Anadolu Efes will need to forget their late 80-76 loss to Real Madrid on Tuesday if they are to win their way into the EuroLeague semi-finals on Thursday.
The Game three loss to the ten-time champions was unexpected but Efes head coach Ergin Ataman insists it is a question of discipline for his side.
“We must not break with discipline and struggle for 40 minutes,” Ataman told the club’s website.
“Without waiting for the Final Four to come to us, we are aware that we have to get it. We learned a hard lesson in the last game. If a team that is 2-0 behind in the series and 12 points behind in the last four minutes of the match can win that match, we should not forget how much character and experienced that team is. We must know that we have to work hard to win tomorrow night. “
On the other hand, Pablo Lasso’s men will be hoping to use the momentum from the win to push to tie the series and settle it in Game Five.
“We’re obviously happy with yesterday’s win because the team put a lot in and that was evident at the end, when we were able to turn the game around after it got very difficult,” Lasso said on Wednesday.
“But we’re still 2-1, we’re behind in the playoff and we’re up against a great team. We have to move on quickly and focus on the fourth game.
“In the series, teams are forced to change things. We’re at a point in the season when many of the in the games are already prepared, whether you use them or not. In that sense, the team was very focused and very good”.
Tavares not yet confirmed
Real missed out on the strength of big man Walter Tavares in Game Three and have still not confirmed him for Thursday’s game yet.
“At this stage of the season, every team is physically weak. We put in a big effort yesterday and it’s time to recover today. Regarding Tavares, we’re sticking to what we talked about on Tuesday. We will wait until tomorrow to see how he and the rest of the team are feeling,” Lasso explained.
Asked about the difficulty of facing Efes, Lasso had words of praise for his opponents but urged his players to be ready.
“Efes can and will surely change something, although they have a sense of dominating the game that we saw there, and showed a lot of accuracy, a lot of blocking and fluidity, and players who can score and create plays. We must be prepared, aware that it’ll be a different game to the previous three,” he said.