Valencia Basket bravely beats a depleted Anadolu Efes

Good final sprint by the 'taronja' team to win at home (93-88)


Valencia Basket won this Wednesday 93-88 at home against Anadolu Efes, with an outstanding performance by the Ugandan center Brandon Davies, in a match corresponding to matchday 18 of the Regular Phase of the Euroleague and which was resolved with a local arreón in the final bars, with the Istanbul team accusing their numerous absences.

At the San Luis Fountain Pavilion, the visitors started with a 0-8 run guided by two triples from Elijah Bryant and Shane Larkin. The 'taronja' team reacted with seven points almost in a row from Chris Jones and a basket from Damien Inglis that turned the score around (16-13) until two good actions by Tyrique Jones equalized it again.

At 18-18 the second quarter started, in which Darius Thompson woke up along with Mike Daum in the Efes attack and Brandon Davies together with Jared Harper in the local offense. Five consecutive points from Thompson boosted a 0-9 run, from 29-26 to 29-35, although Inglis broke the Turkish streak thanks to a triple and two free throws (34-35).

Xabi López-Arostegui then appeared to capture a defensive rebound and immediately score a triple that made it 37-35 at 3:11 before halftime. The duel entered a phase of exchanging baskets on the run, with Rodrigue Beaubois standing out in the ranks of Efes and López-Arostegui himself taking center stage in the Valencian team.

Shane Larkin was dry facing the rim, stuck in the eight points he had scored during his brilliant first act, but he reappeared on the last play of the second period to sneak in a three-pointer with suspense and that put Efes ahead (43-45) after the 20th minute runs out.

Upon returning from the locker room, another triple by Tibor Pleiss extended the Turkish lead a little (44-48), repeated later (55-59) after a success by Tyrique Jones. The Jones in front, Chris, teamed up with Davies to maintain parity in the La Fonteta team and motivate the rest of his teammates, something that Harper quickly understood.


Neither Semi Ojeleye, calmly from the free throw, nor Nathan Reuvers, with skill in the light bulb, were missing to put Valencia with a favorable 71-66. Larkin had missed a front three-pointer to, at that moment, equalize a game that predicted a tense fourth quarter.

Reuvers opened that fourth chapter with a triple, but first Pleiss and then Larkin tightened the score (74-73). Stefan Jovic came to the fore, debuting his scoring account, and again responded to a Larkin who was sharpening his teeth for the outcome, to which Reuvers responded from the side with another three-point basket (81-77).

The match heated up there, especially with an immeasurable block from Davies to Larkin with 4:23 left. After a timeout, Davies himself assisted López-Arostegui to score from distance and a triple by Ojeleye turned the game orange. Davies, of course, dealt even more blows to Efes from the free throw line.

Of course, Álex Mumbrú's pupils managed the last minute poorly and suffered due to two triples scored by Bryant (91-88). There were only 16.2 left until the final horn and Harper, fouled, secured the victory for the locals with his two free throws.

This good harvest in the heat of La Fonteta helped Mumbrú's team overcome the points difference against Efes (77-73 on matchday 4) and, in addition, to place themselves with a balance of 10-8 still in the 'play' zone -in'. The Istanbul team, meanwhile, fell to a 7-11 record in the late standings.


–RESULT: VALENCIA BASKET, 93 – ANADOLU EFES, 88 (43-45, at halftime).


VALENCIA BASKET: Jones (15), Robertson (-), Ojeleye (14), Reuvers (10) and Touré (4) –starting quintet–; Inglis (14), Harper (10), Anderson (2), Davies (15), López-Arostegui (7) and Jovic (2).

ANADOLU EFES: Larkin (20), Beaubois (8), Bryant (13), Oturu (6) and Pleiss (11) –starting quintet–; Jones (15), Daum (3), Hollatz (-) and Thompson (12).

–PARTIALS: 18-18, 25-27, 28-21 and 22-22.

–REFEREES: Javor, Bissang and Sukys. They eliminated Oturu for personal fouls in Anadolu Efes.

–PAVILLION: Fuente de San Luis, 6,901 spectators.