By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Interviewed by CNN Turk, Ergin Ataman discussed the 2019 EuroLeague Final Four and Anadolu Efes’ matchup versus Fenerbahce Beko, touched on his plans for the 2019-20 season as well. However, the Final Four and primary the contest against Fenerbahce is his current priority.
“Obviously I want Anadolu Efes to be the champion of 2019 Final Four” he mentioned and added: “But if we can’t get to the final game, I wish Fenerbahçe to be the champion of Europe. After all, one of Turkish teams is going to be in the final. I want Turkey to showcase its force in this Final Four.”
Afterwards he picked CSKA Moscow as his preference if Efes progresses to the Final: “Three champions of the last three seasons are there. We are the fourth, the only team without a title. It’s hard to prefer an opponent in this bunch. Also, it was a really close chase at the top. I don’t see a big difference between them in terms of quality and level. Real Madrid has an edge over other teams as the defending champion playing in Spain. The distance between Vitoria and Madrid is only 3 hours with a car. Madrid fans are going to flock to the Final Four arena potentially against us or Fenerbahçe if they beat us, CSKA seems to be a more acceptable option because then the advancingTurkish team would have an advantage in number of fans. That’s why CSKA Moscow seems to be more appropriate for me.”
Rolling back on Fenerbahce: “Our season series with Fenerbahçe is 3-3 right now. In the last 3-4 years, there wasn’t a team that managed to beat them in three different games. I think this matters when you think about the semifinal. They play in a controlled pace, we play uptempo. Fenerbahçe is a team based on Obradovic discipline, physicality and tough interior players. We feed off from our creative guards and athletic players. That’s why we match up well with Fenerbahçe. If we are on a good day, we can beat anybody in Europe. Game 3 against Barcelona was a good example of that. We have the power to beat Fenerbahçe, they have the power to stop us from doing so. It is going to be a tremendous game. In my mind, two well-matched opponents are going to be on the court. But, of course, for pundits, the favorite is Fenerbahçe. We never backed down the whole season, including the games against Fenerbahçe. We are going work with all of our might to win this semifinal. I believe we can win the EuroLeague.”
On roster plans for next season, the 53-year-old Turkish coach said: “Anadolu Efes is working really hard to keep the same roster for next year and keep the momentum and excitement built this season. I think the results of this effort is going to be seen after the Final Four. The goal is to keep this roster intact and let them be a unit together with our 16 thousand fans we had on the stands for Game 5 versus Barcelona.”