Tanjevic leaves Turkey after disastrous EuroBasket campaign
Bodgan Tanjevic’s second spell as national team coach ended after a disastrous European Championship performance. AA photoBogdan Tanjevic has stepped down as Turkey’s national basketball team coach, Turkish Basketball Federation (TBF) chief Turgay Demirel announced Sept.12.
“I want to announce that we accept Mr. Tanjevic’s resignation,” Demirel said at a news conference. “He has been serving Turkish basketball since 2004 and serving the world of basketball for 51 years. He is a really respectable person.”
Tanjevic’s second spell as national team coach ended after a disastrous European Championship performance, where Turkey was knocked out of the group stage after just one win and four losses.
The tournament in Slovenia was Turkey’s worst EuroBasket performance since a 13th-place finish in Greece in 1995, where it finished with a record of 1-5.
Turkey’s best performances in the European and World Championships have come on home soil, where the team finished runners-up in 2001 and 2010. Apart from those highs, Turkey has not made it past the quarterfinals since 1949.
Demirel promised to begin a reconstruction process in Turkish basketball.
“We should call it the end of an era,” Demirel said. “I want to announce that we will go begin a completely different period now in terms of the national team’s technical structure.”
Tanjevic has been at the helm of the national team in two spells, from 2004 to 2010 and in 2013.
His highlight was the 2010 World Championship silver medal, but getting a fifth finish with a young squad in the 2006 World Championships was another remarkable success. However, Tanjevic’s Turkey’s EuroBasket performances have been regularly below-par.
In Slovenia, Turkey could get only one win out of its five games, thanks to a win over lowly Sweden. Media have criticized Tanjevic’s player selection, especially in the point guard position, where Turkey’s veteran playmaker Kerem Tunçeri was snubbed. Doğuş Balbay, who was a third-string back-up to Tunçeri in Anadolu Efes, was a part of the squad however, and Sinan Güler, a natural shooting guard, was also used in the playmaker position.
Tanjevic said Turkey had a concentration problem in Slovenia, and said he could be the blame since he largely focused on “further rounds” and thought the group stage could be over thanks to the team’s defending abilities.
However, Tanjevic’s theory collapsed as Turkey finished EuroBasket with the second-from-bottom in defensive standings with 398 total points allowed in five matches. Only Russia passed Turkey with 400 points.
Galatasaray coach Ergin Ataman is favored to take over the national team job.