Club profile: Anadolu Efes Istanbul

Aug 27, 2019 by Print
Club profile: Anadolu Efes Istanbul

Anadolu Efes Istanbul has had one of the greatest turnarounds in basketball history last season. After finishing the 2017-18 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season with a league-worst 7-23 record, Efes recruited elite point guards Vasilije Micic and Shane Larkin and other key players such as Rodrigue Beaubois, Adrien Moerman and Tibor Pleiss to become fully competitive. Efes came out of the gate strong and won eight of its first 10 regular-season games, which led to Micic's selection as the EuroLeague MVP for November. The team kept rolling and Larkin found his rhythm late in the regular season, helping Efes finish the phase in fourth place with a 20-10 record. Despite splitting the first two games of the best-of-five playoff against FC Barcelona Lassa and thus losing the home-court advantage, Larkin had 30 points in Game 3, which Efes won 68-102 in Spain, and 18 in do-or-die Game 5 to take his team to the Final Four for the first time since 2000. Then Efes downed Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul 73-92 behind 30 points from Larkin to reach the championship game. CSKA Moscow stood in its way, but Efes went home and completed a great season by lifting its first Turkish League title since 2009. The team edged rival Fenerbahce 4-3 in the title series. Larkin had 38 points in Game 5, as Efes exacted revenge from the Turkish Cup final.


2018-19 EuroLeague 24-13 Final Four
2017-18 EuroLeague 7-23 Regular Season
2016-17 EuroLeague 19-16 Playoffs
2015-16 EuroLeague 13-11 Top 16
2014-15 EuroLeague 13-15 Playoffs
2013-14 EuroLeague 6-18 Top 16
2012-13 EuroLeague 16-13 Playoffs
2011-12 EuroLeague 6-10 Top 16
2010-11 EuroLeague 7-9 Top 16
2009-10 EuroLeague 6-10 Top 16
2008-09 EuroLeague 4-6 Regular Season
2007-08 EuroLeague 9-11 Top 16
2006-07 EuroLeague 10-10 Top 16
2005-06 EuroLeague 12-10 Playoffs
2004-05 EuroLeague 17-6 Playoffs
2003-04 EuroLeague 14-6 Top 16
2002-03 EuroLeague 12-8 Top 16
2001-02 EuroLeague 12-8 Top 16
TOTAL: 410 207-203

Anadolu Efes Istanbul was founded in 1976 and needed just three years to start collecting titles. Efes won its first Turkish League trophy in 1979 and made it to the EuroLeague quarterfinals group stage the following season. More Turkish League crowns came in 1983 and 1984, but Efes did not become a dominant club and a European contender until the 1990s when it went on a glorious run and won the Turkish championship in five of six seasons through 1997 under the tutelage of Coach Aydin Ors. That's when Efes also put Turkey on the continental basketball map for good. In 1993, Larry Richard, Petar Naumoski and Ufuk Sarica took Efes to the Saporta Cup final, but Aris Thessaloniki escaped with a narrow win. In 1996, Efes became the first Turkish club to win a European title when Naumoski and Sarica joined forces with Conrad McRae and a young Mirsad Turkcan to lead Efes to the Korac Cup crown by downing Olimpia Milan in the finals. Efes soon became a EuroLeague regular and in 2000 the club achieved another first among Turkish teams by making the Final Four, a milestone it repeated in the 2001 SuproLeague with Hedo Turkoglu, Mehmet Okur, Predrag Drobnjak, Ibrahim Kutluay and Damir Mulaomerovic leading the way. Efes came within one shot of reaching the 2004 Final Four too, but was denied by Skipper Bologna’s Gianluca Basile. It was back dominating domestically during that span, in which Efes won four consecutive Turkish championships from 2002 through 2005. The club lifted Turkish Cups in 2006 and 2007 and did even better in 2009 by winning the Turkish League and Cup double, but had to wait until 2015 to lift another trophy – the Turkish Cup after beating archrival Fenerbahce in the final. Efes qualified for the EuroLeague playoffs in 2013, but lost to eventual champion Olympiacos Piraeus in a classic series in the maximum five games. Two years later, Efes lost 3-1 in the playoffs to that season's champ, Real Madrid. In 2016-17, the squad coached by Velimir Perasovic reached the playoffs for the third time in five years thanks to a sixth-place finish in the regular season. Its series against Olympiacos was the only one to reach Game 5 that season, but Efes eventually fell to the Reds. Efes ended a three-year title drought with a Turkish Cup triumph in 2018, but the arrival of Shane Larkin and Vasilije Micic took the club to another level. Against all odds, Efes went from being last in the 2017-18 EuroLeague to runner-up a year later. Efes returned to the Final Four in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, and topped Fenerbahce in the semifinal before falling to CSKA Moscow in the championship game. Efes capped a great season by winning the Turkish League behind an unstoppable Larkin. With most of its core players under contract and an undeniable leader in Coach Ergin Ataman, Efes will try to go one step higher and challenge for the EuroLeague title this season.

Trophy Case

Korac Cup: 1996
Turkish National League: 1978-79, 1982-83, 1983-84, 1991-92, 1992-93, 1993-94, 1995-96, 1996-97, 2001-02, 2002-03, 2003-04, 2004-05, 2008-09, 2018-19
Turkish National Cup: 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2015, 2018
Turkish President Cup: 1986, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2015