|Host City: Kayseri|
|Host City: Istanbul|
|Host City: Ankara|
|5. Puerto Rico||1/4||6|
|6. Cote d'Ivoire||1/4||6|
|Host City: Izmir|
|3. New Zealand||3/2||8|
|#||Name||P||Height||DOB||Place Of Birth||Club|
|08/11/1983||Sisli-Istanbul, Turkey||Efes Pilsen, TBL (TUR)|
|03/01/1985||Bakirköy, Turkey||Banvit, TBL (TUR)|
|04/02/1978||Mersin, Turkey||Fenerbahçe Ülker, TBL (TUR)|
|15/05/1987||Eskisehir, Turkey||Milwaukee Bucks, NBA (USA)|
|14/04/1979||Istanbul, Turkey, Turkey||Efes Pilsen, TBL (TUR)|
|13/07/1987||Balikesir, Turkey||Fenerbahçe Ülker, TBL (TUR)|
|13/01/1983||Istanbul, Turkey||Efes Pilsen, TBL (TUR)|
|04/07/1986||Bursa, Turkey||Chicago Bulls, NBA (USA)|
ANKARA (2010 FIBA World Championship) – Turkey cruised to an 87-40 win over China to finish Group C undefeated (5-0) and set up an Eight-Final against New Zealand.
China – who were assured of a place in the next round where they will face Lithuania after Ivory Coast beat Puerto Rico 88-79 – used this game to rest their star players and starters allowing for the bench players to get some extensive playing time.
Turkey had a similar approach, benching four of their five starters with the exception of Hedo Turkoglu who played 10 minutes.
Yi Jianlian, sitting on the bench in street clothes, watched as his team trailed 15-6 at the end of the first quarter. Head coach Bob Donewald Jr revealed afterwards that an MRI would be needed to see the extent of an Achilles injury to his star player.
The second period was not much better for China as Oguz Savas and Omer Asik made their presence felt down low and helped the hosts take a commanding 39-13 lead at the break.
Things weren’t much different in the second half as the hosts extended their advantage to 66-25 as they headed into the fourth quarter and the young Chinese got some offense going in that period.
China came into the game knowing their place in Istanbul was secure after Ivory Coast failed to win by the 12-point margin they required to edge the Chinese out in the tiebreak.
Bogdan Tanjevic (Turkey head coach): “Thank you to the city of Ankara for the hospitality. I’m very happy for the team to have played so well here. We approached this game with great respect for our opponents and did not underestimate them. We played hard
Savas Oguz (Turkey forward/centre): “This was a comfortable win. Our first place was guaranteed. However we have ensured that we keep our winning ways. We did what we are supposed to do and we should look to continue to play this way.”
Bob Donewald Jr (China head coach): “Turkey was very good. Congratulations to them for winning the pool. Thanks to Ankara for its hospitality. Today we played the young guys and it will be an experience they will never forget. They made a lot of mistakes but two or three years from now they can look back on it as a great lesson.”
Sun Yue (China forward): “This was a tough game, we played a lot of our young players. I was the oldest out there. I think they got a good experience. We look forward to the next round.”
|Min||Minutes played||Tot||Total rebounds||BS||Block Shots|
|%||Shooting percentage||PF||Personal fouls||G||Played Games|
The time has come
Turkey has been preparing for this tournament since 2004. For six years everything has been done with a focus on the 2010 FIBA World Championship. Nine years ago, the country hosted Eurobasket 2001 and went on to take the silver medal. 2010 is seen as a turning point in Turkey’s fortunes in international competitions. Will all the hard work, agony and patience be rewarded?
Turkey is a country that is emotionally-driven by sports. The heart is usually superior to the mind. Obviously, that strategy has its advantages and disadvantages. When emotions run high, unfathomable goals can be reached and unimaginable things can occur. The downside is when emotions run the other way, with sulking and disintegration on the cards. The main characteristic aspect of Turkish national teams has always been the emotional status. That's why they're usually unpredictable. Turkey is like a snowball on the top of a mountain. If you push it down, it will stick to all the snow and turn into an avalanche…or alternatively it can stay there on the mountain top only to be melted by the morning sun.
Well what better way to enhance your emotional prowess than to play in front of your adoring fans where one small play can result in a frenzy? If you want an example, look no further than Eurobasket 2001, which Turkey hosted. They started real slow, needing overtime to beat Latvia, losing to Slovenia in the group stage before roaring back with two incredible comeback wins over Croatia and Germany, which are still fresh in the memory. In fact, they still seem unreal to this day. It is impossible to explain those wins only in basketball terms. Turkey played with the most effective performance enhancer of all time – an emotional high.
Turkey has been working to host the 2010 FIBA World Championship since 2004. Bogdan Tanjevic was chosen as Turkey’s head coach back then looking ahead to this event. The subsequent Eurobasket 2005 and 2007 squads were chosen with 2010 always in mind. This FIBA World Championship is seen as a turning point for Turkish basketball just like 2001 proved to be. The emotional effect of having home court advantage and playing in front of partisan fans is the biggest thing Turkey relies on.
But the home crowd super effect aside, the outlook doesn't look very bright for Turkey in a basketball sense. Turkish teams sank to an all-time low in European competitions last season and players abroad didn't have the best of seasons either. The National Team is suffering, particularly in the backcourt. Playmakers Kerem Tunçeri and Ender Arslan had mediocre seasons. Engin Atsür had a breakout performance but is still just a back-up at this point. Where Turkey suffers the most is on the wings. The basketball tradition in the country has produced dead-eye shooters for the past 30 years, but the well has dried up. Cenk Akyol never blossomed into the scorer people expected him to be while Omer Onan, Sinan Güler and Evren Büker are good players but limited offensively.
Actually, among the outside players, the only 'point-producer' is Hidayet Turkoglu who had a dismal season with the Toronto Raptors. Turkey hope that home court advantage will rejuvenate the players to a point where they will banish memories of the 2009-10 season. The frontcourt is loaded but it has its own problems too. Mehmet Okur of the Utah Jazz will not play after tearing his Achilles tendon while Kerem Gönlüm has served a doping suspension, but last played a competitive basketball game in June 2009. Rising star Ömer Aşık broke his collarbone and then had a contract dispute with his team and has not played since December of last year.
Nevertheless, Turkey have been waiting for this since 2004. Everyone is excited, everyone has high expectations and everyone is ready to explode. A tiny bit of hope, one play, one push down the mountain is all it takes. Turkey is ready to roll – and has been ready to do so for six years.