Eric Koreen: Turkey beats Czech Republic 87-70, locking up first place in its group in the Victoria OQT. That means Canada will play winner of Czech/Uruguay in Saturday’s semi, while Turkey plays winner of China/Greece.
Furkan Korkmaz and Ersan Ilyasova will join their national team in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament of Victoria, Canada (29/6 to 4/7) where the “12 Giant Men” will compete for the ticket that will lead to Tokyo.
While on the NBA matter, the 55-year-old Efes coach also addressed the rumor mill surrounding EuroLeague MVP Vasilije Micic as well as the upcoming departure of Sertac Sanli to Barcelona. “There are a lot of candidates for the NBA, especially Vasilije Micic, but we are doing everything we can to keep them. While we were worried about Micic, Sertac Sanli’s transfer to Barcelona came out. He’s talking very seriously right now. Although, during our last visit, President Ergodan also warned him. He said, ‘what would you do there? Why would you leave the champions for the runner-ups?”. I’m saying the same thing.”
Ataman was asked about whether or not he would ever join Fenerbahce and admitted that he has received offers from other European clubs, though he wants to stay committed with Efes and try his luck in the NBA in the future. “I’m very happy at Anadolu Efes. Not Fenerbahce, but I got many offers from Europe this year. My goal is to continue to win championships with my team. I hope maybe someday in the future, something that has never happened before, the NBA, You know, this is the top of the show business. A European coach has never been hired in the history of NBA basketball. This is my next goal, not Fenerbahce”, says Ataman.
Cedi Osman stepped up for the Turkish selection with 14 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists as the team beat Russia with ease to start their preparations for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Draft prospect Alperen Sengun had 13 points and 8 rebounds
Fenerbahce Beko announced that the club parted ways with six players. Center Kyle O’Quinn, guard Lorenzo Brown, guard Kenan Sipahi, guard Alex Perez, big man Johnny Hamilton and forward Berkay Candan are no longer members of Fenerbahce. Their contracts were either ending or included a club option for 2021-22 that Fenerbahce didn’t exercise.