Turkish men’s basketball team crowned champions at Med Games

Turkish men’s basketball team crowned champions at Med Games

Turkish men’s basketball team crowned champions at Med Games

Turkish men's basketball team achieved the champions’ title at the 17th Mediterranean Games. DHA photo

The Turkish men’s basketball team beat Serbia 79-62 on June 25 to claim its first ever gold medal at a team sports event in the history of the Mediterranean Games.

Host Turkey completed its perfect run in the 2013 Mediterranean Games with a comfortable victory over a solid Serbia team in the southern province of Mersin.

The Turkish Youth and Sports Minister Suat Kılıç presented the sportsmen their gold medals, with a glowing welcome by the supporters at Servet Tazegül Sports Arena on June 25.

Turkey was the frontrunner in the game overall, completing the first period three points ahead of Serbia (18-21) and entering the second half of the game with 28-45.

Serbia, however, got off to a good start in the second half but the Turkish side soon showed its competence in the defense.

Entering the last period with a 15-point difference at 47-62, the Turkish side managed to complete the game while preserving their lead.

Center Cemal Nalga led Turkey with 14 scores, while guard Barış Ermiş with 13 and forward Serhat Çetin added 13 points for the winners.

Serbia, meanwhile, had 16 points from Nikola Kalinic and 13 points from Milos Dimic. Darko Balaban had nine points and five rebounds for the Serbs. Ermiş also dished out six assists, power forward İzzet Türkyılmaz had nine points and nine rebounds, while Oğuz Savaş added eight points and seven rebounds.

Serbia had reached the finals after a 94-49 win over Macedonia while Turkey had overcome Tunisia 77-69 in the semifinals.

Meanwhile, Turkey completed the swimming competitions with 10 medals to break its Games record, but Turkish Swimming Federation chairman Ahmet Bozdoğan said he expected greater success, citing the lack of a gold medal.

“Of course this is a huge success, but I was expecting 12 or 13 medals, three of them golds,” Bozdoğan said. “But those kids did their best.”

Bozdoğan highlighted that Burcu Dolunay, one of Turkey’s multiple medalists, could have won gold.

“I am sorry for her. Maybe she was not at her best mentally,” Bozdoğan said. “She could have won the 50m and 100m gold medals with her previous performances.”

Turkey won three silver and seven bronze medals in its best Games performance. Turkey managed to win just nine medals in its previous 16 Mediterranean Games, and it outdid its historic tally as the hosts.

Turkish swimmers swam 42 finals in Mersin, passing the previous mark of 30 finals.

A total of 13 national records were broken during the Mediterranean Games.

“Those young swimmers competing in the finals will swim in the Olympic finals in the future,” Bozdoğan said, adding that the United States swimming coach Bob Bowman’s appointment as the Turkish national team coach would give a boost to the sport. “I believe swimming will see a surge with him.”