By Eurohoops Team/ email@example.com
Cedi Osman and his teammates in the Turkish national team are gearing up for the 2019 FIBA World Cup set to take place between August 31st and September 15th at China. The series of friendly games included a victory against France that built on confidence for the 24-year-old forward of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the rest of Ufuk Sarica’s players.
“I think we are playing well” Osman mentioned following the friendly win and went on: “This was an important game for us, and it was against France, one of the best teams and one of the favorites to win the World Cup. It was really important to show this kind of performance. To go out there and give our best was really important for the team, and we’re happy about this win. Of course, this win doesn’t really mean anything yet, so we have to keep fighting.”
“Obviously, we don’t have a lot of experience, especially at the World Cup” he confessed and explained: “There are only two players who have really played, Ersan Ilyasova and Semih Erden. I played in 2014 but not too much. That’s why I think this is going to be a really good experience for everybody, so we just have to keep playing well.”
“I think we’re in a tough group” he commented on facing the Czech Republic, USA and Japan in the first round, before adding: “We don’t know much about Japan, but we talked to the coaches a bit and know they’re a really dangerous team. Obviously, the United States aren’t coming with their best team, but it’s a very deep roster and still have a lot of good NBA players. It’s tough, but it’s not impossible to beat them. We have to play our best game, try to win and try to get first in the group. I believe that we have a good team for that.”
“First, we have to finish top two in our group and then the same in the second group, which is going to be really tough” he pointed out and on the goal of securing a spot in the 2020 Olympic Games mentioned: “But I believe we have that mentality and we can be in the Olympics.”
“I feel really comfortable, especially with my experience playing with the Cleveland Cavaliers. That helped a lot” he mentioned and furthered: “It helped me grow my basketball, so I believe in myself on both sides of the court. I’ve been working hard since May. We had a few months off after the season, so I rested a little bit and then started working on my game because I know that this will be a really important summer for me.”
Examining second place in the 2010 World Cup, he remembered: “USA had a really strong squad in 2010 with KD, D-Rose and all those great players, but Turkey still fought till the end. They fought for 40 minutes and finished second, which was huge for us,” and on the current generation of players said: “We’re younger than that team and don’t have that much experience, but we just have to believe in each other and keep playing hard no matter what. We’re not afraid of anybody.”