), Adrien Moerman (18), Krunoslav Simon (18), Bryant Dunston (7), Dogus Balbay (-), Tibor Pleiss (5), Vasilije Micic (10) & James Anderson (11).
Barça Lassa: Pau Ribas (8), Kevin Pangos (7), Chris Singleton (12), Victor Claver (-), Ante Tomic (10), Adam Hanga (9), Pierre Oriola (7), Kevin Seraphin (4), Thomas Heurtel (12) & Kyle Kuric (2)
Periods: 23-28 / 47-42 / 61-57 / 80-71
Referees: Matej Boltauzer, Borys Ryzhyk & Mehdi Difallah.