Turkey Fly In Batuk After Onan Shock

03 September 2013

EUROBASKET 2013

8. Birkan Batuk (Turkey)
Birkan Batuk was called upon when Turkey suddenly needed to replace Omer Onan

Birkan Batuk will unexpectedly make his debut in a major tournament with the Turkish national team at EuroBasket 2013, after he flew in to Slovenia on Tuesday to replace Omer Onan on the roster.

On Monday evening, Onan felt a sudden pain in his left calf during Turkey's evening practice session in Koper, their First Round venue at EuroBasket 2013, and was unable to continue training.

The veteran guard was rushed into hospital and an MRI scan revealed he had suffered an injury that will require immediate treatment and will sideline him for the next 10 days at least.

The 35-year-old Onan will of course be unable in what had been the fifth EuroBasket tournament in his career and flew back to Turkey on Tuesday to start the rehabilitation process.

With the deadline of declaring Turkey's final 12-man roster for the big event less than 24 hours away, head coach Bogdan Tanjevic decided swiftly to ask Batuk to join the team in Slovenia.

The 23-year-old shooting guard of Anadolu Efes had only previously suited up for the senior team during two games in last summer's Qualification Round.

Batuk has however been a Turkish international since 2005 and has competed twice in each of the three youth European tournaments, at U16, U18 and U20 level.

He averaged 5.5 points and 2.2 rebounds-per-game for runners-up Anadolu Efes in last season's Turkish BEKO Ligi.

Turkey are taking on Finland in the opening game in Group D, Wednesday at 14:30 CET.


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