Ergin Ataman: “I will try to represent my country in the best way in Greece”

2023-06-17T20:17:43+00:00 2023-06-18T11:51:33+00:00.

Bojan Brezovac

17/Jun/23 20:17

Ergin Ataman spoke after winning the championship against Pınar Karsıyaka about the next chapter of his career, Panathinaikos

By Eurohoops Team/

Anadolu Efes coach Ergin Ataman is leaving Istanbul as a champion to continue his career with Panathinaikos.

While this is no news at this point, Ataman spoke about the next chapter of his career after winning one more championship title in Turkey with Efes

As he stated: “All my life, I’ve been challenged. Panathinaikos is also a new challenge for me. I will try to represent my country in the best way in Greece. Anadolu Efes is my basketball home and I wish them success for the upcoming season. We wrote a great story for five years. We started the season trying to shoot for a third EuroLeague title but it didn’t work, it ended with a drama. We failed. For the first time, we failed Anadolu Efes in the EuroLeague. But everything is over now in Efes, Ergin Ataman is already leaving, when it is said that this team will not finish the season, and moreover Fenerbahçe will prevail. After the 42-point defeat by them, we resurrected and remembered our character. We put our heart, strength, and character on the court. Our character never gives up”.

Speaking about the Turkish league finals, Ataman added: “First of all, I have to congratulate Karsıyaka, they fought very well. They showed how good a team they are by coming to the finals. There was a heavy atmosphere and it is very meaningful to win the third match and become the champion here, on the road. We remembered that we were a team again in the playoffs, and our injuries got better. Two competitions were played in Turkey this season. The Cup is already in our museum and now the Basketball Super League championship will be in our museum at the end of the season. I am proud of that”.

Of course, Ataman admitted that the main goal was a historic EuroLeague three-peat: “I am sorry for the EuroLeague. We had a dream, so we set out to do something that no one else could do, but we failed, we couldn’t make the playoffs. If we could make the playoffs, a lot could have happened there too, but it didn’t happen. It’s not easy for me. After all these years, I worked at Anadolu Efes not like a professional, but like an amateur. I will be happy if I can be called the legend of Anadolu Efes in the future.  We were all demoralized from not reaching our goal in the EuroLeague. It’s a fact, but it’s a sport, sometimes it just doesn’t happen. In my 5-year Anadolu Efes adventure, there were three EuroLeague finals, two of which have been won. It was a dominant EuroLeague period. This is my third Turkish league championship with Efes. There are also Presidential and Turkish Cup championships. I am at peace now”.

On a personal note, Ataman added: “A change was needed. We decided on this together with our president. I think it will be good for both parties. We’ll go our ways, maybe we’ll come back to each other one day. Maybe we’ll come back with a trophy. In Turkey, we have a mission with the national team. It will be the Olympic Qualifiers. I am here, we are all together. I’m going alone, but Sarp (ed.note: his son) will continue to represent me here. Sarp does not come to Athens by saying that he will be in the stands of Efes as a fan”.