Akyol: "All I had to do was put the ball in"
BILBAO (FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Turkey forward Cenk Akyol came up with what might go on to become the most understated expression of a glorious achievement in the FIBA Basketball World Cup.
The 27-year-old capped Turkey's brilliant second half resurgence with a stunning corner three-pointer that tied the score at 68 against Finland with four seconds left to play. The game went into overtime where the 2010 FIBA World Championship runners-up did enough to clinch a 77-73 win.
"My job was simple. My teammates had done all the work of getting the ball to me. All I had to do was to put it in. I did nothing else," the Galatasaray player shrugged the praise on him.
"We had to change our strategy completely after the first half. We had a very bad first half. Things were just not happening. And I think they played at a very high level," said Omer Asik who led Turkey's scoring with a game-high 22 points along with 8 rebounds.
We were made to sweat. This was very obvious. - Asik
Turkey coach Ergin Ataman explained more: "I think we played two different games in each half. We were much slower than our normal tempo in the first half.
"I don't think anybody believed that we could win this game, at half-time," he went on, recalling that Turkey trailed by 14 points going into the locker room break.
"There was no choice but to take risk after that. I think Cedi Osman and Sinan Guller came good for us in this.
"We are happy the risk of playing full court continuously paid off.
"I think it's a miracle with the kind of statistics we had. It's over now thankfully. We now have a job to finish tomorrow. We need to win (against Dominican Republic)."