Congratulations to Anadolu Efes for convincingly taking the inaugural Two Nations Cup two-day basketball tournament, winning the final match over Euroleague competitor Olympiacos, 87-62. Efes bested defending Euroleague champs Panathinaikos on Saturday to play for the cup. Olympiacos, meanwhile, had advanced by knocking out Fenerbahçe Ülker, which ultimately ended up in third after taking out PAO on Sunday, 71-61 – despite Fenerbahçe head coach Neven Spahija’s musings going into the tourney: “We are missing several players due to injury, it is not an easy time for us. But still being part of a tournament like this makes us happy. We will do what we can.”
From Sport.gr, we learn that: “Olympiacos’ start definitely left [head coach] Dusan Ivkovic satisfied, as the Reds were strong on defense and on the attack found solutions both outside (mainly by Martynas Gecevicius) and in the paint (Lazaros Papadopoulos). This was how the Reds got off to a 18-10 against Anadolu Efes, though Efes recovered and managed to take the lead at the end of the first quarter at 24-23.
“The duo of Ersan Ilyasova and Tarence Kinsey created many problems for Olympiacos, which was bad in the second period. An impaired defense and a predictable attack team lost control of the match for Olympiacos, who made just nine points in 10 minutes and to go down at halftime, 47-32.
“The offense improved in the third quarter for Olympiacos, but the defense still showed many problems; Efes had found a rhythm and kept the lead in double-figures, closing the third quarter up 72-49.
“The winner was clear from early on and Olympiacos just wanted to save face, but even this they failed to do. Efes took the victory, 87-62, in this inaugural tournament while Olympiacos was taught a lesson that may be useful when we Euroleague play begins.
“Anadolu Efes 87-Olympiacos 62: 24-23, 47-32, 72-49, 87-62
“Efes Pilsen: Balbay 2, Ilievski 3 (1), Kinsey 18, Tunceri 5 (1), Akyol 8 (2), Batista 6, Vujacic 7 (2), Savanovic 10 (2), Ilyasova 11 (1), Kung 6, Guler 7 (1), Barac 4.
“Olympiacos: Hines 11, Lucas 3, Antic 8 (1), Spanoulis 3 (1), Howard 7 (1), Smith 4, Gecevicius 9 (3), Glyniadakis 6, Printezis 6, Papanikolaou 0, Sloukas 5 (1), Katsivelis 0.”
The Two Nations Cup is an event – or rather, pair of events – which pits top clubs from Greece and Turkey in basketball and rowing (!) tournaments; the latter event will be held on October 23, for those of you into that sort of thing. The competition was organized under a mission to “bring together Turkish and Greek sportsmen at club and national team level [to] cover different sports branches. Said brand, owing to the uniting power of sports and its represented common values, as well as its sports mission, will serve to strengthen the friendship bonds between the two countries. It will be an environment where the prime principles of ‘Olympism’ are addressed with care.”