The reigning champions have qualified for the third straight year into the Final Four.
The Turkish team is the second to make it to the semi-finals after Real Madrid. They have defeated a clinging Milan team (75-70). Efes was led by German Forward Tibor Pleiss with his 25 points (career-high) and 37 PIR. They could also rely on Vasilije Micic (20 points, 5 rebounds). Datome, who just came back from a knee injury, was the go-to guy with his 21 points. He started a run that put Milano in the lead (66-62) at the start of the 4th quarter. Ettore Messina’s side ultimately fell to Chris Singleton’s free throws in the clutch. Milan was too short in its rotation due to injuries from major players such as Nicolo Melli and Malcolm Delaney.
“It’s an incredible feeling, we had not an easy season and that we now beat one of the best teams in the Euroleague is just a great feeling. Now we have two more to go. The team was amazing. We did a great job together today and in the last few days. I am just happy, too many emotions right now to put into words… I just tried to give my team what they needed the most. I tried to do my job, helping my team win this game. I don’t think so much about what I’m doing, I’m just happy that we won together. I mean, it’s my family and now I go with my family to Belgrade. What a feeling!Tibor Pleiss, Efes Istanbul Forward
Photo : Adrien Moerman – Euroleague