Turkey defeated by Serbia in Eurobasket warm-up tournament
Serbia won 78-72 against Turkey in the game played at Ülker Sports Arena in Istanbul. AA photoThe Turkish national basketball team has lost 72-78 against Serbia, finishing second in a warm-up tournament organized in Istanbul ahead of the upcoming Eurobasket in Slovenia that will start next week.
The perennially disappointing side in Eurobaskets, where they are usually regarded as outsiders for the title, the self-denominated “12 giants” were looking to earn a prestigious win in front of their supporters in order to boost their confidence.
After a closely contested first half, Serbia increased the gap in the third quarter thanks to their skilled big man Nenad Krstic. The pivot, who continues his career at CSKA Moscow after a NBA journey, led his team with 17 points and five rebounds. He was well assisted by Rasko Katic who added 14 points and Stefan Markovic who clinched eleven points.
Turkey’s pointguard Ersan Arslan and veteran Ömer Önan scored 11 in the defeat. NBA’s old boy Hedo Türkoğlu earned eight points and dished out four assists, while Milwaukee Bucks' forward Ersan İlyasova added seven points.
Turkey had defeated Belgium and Croatia in the first two games of the tournament.
The 12 giants will play against a rising Finland squad in their first game at the Eurobasket on Sept. 4. Sweden, Italy, Russia and Greece complete Turkey’s group.