13 February 2013
Two things are in play: group lead and an unbeaten record. Real Madrid will finish the first half of the Top 16 games in Istanbul against the second best team in Group E, Anadolu Efes (20:45, Realmadrid TV), in what will be the Euroleague’s Game of the Week. The Whites will go the Abdi Ipekci Arena with a flawless 6-0 record. Also, four of those wins have been achieved from the Palacio de los Deportes. They come up against a team that have only lost once, against CSKA in the opening match. That is to say that they have five consecutive victories. One more thing: if Real Madrid win, it will be there best ever winning streak, of 8.
The cup defeat is in the past. Now there are other objectives to achieve. The closest of those is to beat Anadolu Efes on their court and get a seventh victory in the Top 16 and their fifth away. The team has travelled to Istanbul with the firm intention of inflicting a second Top 16 defeat on Oktay’s team and maintaining their position as a group leader and their undefeated record. They will not have it easy. The Turks, who slipped up on the opening day of this phase, have since got back on track, having won their last five games which puts them in second place in the group, behind Real Madrid. Also, do not forget that the home side’s performances improves at home where their fans are play an important role.
In spite of that, Real Madrid will go all out for the win in the game that will be played in the mighty Abdi Ipekci Sports Arena. Also, they will have in mind that they do not have the worst record on that court. Of the five times that the Whites have played on Anadolu’s court, four of them have ended in a Whites victory, the latest of which came last season (66-75).