Turkey Geared Up For Efes Cup

29 August 2005

Turkey are not firing on all cylinders yet but confidence in the group is high after a 15-day training camp in Italy.

Turkey boss Bogdan Tanjevic, who famously steered the Italians to the gold medal at the EuroBasket six year ago, took his Turkey squad to Bormio and while in the country, they played six friendlies, including games against Bulgaria and Italy.

The coach and the players believe they are moving in the right direction with a difficult EuroBasket Group B campaign in Podgorica against reigning champions Lithuania, Croatia and Bulgaria awaiting them.

Hedo Turkoglu, one of the team's NBA players, said: "We had a very useful and well co-ordinated camp over there. We are very eager.

"We may not have shown the performance expected of us there, but I believe we will show our real power at the Efes Cup and then at the European Championship."

Captain Ibrahim Kutluay said: "The camp was good for us. Having heavy training sessions was good for our physical conditioning and the future games."

Turkey played against Italy and Ireland in the San Marino Tournament last week and lost to the Azzurri 88-81 in the final.

"We lost the Italy game, but we could have won it as well," Kutluay said.

"I believe we will be ready for the championship and will reach our goals."

Results in friendlies are not what matters, Tanjevic said.

"It was a very useful camp," he said.

"There are some differences even from the day we arrived there and today.

"Seeing my players eager makes me happy. We have the Efes Cup in a few days.

Everybody will see in what condition we are."

The Efes Cup will see Turkey play France on August 30, and then Russia the following day.

The rest of their schedule will depend on results.

Slovenia, Italy and Serbia & Montenegro are also taking part in the Istanbul-based tournament.

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