I want to tell the thing at the beginning which i should tell at the end: Turkish National Team can play at least semi final but also can not see the quarter final. Its up to their daily motivation.
I am following the team from Bormio camp. They really worked hard at Italy. I have never seen that before. Morning and Evening totaly 6 hours practice everyday. Bogdan Tanjevic wasnt there because of his disease but the players worked in a great discipline.
After Bormio They played at Adidas Istanbul Cup and they played so so. But at the same time the team lost Engin Atsur, one of the most important player of the system. They took Baris Ermis the other potential point guard of Turkey but we are not sure what he can do. Everybody ll see that on the tournament.
When we look at the positions on our team. I think we may have problem on scorer guard position especially on the last quarters. But i think Tanjevic ll give that mission to Hido Turkoglu or Ersan Ilyasova. They ll be the key players.
At the other hand Omer Asik who is going to play for Chicago Bulls on next year, he can be the star on tournament if he can solve the foul shot problem. He didnt play on his team Fenerbahce Ulker during the season because his injury but he worked really hard and come back. And also Kerem Gonlum and Omer Onan – the veterans ll help that team with their energy.
Kerem Tunceri, Ender Arslan ll dominate the point guard position. And also the teams should take special attention to Sinan Guler. They dont know him but he ll hurt you if you dont take care of him.
Finally i think our best weapon ll be our fantastic supporters. Turkish people give too much importance to that tournament. Because thats the biggest one of our country history.
Especially all the people at Ankara are waiting for Greece game. That ll be a great competition. As you know from last year at Poland 2009, most of the people think that Turkey should beat Greece on that time and close the account. I think this game ll be the one of the best game of tournament.
I wish all the fans and teams a great tournament. Best regards from Istanbul!
Mustafa Bozkurt is a Turkish journalist working for the Eurobasket.com and Sabah newspaper