CSKA vs. Anadolu Efes Istanbul: 80-77 (+3)
CSKA: De Colo (14 + 4 as + 3 to), D.Kulagin (9 + 4 rb), Augustine (6), Fridzon (5 + 4 pf), Jackson (10 + 3 to), Vorontsevich (2 + 4 rb + 4 as), Higgins (11), Kurbanov (10 + 6 rb + 2 bs), Hines (13 + 10 rb)…
Anadolu Efes: Thomas (2), Honeycutt (16 + 6 rb + 3 to), Balbay (4 rb), Brown (11 + 4 rb + 3 to + 4 pf), Osman (3), Granger (8), Heurtel (24 + 3 rb + 4 as), Paul (3 + 3 rb), Dunston (8 + 6 rb + 4 pf), Kirk (2 + 5 rb)…
Dimitris Itoudis, CSKA Moscow head coach:
Nothing is easy in life, but we were a better team tonight. First of all, congratulations to my players. We played a good game, we bounced back. We had two very good practices after coming back from Kuanas. We watched film almost three hours, we analyzed things. We know where we are, what we represent as a team, as individuals and as a franchise… I want to say we were dominant in most of the game, we controlled the game, played good defense and our matchup zone helped a lot. Efes is a very good team, a lot of respect to them, a very good offensive team that we managed to keep to a very low 52 points in first three quarters. We were 13 points up, and we showed we are on track of playing good defenses, with a selection, forcing turnovers and bad shots. For instance, Brandon Paul came in this game scoring 11 three-pointers in the last two games. He is a great shooter. Tonight he had the opportunity to shoot only 1 three-pointer. We kept them to 20% for three-pointers, a pure three-point shooting team, so we played good at the perimeter. There is also a sad moment. Every year we talk about clearing the game on EuroLeague meetings. And what we actually see? The ball-handlers doesn’t get any respect. Jackson and De Colo had to be fouled 3-4 times for the referee to call something – in the best case. The technicals are flying around. Vorontsevich got the T for showing the referee huge scratch on his arm – without saying any bad word! I don’t understand if we want to enjoy basketball or tot try to make it even in the end. We started last quarter up by 13 and we got in foul trouble in just three minutes. On the other hand Efes was chasing us playing aggressive pressure defense – and they got into foul trouble with just 30 seconds to go and because they really wanted it! If somebody says about our mental problems I disagree. I live with the team, I don’t believe that our fans think we have problems. At least they are a minority. If we does have many people who think so I would like to use this chance and call them to come here and fill the stands of Megasport. I believe our team, European champion with MVP on the roster, with great guards and bigs, with excellent Russian players deserve their support. And when they come and pressure the opponent, believe me, we will have zero problems! We had almost 8 thousands today, they really helped and I want to say “thank you very much”!
Cory Higgins, CSKA Moscow guard/forward:
We’ve been working hard every day and practice to correct even little things – that’s the most important part, we’re trying to get better. Today it was a good step for us, we are going back to a winning path. On last minutes of the game Efes turned up the intensity, we made a couple of turnovers and it’s one of the things we need to work on and fix.