Ergin Ataman on FIBA change of schedule: “I see it as a positive development”

2022-09-30T20:02:34+00:00 2022-09-30T20:02:34+00:00.

Aris Barkas

30/Sep/22 20:02

Ergin Ataman held a press conference for the upcoming season and addressed Shane Larkin’s injury, the goal of the three-peat and the change of FIBA’s World cup qualifiers

By Eurohoops team/

Ergin Ataman always provides good quotes and his latest pre-season press conference was not an exception. Among other things, Ataman addressed among other things the injury of Shane Larkin and the possibility of adding a player on the roster of Anadolu Efes, the big goal of the three-peat, and also he talked about the decision of FIBA to move the November windows to a single day.

Speaking about the condition of Shane Larkin, who suffered a hand injury during the Eurobasket, Ataman announced that Efes could recruit a player: “We will know at the 15th of October when Shane Larkin will return to the court. Our guess is that he will be able to play towards the end of November. We will discuss whether to make a transfer in Larkin’s absence at the board meeting on Monday. We’re looking at who’s available right now. If we find a player to fill Larkin’s void for 2-3 months, we can consider it, but in the end, it’s a management decision”.

And while this may sound too much, it’s not since Efes is on the quest for a three-peat, the first ever since the 1990s and Jugoplastica.

As Ataman explained: “We are starting with big goals, as we did last season. It should also be noted that there has been a lot of activity in the transfer window of the EuroLeague this season. We have seen that teams have undergone serious revisions and reinforcements. Of course, we are in the position of a team that is the target of all teams right now. But we also made some changes regarding last season. The management has made serious sacrifices. We managed to keep two very important EuroLeague players on the team, Micic and Larkin. Likewise, we added important players such as Will Clyburn, Ante Zizic, and Achille Polonara. We got Amath M’Baye from the Turkish League, which we liked very much in recent years. That’s why we strengthened our team, but it is clear that there will be a big competition. When you look at it, it is very difficult to say anything today. We started the EuroLeague badly last year. After that, we barely recovered, but we finally reached the goal. We want to start this season well, we want to start with wins. Of course, the absence of Larkin is a disadvantage, but we do not take this as an excuse. We want to win the championship title three years in a row, which has not been done yet in the modern history of the EuroLeague. There are currently three teams that have taken it two years in a row. After Maccabi and Olympiakos, we did it, but there is no team that has won three years in a row. Of course, we will try to achieve that”.

Meanwhile, as the coach of the Turkish national team which is in danger of missing the upcoming FIBA World Cup, Ataman has to also thing about the FIBA Windows, in which it would be hard for him to coach or prepare anything for the national team, while he will also have games with Efes.

That’s why Ataman thinks that the latest decision of FIBA is a positive step forward: “FIBA has made a move. I also got the news yesterday. If the EuroLeague does it too and changes the matches of the week where the National Team matches will be held to Wednesday-Thursday instead of Thursday-Friday, at least the matches will not overlap. I think it’s a positive development. After many years, a step has been taken. Clearer steps can also be taken in this regard. It’s not very difficult. I think that when the two sides sit at the table, there will be a solution in good faith. National Teams are also very important and the last four matches are in the World Cup Qualifiers. A very critical juncture. In that respect, I find FIBA’s approach positive. If the EuroLeague can move the matches to Wednesday-Thursday, even if only they can move it to Tuesday-Wednesday, I think the issue will be resolved at some point. At least one window is bypassed this way. I see it as a positive development”