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Anadolu Efes S.K.
The story of Anadolu Efes Istanbul dates back to 1976 when a failing second division club in Turkey was bought by Efes Pilsen S.K. The club had an almost immediate impact, going through the 1978 Second Division Championship without defeat. This saw the club gain entry to the top flight, a status they have held without break since, and the team managed to win the top flight in its first season, the 1978/79 campaign.
A change to the advertisement of alcohol and tobacco in 2011 saw the name of the basketball team change to Anadolu Efes S.K. The club is rightly proud of the impact it has had on Turkish basketball and with 13 Turkish Basketball Super League titles, they are the team that has won the Turkish title the most.
The sponsorship story of the club is a simple one, having been owned by the Anadolu Efes beer company since their formation.
The Abdi İpekçi Arena and the Sinan Erdem Dome
Anadolu played their home games in the Abdi İpekçi Arena in Istanbul until 2010, which when it was used for basketball games had a capacity of 12,270.
Since 2010 Anadolu Efes Istanbul transferred to the Sinan Erdem Dome, which has a capacity of 16,000 for basketball games. This venue was also the host for the FIBA World Championships in 2010, the Euroleague Final Four in 2011 as well as in 2017 and the FIBA EuroBasket tournament in 2017.
The team also has a practice facility, which is located in the Bahçelievler district of the city.
With 14 triumphs in the Turkish Super League, Anadolu Efes are seen as the most successful domestic team in Turkish basketball. The team triumphed in 1978/79, their first season in the top flight and then enjoyed two winning seasons in the 1980s, 1982/83 and 1983/84. There was a successful run of domestic titles in the 90s, with the side winning the domestic league in 1991/92, 1992/93, 1993/94, 1995/96 and in 1996/97. The new millennium has seen domestic title wins in 2001/02, 2002/03, 2003/04, 2004/05 and again in 2008/09. The most recent championship for Anadolu Efes dates from the 2018/19 season.
Anadolu also holds the record number of victories for the Turkish Cup and the President’s Cup, with more than 10 triumphs in each. The club’s first Turkish Cup win came in 1993/94 and has been followed by success in 1995/95, 1996/96, 1997/98, 2000/01, 2001/02, 2005/06, 2006/07, 2008/09 and again in 2014/15. Their last successful Turkish Cup campaign was during the 2017/18 season.
The team first clinched the President’s Cup in 1986 and has tasted success in 1992, 1993, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2018 and in 2019.
While the side hasn’t won the most recent domestic title, there is still a huge level of respect for the success that Anadolu have achieved in their history in Turkish basketball.
Anadolu were runners in the FIBA Saporta Cup back in 1992/93 and then went on to win the 1995/96 FIBA Korac Cup. This was the first time a Turkish basketball side had won a European tournament. Anadolu have also made themselves a strong fixture of the Euroleague and they have taken third place at the Final Four event in 1999/00 and again in 2000/01.
International success has been harder for Fenerbahçe to achieve but in the 2014/15 season, the club reached the Final Four of the Euroleague, bowing out to eventual winners Real Madrid in the semi-final matchup and then losing in the Third and Fourth-placed game to CSKA Moscow. The club is a well-regarded name in the Euroleague and Turkish fans have enjoyed a number of major results from Fenerbahçe over the years.
In 2018/2019 they made it until the very last game coming short (83-91) against CSKA Moscow who clinched that year’s title.
During the 2019/2020 Euroleague campaign Anadolu Efes Istanbul came out as the regular season winner, but unfortunately they never got a chance to prove their talent as this season was canceled because of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Anadolu Efes Against NBA Teams
Anadolu made history in 2006 when they became the first Turkish team to play against an NBA side.
The Istanbul side played two games in the USA in October of 2006 and then in 2007, Anadolu welcomed a NBA side to Turkey. Anadolu’s record against NBA teams stands at:
- 10 October 2006 Denver Nuggets 118–102 Anadolu Efes
- 12 October 2006 Golden State Warriors 120–66 Anadolu Efes
- 6 October 2007 Minnesota Timberwolves 84–81 Anadolu Efes
Some of the most prominent Turkish players who have played for Anadolu Efes include Volkan Aydın, Tamer Oyguç, Murat Evliyaoğlu, Mehmet Okur, Hidayet Türkoğlu, Serkan Erdoğan, Mustafa Abi, Kaya Peker and Ender Arslan.
Dario Šarić, Petar Naumoski, Bootsy Thornton, Michalis Kakiouzis, Stephane Lasme and Igor Rakočević are some of the more prominent foreign players who have made a positive impact on Turkish basketball for Anadolu Efes.
Current players that stand out on the Anadolu Efes roster are Shane Larking (USA) and Vasilije Micić (Serbia).
In February of 2017, there was a ceremony for the retiring of the number 7 jersey in honour of Petar Naumoski, from the Republic of Macedonia. Naumoski played for the Turkish side between 1992 and 1994 and again between 1995 and 1999.
The club was founded in 1976 and initially named Efes Pilsen S.K. In 2011 the club changed it's name to current Anadolu Efes S.K.
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