2007-08Regular SeasonRound 4
November 15, 2007 CET: 19:15
Local time: 20:15 ABDI IPEKCI ARENA

Efes Pilsen rallying from an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter to edge Le Mans Sarthe Basket 66-63

Efes Pilsen improved to 2-2 in difficult Group B by rallying from an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter to edge Le Mans Sarthe Basket 66-63 in Istanbul, Turkey, on Thursday night. Efes is now tied for the fourth place in the Group B standings. Meanwhile, Le Mans dropped to 0-4 and needs to start winning right away to keep its Top 16 chances alive. Drew Nicholas paced the winners with 21 points on 5-of-8 three-point shooting. Serkan Erdogan added 13 points and Loren Woods posted a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds for Efes Pilsen. Luka Bogdanovic led Le Mans with 21 points on 5-of-7 three-pointers. Sam Clancy added 11 points and 10 rebounds and Alain Koffi had 10 points for the guests. Le Mans got off to a strong start, as a red-hot Bogdanovic pushed the guests to a 33-36 halftime edge. Raviv Limonad and Clancy fueled a 0-12 run that gave Le Mans a double-digit lead, 40-51, after three quarters. Nicholas single-handedly led the Efes comeback, burying 4 triples in the fourth quarter to give Efes a 61-57 edge with less than two minutes to go. Le Mans managed to get within 63-62, but Scoonie Penn and Andre Hutson made free throws to help Efes add its second win in Group B.

Bogdanovic got Le Mans going with a driving layup and Koffi added a basket in transition for a 0-4 lead. Efes struggled to score early until former Le Mans forward Kenny Gregory buried a mid-range jumper. Yannick Bokolo quickly answered with a reverse layup and soon added a free throw to make Efes fans start to wonder, 2-7. Nicholas buried his first triple and Penn sank a mid-range shot to tie the game at 7-7. Nicolas Batum answered with a three-pointer from the corner and Bokolo added a close jumper, before Woods tried to get the crowd involved with a dunk. Bogdanovic fired in one from downtown and Efes coach David Blatt called timeout at 9-15. Le Mans kept dominating the defensive boards, while a red-hot Bogdanovic nailed another triple for a 9-18 lead. Woods scored in the paint, but Clancy matched his layup with a floating jumper. Bogdanovic sank his third triple in as many minutes to give Le Mans a double-digit lead. Phil Ricci shined with a jump hook that capped a 2-13 run. Ermal Kuqo tried to ignite an Efes comeback with a power layup that got his team within 13-25 after 10 minutes.

Le Mans kept struggling to score early in the second quarter and opted to slow down the tempo to find better shots. Meanwhile, Kuqo fed Erdogan for a triple and Gregory dunked it for an 18-25 deficit. Le Mans called timeout, but Efes kept its momentum going. Erdogan struck again from downtown and soon added free throws to bring Efes back to life with a 10-1 run. The visitors struggled to score until Koffi stepped up with a power layup. He soon grabbed a loose ball and put it in to give Le Mans a 23-30 edge. Woods shined with a jump hook, as the game turned into a physical battle. Efes called timeout to adjust its offense and Woods took over with a put-back dunk. Nicholas added a stop-and-pop jumper to make it a two-point game, 29-31. Le Mans kept missing free throws as Efes entered the bonus. Gregory added a put-back basket, but a free throw by Ricci gave Le Mans a 31-33 edge. Nicholas beat the shot clock with a fade-away jumper, but a final triple by the ever-present Bogdanovic allowed Le Mans to keep a 33-36 halftime lead.

Efes kept shining in defense after the break, not allowing any easy shots. Meanwhile, Erdogan hit a floating layup to keep the hosts close at 35-37. Le Mans could not find the way to the basket, but defense kept the guests in the game. Both teams went scoreless for more than two intense minutes until Bogdanovic hit free throws for a 35-39 Le Mans edge. Kuqo banked in a jump hook and Nicholas hit from downtown to give Efes its first lead in the game, 40-39. Le Mans called timeout, after which Koffi stepped up with back-to-back jumpers to restore a narrow lead for the visitors. Blatt chose to stop the game to help Efes regain its momentum. It didn't happen, however, as Limonad stepped up with a driving layup, Clancy added a dunk and Nebojsa Bogavac shined with a fast break layup to give Le Mans a 6-point margin. Limonad scored again to cap a 0-12 run and boost the guests' margin back to double digits, 40-51, at the end of the third quarter.

Nicholas tried to ignite the hosts' comeback with a big triple from the top of the key, as Le Mans went scoreless for more than three minutes. A red-hot Nicholas buried a six-meter fade-away jumper to get the crowd involved, 45-51, with seven minutes to go. He finally found some help when Woods fed Kerem Gonlum for a layup-plus-foul that capped an 8-0 run to get the hosts within 3. Le Mans quickly called a much-needed timeout and Clancy gave his team some fresh air with a close basket, but Woods erased it with a jumper at the other end. Ender Arslan fed Gonlum for a layup that tied the game at 55-55. Clancy made foul shots, but Nicholas bettered them with a triple that completed the Efes comeback, 58-57. The hosts forced a 24-second violation with intense defense and Nicholas fired in another critical triple, making Le Mans call timeout, 61-57. Clancy and Woods traded baskets and Bogdanovic nailed a triple to turn the game into a thriller, 63-62, with a minute remaining. Batum missed a triple and Le Mans opted to foul Penn, who made both shots for a 65-62 edge. Batum missed again from downtown, but Woods missed free throws with 10.5 seconds to go. Efes fouled Limonad, who made just 1 of 2 foul shots. Hutson did the same in the other end for a 66-63 Efes edge with 4 seconds remaining, but Bogdanovic missed a desperation mid-court prayer at the buzzer.

Thursday, November 15, 2007
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Attendance: 4300
By Quarter1234
Efes Pilsen1320726
Le Mans25111512
End of Quarter1234
Efes Pilsen13334066
Le Mans25365163
Efes Pilsen
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 NICHOLAS, DREW 33:03 21 3/5 5/8     4 4 1   2     1 4 22
5 PENN, SCOONIE 26:05 4 1/3 0/2 2/2   2 2     1   1 3 3  
6 WOODS, LOREN 30:26 12 6/11   0/2 3 8 11 1 1 2 1 2 4 3 14
7 AKYOL, CENK 2:08     0/2                       -2
9 GREGORY, KENNY 18:36 6 3/4 0/2     1 1 1         1   4
10 ABI, MUSTAFA DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
11 PACUN, BORA HUN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
12 GONLUM, KEREM 19:55 5 2/4   1/1   3 3             2 8
17 ERDOGAN, SERKAN 25:10 13 1/3 3/8 2/2 2 4 6 4         2 1 15
23 KUQO, ERMAL 12:37 2 1/5 0/2   1 1 2 1         2   -3
33 ARSLAN, ENDER 15:33   0/1 0/3 0/2   2 2 1 1       1 3  
34 HUTSON, ANDRE 16:27 3 1/4   1/4 4 2 6           1 3 5
Totals 200:00 66 18/40 8/27 6/13 10 27 37 9 2 5 1 3 15 19 63
        45% 29.6% 46.2%
Head coach: BLATT, DAVID
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Le Mans
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 BOGAVAC, NEBOJSA 18:12 2 1/2 0/1     1 1 1         2    
5 BATUM, NICOLAS 21:25 4 0/5 1/4 1/2   3 3 1   1     3 1 -4
6 DIOT, ANTOINE DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
7 KOFFI, ALAIN 24:55 10 5/9     2 4 6 2 1 1 1 1 2   12
8 LIMONAD, RAVIV 22:56 5 2/6 0/2 1/2 1 3 4 4 1       2 4 9
9 BOKOLO, YANNICK 25:27 5 2/2 0/1 1/2   3 3 5   1 1   5 1 7
10 LELOUP, JEREMY DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
11 BOGDANOVIC, LUKA 35:35 21 2/6 5/7 2/2 1 2 3           1 2 19
13 RICCI, PHIL 20:05 5 1/3 0/1 3/6   3 3     2     2 3 1
15 CLANCY, SAM 31:25 11 4/7   3/5 2 8 10     1 1   2 4 18
Team                     1         -1
Totals 200:00 63 17/40 6/16 11/19 6 27 33 13 2 7 3 1 19 15 61
        42.5% 37.5% 57.9%

Head Coaches

Efes Pilsen
"It was a really hard game. Le Mans played all their games at a slow tempo. They lost all three games and played all their games scoring 60-70 points, and that is what we wanted to avoid. We didn’t avoid it because of two reasons. First of all, we didn’t defend well in the first quarter. In the last three quarters we defended fabulously. And the second thing is that the ball is just not going in for us. We are getting shots. We are not turning the ball over much and we are not playing bad offense. We just can’t get the ball to go in. So bad shooting percentage is hurting us. I hope that we can relax a little bit in offense and I believe we will. When our shots starts falling like they did in the fourth quarter, we wiill look a lot different in offense."
Le Mans
"We allowed 26 points in the fourth quarter, which we start 11 points ahead. Only a top quality team like Efes Pilsen could able to overcome that kind of margin. We lost the aggresiveness we have had before. At the same time, Efes played great defense especially in this quarter. We struggled to get the ball inside. We did it something but couldn’t find easy points. We gave too many offensive rebounds that allowed Efes to get second-chance points. It was really hard to play against Efes and that is what happened tonight."


Efes Pilsen
"We knew that it was going to be a very hard game for us because Le Mans is a very good team. We didn't play well but winning is always good. There is nothing to do, at least, we won a game in the final minutes. We have to play better in the next games, otherwise we cannot go far this season. I hope we recover soon. We really have big pressure on us because of the expectations this season. We are trying to handle it and I hope that we play better soon."
Efes Pilsen
"For sure, it was a very difficult game. Le Mans played a very good game. This is our home court and we expect to win every game here. We played at home, we have to win here and won."
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