Turkey Have Toughest Group - Tanjevic


By Doug Booth, PA International

Turkey coach Bogdan Tanjevic believes Saturday's draw for the European Championships has done his team few favours.

Turkey were paired with Croatia, Lithuania and Bulgaria in Group B of Eurobasket 2005 in Belgrade this September.

Though he avoided the likes of Germany, Russia, Italy, Spain, France and hosts Serbia & Montenegro, Tanjevic told PA International: "We are in the strongest group.

"The biggest threat is Lithuania, who have prepared well and will be hard to stop as they seek a second successive gold medal."

Turkey were runners-up to Yugoslavia when they hosted Eurobasket 2001 but their form dropped off considerably the next two years.

They had a disappointing ninth-placed finish at FIBA World Championship 2002 in Indianapolis and the following year at the Eurobasket 2003 in Sweden they were 12th.

Tanjevic, who replaced Aydin Ors at the helm, was in charge of the Italian team that won gold in 1999 and under him, Turkey's hopes have been revived as he steered them on an unbeaten six-game run in Eurobasket qualifying.

He knows he needs a full-strength roster to have any chance of winning gold. With players of the quality of Utah Jazz forward Mehmet Okur and Orlando Magic forward Hidayet Turkoglu pledging their allegiance, he has plenty of reason to be optimistic.

Turkey will also be keen to make a big impression in Belgrade as they lay the foundations for hosting FIBA World Championship 2010.


Stoykov Heroics Not Enough For Bulgaria09.09.2005
Turkey Beat Italy To Lift Efes Cup03.09.2005
Turkey Geared Up For Efes Cup29.08.2005
Turkey: Tanjevic Names Squad14.06.2005
Jazz Trio Champion Eurobasket17.05.2005
No Easy Games As Eurobasket Draw 2005 Takes Place15.01.2005
Turkey: Tanjevic - It Was Our Best Game21.09.2004

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