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08/09/2010
Ersan İLYASOVA (Turkey) during Turkey vs Slovenia 1/4 Finals game. 2010 FIBA World Championship, Turkey.

ISTANBUL (2010 FIBA World Championship) – Turkey continues to make history in front of their fans as they dominated Slovenia 95-68 to make it into the semifinals of the 2010 FIBA World Championship at a packed Sinan Erdem Dome.

This is the third time that Turkey has played in this tournament, and the first time that they will have a chance to play for a medal as Bogdan Tanjevic's team extended their winning streak to seven games, including five in the Preliminary Round.

It was a slow start for the Turkish team as the Slovenians were led by Bostjan Nachbar who scored 7 of their first 10 points to take a 10-6 lead after a three pointer.

Turkey responded quickly with a man to man defense, which has been the first time they have used it in this tournament and also with three pointers by Omer Onan along with Kerem Tunceri to take a 12-10 lead with 6:38. The quarter ended with a 10-0 run as Turkey finished the first ten minutes up 27-14.

The efficient three point scoring by Turkey continued in the second quarter, not only from the starters, but also from the bench as they finished shooting 8-11 from three. Also they took advantage of the mistakes by the Slovenians to convert some easy buckets. The first half ended 50-31 in favor of Turkey as Ersan Ilyasova led the way with 14 points.

In the third quarter the Turkish offensive continued with their aggressive attack while Slovenia just couldn’t find an open player consistently. Ten players who got an opportunity to play already scored by that point and finished with a 71-43 lead.

The Slovenians hoped for a late comeback with Jaka Lakovic and Nachbar still on the court in the final quarter but the lead was too big and the Turkish never let their guard down.

Slovenia had a good performance in this tournament, starting with a second place finish in Group B and then they routed Australia in the semifinals 87-58. This team that finished fourth in last year’s Eurobasket missed some key players like Erazem and Domen Lorbek.

Now Turkey plays Serbia in the semifinals of the FIBA World Championship on September 11.

For highlights of the game and an interview with Turkey Coach Bogdan Tanjevic and forward Ersan Ilyasova go to FIBATV.com.

Quotes:

Bogdan Tanjevic (Turkey head coach): “We played an excellent game. I think my players fought really hard. This was our strongest performance of the tournament. I’m really proud of these guys. It’s historic for our team to make it to the semi-finals. They have never done it in this tournament before. We will see how we can do against a great great team of Serbia. They play fantastic basketball.”

Kerem Gonlum (Turkey forward): “We’re happy and honoured to have won. It was very important for us to reach the semi-finals. Since the start of the tournament we had a belief that we would make it this far but we didn’t think it would happen like this. Slovenia are a good team offensively so we aimed to shut them down and did it. Thanks to all our fans. This year has been very tough for our coach so we want to give him this gift (performing well in the tournament).”

Bostjan Nachbar (Slovenia forward): I don’t think we started aggressively enough, especially on defense. We didn’t have smart fouls. Turkey took advantage of that and made threes. They took a 10-15 point lead and from that point on it was hard to catch up with them. They deserved to win. They were great.

Mehmed Becirovic (Slovenia head coach): “Turkey deserved to win, they played an excellent game. They opened very well and they shot very good from two and three-point range. They spent a lot of energy on defense because they are very aggressive. We didn’t have the chance after the first quarter. We tried to get back but tonight we had no chance.”


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