October 6, 2022

Ergin Ataman: ‘It’s the worst loss in my 26-year coaching career’ / News

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Ergin Ataman did not want to comment about the game in the press conference and instead admitted that it was probably the worst emotional loss in his entire coaching career.

Turkey miraculously lost the game against France earlier today in EuroBasket 2022 Round of 16.

Player of the Game
Rudy  Gobert

EFF

24

Rudy Gobert

Points 20
Accuracy 7-11
Rebounds 17
Assists 2

After the game, Turkey’s head coach Ergin Ataman did not even want to comment on the game.

“I know that there are many journalists here, and you want to do your job, but I won’t have any comments about the game,” Ataman said. “It might be the worst emotional loss in my 26-year coaching career.”

With 24 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Evan Fournier stepped out of bounds, leaving Turkey in the driving seat to finish the game up by two. Additionally, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot committed an unsportsmanlike foul against Cedi Osman. However, Osman missed both free throws and then failed to inbound the ball, leaving France with another chance (77-75).

Although Fournier missed a layup with just 3 seconds to go, Rudy Gobert followed up with a putback dunk, tying the game (77-7). The last attack from Turkey was not successful, and the teams had to go to overtime.

“We started the game terribly,” Ataman told. “Everybody thought France was a much better team than us without [Shane] Larkin and that we didn’t have any chance, but after that, we understood that it was time to fight.”

“We started applying the same defense France was during the first quarter, the started being more aggressive, offensively Bugrahan Tuncer had an excellent day, Sertac Sanli had an excellent day. Then, when we came back, we took the emotion and started controlling the game.”

In the overtime, Rudy Gobert dominated in the paint. He scored 5 points and grabbed 5 rebounds during the additional 5 minutes, leading France to a close win.

Down by four (82-86), Tuncer pushed Gobert in the back during an alley-opp, receiving an unsportsmanlike foul. Gobert converted only one free throw, and Turkey answered with four straight points (86-87). Gobert missed both free throws once again with 12 seconds left, but Turkey did not manage to even attempt a shot, and France was ultimately victorious.

“Of course, France won the game, but I think we deserved to win,” Ataman believed. “This is basketball. Sometimes miracles happen, and this time a miracle happened against us.”

“We played excellently in the fourth quarter until the last possessions. In overtime, we went completely down morally. The game came back after Gobert missed the free throws, but it was very difficult for us after a moment when everybody thought that Turkey won the game,” the coach concluded.

Interestingly, it was not the first time Cedi Osman stood to take two important free throws and missed both of them.

As Bugrahan Tuncer noted in the press conference, back in 2019, during a group stage match against the USA in the 2019 FIBA World Cup, Turkey was up by one (92-91) with 9 seconds to go, and Osman took two shots from the stripe.

The forward missed both of them in 2019 as well, as the USA ultimately took the win by a single point as well.





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