Early on, Euroleague followers are putting Efes Pilsen in the “disappointing” category for 2009-10; the team has managed a 1-2 record in Euroleague play and, as defending champions, a mark of just 2-1 in Turkey’s Beko Basketball League. Nevertheless, Efes head coach Ergin Ataman still likes his team’s chances tonight.
After praising Olympiacos as one of the big league’s best teams, Ataman told Euroleague.net that “We also have an experienced and talented squad and our performance has been rising in the last couple of games, which makes me hopeful about this game.”
Efes Pilsen general manager Engin Özerhun chipped in with “Last week’s Unicaja match was a serious opportunity but we could not make the most of it,” and “We had some troubles both in European and domestic competition in the first days of November. But now we are coming off a good victory over Fenerbahçe Ülker and we want to get a great advantage with a victory at Olympiacos.”
Interestingly enough, Efes Pilsen is one of the few teams in all of Europe which has regularly found ways to defeat Olympiacos, with eight consecutive wins over the Reds going back to 2001. And Josh Childress is reportedly sitting this one out, another Olympiacos victim of the H1N1 virus. Is there an “opportunity” for an upset tonight…?