By Achilleas Mavrodontis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
His move to CSKA Moscow was criticized by the Georgia president, but Tornike Shengelia is considered a loyal frontman for his country by the national team boss Ilias Zouros. The Greek head coach talked to Eurohoops about the former Baskonia captain and CSKA newcomer, dived into the Basketball Champions League as well.
“Shengelia is a player who really focuses on the national team and his country,” he pointed out recalling coaching him in major FIBA tournaments, “He won the ACB championship with Baskonia and proudly carried the flag of his country. Merely one hour after the final, he texted me mentioning that he can’t wait for similar experiences with the national team.”
Diplomatic relations between Georgia and Russia and CSKA being the “Club of the Army” led the country’s president Salome Zurabishvili to call his decision unfortunate and unacceptable via a post on her Facebook page.
“I will not accept anything against such a loyal person who represents his country in the best possible way by competing at the top level,” Zouros added ruling out any form of wrongdoing on Shengelia’s part, “Sports bring people together. Sports have nothing to do with politics.”
Apart from guiding Georgia, Zouros tipped off the 2019-20 season at the club level as the head coach of Peristeri winmasters. A Basketball Champions League debut run cut short did not prevent him from being impressed.
“I really enjoyed the Basketball Champions League, a tournament constantly evolving. It tends to correct past mistakes and is gaining even more top players moving forward despite the ongoing issues for most clubs,” he noted, “I believe BCL with these teams will maintain its upward trend.”
Photo Credit: FIBA.BASKETBALL