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Brock Motum and Anadolu Efes advance to EuroLeague final
In what is considered the best league outside of the NBA, Brock Motum and his Turkish club Anadolu Efes Istanbul advanced to the final of the 2019 EuroLeague season.
Efes dismantled cross-town rivals Fenerbahce in the first Final Four semi-final played in the host city Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain in front of a full house. Behind an impressive shooting performance with Final Four record-tying 14 three-pointers while outrebounding their foes 25-43, Efes registered a 73-92 victory to advance to their first ever EuroLeague Final.
Motum, a 6'10 stretch forward from Queensland who is playing in his second season with Efes, impressed in just his second game back from a hamstring injury. The 2016 Rio Olympian provided an offensive spark off the bench, adding 9 points, including a perfect 2-2 from three-point territory, alongside 4 rebounds in just 13 minutes.
After a tight opening period that had Efes trailing by 1 point, motum was injected into the contest at the start of the second and had an immediate impact. He played almost the entire period, adding 6 points, pulling down 2 rebounds as his side opened up an important 7 point lead before he checked back out.
He returned to close out the game with Efes leading by 18 points, hitting his second triple of the night to to round out an impressive team performance. Motum is now in a position to become Australia's first EuroLeague champion since Joe Ingles won the 2014 championship with Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Efes star Shane Larkin was the player of the night, exploding for 30 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists, while team mate Vasilije Micic scored a career-high 25 points [Box Score].
There is little time to bask in their semi-final victory, with Efes set to take on Russian superpower CSKA Moscow in the final on Monday morning Australian time. CSKA accounted for Spanish giants Real Madrid 95-90 in theirt semi-final behind 23 points each from former NBA stars Nando de Colo and Sergio Rodriguez.
Efes swept their Russian opponents during the season, and will enter the final in their best form of the season.
The game will be streamed live on the official EuroLeague Facebook page on Monday morning Australian time, tipping off at 4:30am AEST.