Legend: Petar Naumoski, Anadolu Efes Istanbul

May 07, 2019 by Euroleague.net Print
Legend: Petar Naumoski, Anadolu Efes Istanbul

Anadolu Efes Istanbul's first wave of success at the pan-European level came in the 1990s with Petar Naumoski in the driver's seat. The point guard spent a total of six seasons in two separate stints with Efes. He led the club to its first continental championship game, in the 1993 FIBA Saporta Cup, and to its first continental trophy, the 1996 FIBA Korac Cup. In addition, Naumoski captured four Turkish League championships and four Turkish Cups with Efes.

Naumoski began his professional career on the great Jugoplastika Split team that won three consecutive EuroLeague crowns. He joined as a backup in 1989 – after the first of those titles – and played sparingly over the next two seasons. However, with hard work in practice against some of the best players in Europe, Naumoski developed into a future star. He left for Rabotnicki Skopje and was a revelation in the Yugoslav League in 1991-92. Then Efes came calling.

With Naumoski running the show, Efes began to shine. The team rolled to the FIBA Saporta Cup championship game in 1993 before losing narrowly to Aris Thessaloniki. The following season he led Efes to the Turkish League and Cup double. Naumoski went away to Italy and with Benetton Treviso won the 1995 Saporta Cup but returned to Efes after one season away and spent the next four years there. In the first of those, he starred as Efes bested Olimpia Milan in the 1996 FIBA Korac Cup finals. His 31 points and 10 assists in the opener of the two-game series sparked Efes to the title.

All told, Naumoski played nearly a quarter century for a total of 11 clubs in Turkey, Italy and the former Yugoslavia, winning 24 trophies. His last European trophy was the 2002 FIBA Saporta Cup with Montepaschi Siena Under current Efes head coach Ergin Ataman. Over the course of his legendary career, in no place did Naumoski play longer or win more than he did with Efes, which retired his number 7 jersey in February 2017.