EuroLeague 2022 Final: Anadolu Efes repeats as champions

por Roberto Anidos publicado en 2022 Anadolu Efes Decade 2020 EuroLeague Real Madrid

2022 will be remembered for the fact that Russian teams were disqualified because of Russia’s war invasion of Ukraine. A decision that affected the European top competition in sporting terms

In the regular phase, Barcelona was again, as in the previous year, the best and also in an outstanding way in a league marked by the removal of the Russian teams, CSKA, Zenit and Unics, for war reasons after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This altered the classification because all the results played against the Russians were annulled. In the fight for the eighth place, things were resolved more calmly than in other years.

At the qualification level, Panathinaikos was left out of the playoffs, and another illustrious team, which not so long ago was a reference in Europe, such as Fenerbahce, had to watch the playoffs on television. The reigning champion, after an irregular season, finished sixth, as a poisoned gift, and above the aforementioned Barcelona, Olympiacos surprisingly second, Armani Milan, and Real Madrid fourth.

1. Barcelona (21-7)
2. Olympiacos (19-9)
3. Armani Milán (19-9)
4. Real Madrid (18-10)
5. Maccabi (17-11)
6. Anadolu Efes (16-12)
7. AS Mónaco (15-13)
8. Bayern Múnich (14-14)
9. Baskonia (12-16)
10. ALBA Berlín (12-16)
11. Estrella Roja (12-16)
12. Fenerbahce (10-18)
13. Panathinaikos (9-19)
14. ASVEL Villeurbanne (8-20)
15. Zalgiris Kaunas (8-20)

In the playoffs there was a little bit of everything, Real Madrid, which arrived with many doubts, took Maccabi ahead (3-0), Anadolu Efes took advantage of Armani Milan’s nerves, under pressure to eliminate them (1-3) with home court factor against them, and both Olympiacos against Monaco, and Barcelona against Bayern Munich, had to go to a fifth game to ensure the final four.

The same thing happened to Barcelona as in the previous season. After dominating the regular league with the utmost authority, they again had to suffer the pain of playing a fifth game, this time against Bayern Munich. The Catalans were unable to string together two consecutive victories against a Bayern team that fought hard all the way.

(77-67); (75-90); (75-66); (52-59); (81-72)

The same thing happened to Olympiacos, who suffered from the lack of confidence of a Monaco team led by Mike James, with nothing to lose and that only being in the top eight was a real feat for them. The series went from win up to win down, until Piraeus passed sentence in the fifth and final game, with a court invasion at the end of the match.

(71-54); (72-96); (83-87); (78-77); (94-88)

Armani Milan, one of the most in-form projects of the championship, paid the price for the poor regular phase of the reigning champions, Anadolu Efes. Messina’s team arrived at the crucial moment with many injuries, and the pressure did the rest. The Turks started the series by winning on Italian soil, and then on their home court they secured the two victories to qualify for the final four.

(48-64); (73-66); (77-65); (75-70)

Real Madrid arrived with many doubts after an end of the regular season accumulating defeats and faced a powerful Maccabi with very good sensations, but the truth is that the Whites left no room for doubt and eliminated the Israelis in a clear and sometimes convincing way.

(84-74); (95-66); (76-87)


After the playoffs came the long-awaited final four, which this year was held in the Serbian capital of Belgrade. Of the four, two repeated from the previous year, Barcelona and Anadolu Efes, and returned for these parts, Real Madrid, who after a break f4, his last had been in 2019, would opt for the title, and Olympiacos, that between one thing and another were not in a final four since 2017. The semifinals were served, BARCELONA vs REAL MADRID, a classic that since 2014 was not disputed in a prelude to the final, and OLYMPIACOS vs ANADOLU EFES.


The first semifinal was intense as expected and the winner was not decided until the final horn. The game had two distinct parts, the first with Olympiacos taking the lead and dominating the scoreboard and then suffering the reaction of Efes tightened the scoreboard so that everything was decided in a toss-up. The Greeks missed their last possessions, giving Micic the chance to score the winning three-pointer in the last breath.

Anadolu Efes 77
*Micic – 15p, 9a, 6r
*Larkin – 21p, 7a
*Anderson – 0p, 4r
*Moerman – 0p, 4r
*Pleiss – 8p, 7r, 1t
Beaubois – 0p
Bryant – 16p, 6r, 1br
Singleton – 5p, 5r, 1a
Dunston – 12p, 2a, 1r

Olympiacos 74
*Walkup – 5p, 4a, 3br
*Dorsey – 11p, 4r, 2br
*Papanikolaou – 10p, 4r, 2a
*Vezenkov – 5p, 8r, 3a
*Fall – 7p, 5r, 2a
Sloukas – 11p, 6a, 4r
Larentzakis – 0p
McKissic – 12p, 3r
Printezis – 2p
Martin – 11p, 2r, 2t


In the other semifinal, Real Madrid won the game thanks to its dominance in the rebounding and its ability to minimize the great performance of Mirotic. The forward led his team so that Barcelona dominated the scoreboard for many minutes, but they suffered an overwhelming partial in the third act that put the Whites in the game. In the last few possessions, Madrid managed better and took a hard-fought victory that placed them four years later, and also in Belgrade, in a new EuroLeague final.

Real Madrid 86
*Williams-Goss – 0p, 1a
*Causeur – 18p, 3br, 2a
*Hanga – 4p, 3r, 3a
*Deck – 7p, 7r, 1a
*Yabusele – 18p, 8r, 1a
Llull – 15p, 3r, 3a
Abalde – 7p, 1r
Rudy – 3p
Poirier – 6p, 5r, 3t
Tavares – 8p, 3r, 3t
Taylor – 0p

Barcelona 83
*Calathes – 4p, 9a, 3r
*Laprovittola – 17p, 2a, 1r
*Exum – 7p, 1r, 1a
*Mirotic – 26p, 12r, 5a
*Sanli – 2p, 2r, 1t
Jokubaitis – 4p, 1r
Abrines – 7p, 1r
Higgins – 0p, 1r
Smits – 1p, 2r, 1a
Davies – 15p, 5r, 2a
Hayes-Davis – 0p, 3r
Kuric – 0p

In the lowest-scoring Euroleague final, Anadolu Efes retained its championship title by beating Real Madrid 58-57 in the final in Belgrade. The Whites, who will have to wait to win their eleventh European Cup, dominated until the 25th minute (31-40), but the Turkish champions recovered from that moment on and, after taking the lead in the final moments of the game, were able to keep their advantage in the face of Madrid’s misguided attacks (with a horrendous 6 of 33 in three-pointers, which brought to nothing a great white defense and 18 offensive rebounds).

With Anadolu already one point ahead in the last minute, an incomprehensible decision by Pablo Laso buried the victory options of the white team, by allowing the Istanbul team to keep possession of the ball until the last seconds without forcing the necessary fouls to take it to the personnel line. German center Tibor Pleiss (19 points, 17 after halftime, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks) was fundamental in Anadolu Efes’ victory, although the real performer was Serbian point guard Vasilije Micic (23 points), named MVP of the Final Phase, who once again converted impossible three-pointers like the one that gave his team the victory in the semifinal against Olympiacos. The defeat was especially hard for a Real Madrid that, after overcoming its huge crisis in February, seemed to have returned to the path of triumph and good play after its brilliant qualification in the playoffs against Maccabi and was even able to finally defeat Barcelona, its bête noire all season long, in the semifinals.

The Belgrade final had a very poor game but a great emotion. Without pure point guards – Nigel Williams-Goss was injured in the first minute of the semifinal, Carlos Alocén had been on the sidelines for weeks and Thomas Heurtel was still suspended for his «Athens» bender, Madrid made it clear from the start that they were going to take Anadolu Efes to a mud-slinging battle. With Edy Tavares closing the rim and scoring very easily in the opponent’s (12 of his team’s first 15 points), Real Madrid took an important first lead already in the first quarter (6-15). Anadolu Ele lived exclusively on the scoring of Micic and Shane Larkin (authors of 23 of the 29 points of the Turkish team at halftime), scarce arguments against a slightly more accurate opponent in a game of little brightness. Real Madrid regained a seven-point lead in the second quarter (22-29), driven by Anthony Randolph’s three-pointers, before going five minutes ahead Randolph, before going five up at halftime (29-34).

At the restart, the «covered» Pleiss was the catalyst of Anadolu Efes’ reaction, with five straight points after Madrid had reached its maximum lead in the 25th minute (31-40), something that in a game of such poor scoring and pace was a treasure. Despite the complete disappearance of Larkin, who could only score on penetrations full of fundamentals, Anadolu. Efes culminated its comeback at the beginning of the last quarter (45-42), but could not get away from a Madrid that compensated with offensive rebounds its many failures in the outside shooting. A three-pointer by Gaby Deck left everything to be decided with two minutes left (53-53). Micic answered from beyond the arc (56-53) and Pleiss answered Fabien Causeur’s and Edy Tavares’ free throws with a providential bucket for his team with 1:05 left (58-55). A penetration by Sergio Llull put the game away with 44 seconds on the clock (58-57). Real Madrid had only two team fouls and chose to use its two remaining fouls before going into the bonus to prevent Anadolu Efes’ dangerous outside shots, but at the cost of running down the clock and risking running out of time for one last possession. With 17 seconds left, Madrid was already in the bonus and its only option was to try to steal the ball or make a quick foul that would allow it to have the last attack. To everyone’s surprise, Laso’s men defended without fouling and Anadolu Efes used up its possession until Larkin hit a three-pointer with four seconds left. The American point guard missed, but it didn’t matter, because the game died in the fight for the rebound.

Anadolu Efes 57
*Micic – 23p, 2r, 2r
*Larkin – 10p, 6r, 4a
*Anderson – 0p, 1r, 1a
*Moerman – 0p, 6r
*Pleiss – 19p, 7r, 2t
Beaubois – 0p, 1r
Bryant – 0p, 8r, 1a
Singleton – 4p, 7r, 2br
Dunston – 2p, 1r, 1t

Real Madrid 58
*Abalde – 2p, 3r
*Hanga – 5p, 3r, 1a
*Deck – 5p, 3r
*Yabusele – 3p, 3r
*Tavares – 14p, 11r, 1t
Llull – 9p, 6a, 1br
Causeur – 3p, 2r, 1a
Rudy – 2p, 2r, 2a
Taylor – 3p, 2r
Poirier – 5p, 4r, 2t
Randolph – 6p, 2r