By Semih Tuna/ Stuna@eurohoops.net
Initially scheduled as an off day for Turkey in the 2022 EuroBasket, Furkan Korkmaz, teammates, and fellow members of the senior national team, including Ergin Ataman and assistant coaches, are instead recovering from the explosive aftermath of the game versus Georgia Sunday.
Besides the double-overtime loss to the hosts of Group A, Korkmaz was allegedly attacked in the locker room. Discussing the incident, the Philadelphia 76ers sharpshooter opened up about the involvement of Georgia’s Duda Sanadze and the security staff of the Tbilisi Arena.
“First he started talking shit to me, I am not anybody to talk shit on my face. I am not going to let that happen,” he said, “As part of the game, he is going to say something and you are going to say something back. İ reacted as a human being, as a man, I just showed a reaction.”
Ejected from the game and walking in the tunnel to the locker room, the situation became even more heated. As revealed by the national team selector, Ergin Ataman, a coaching staff member was injured in the fight.
“There were no security measures whatsoever when I was going at locker’s room,” he recalled, “When we were going there, three players from them including Sanadze as well as two security guys, started to run at us. We started throwing punches at each other. Basically, it was a street fight. Five people attacked us, we defended ourselves.”
“It was such a scramble,” he added, “There were players from Georgia. The intention of the security guys was not good. They did not try to intervene in the events.”
Dealing with the situation, FIBA is expected to announce potential suspensions within the next few hours.
As for Turkey, the team coached by Ataman will complete the round-robin schedule of the preliminary round by taking on Belgium and Spain, Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. Locking in one of the top four seeds would get the ticket for the next round and Berlin.
Photo Credit: FIBA.BASKETBALL