Credit: BNS
Credit BNS

Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul is getting ready for a brand new Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season. They are opening the new campaign with a home game against Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade on Friday night. (19:45 CET)

The new head coach Sasha Djordjevic is also returning to the EuroLeague, where he previously coached Panathinaikos OPAP Athens and AX Armani Exchange Milan in this competition.

As a former Partizan great, Djordjevic reflected his familiarity with the Serbian opponent and the importance of Crvena Zvezda as a basketball institution.  

"We have mixed feelings and expectations ahead of the first EuroLeague game of the season. It's a new season, and our fans will be with us again. Our opponent is a very tough team.

They are the representative of one of the most important basketball schools in Europe. They are physically strong and know how they should play. They have many national team players."

Pre-season games delivered mixed results for Fenerbahce as they won Istanball Cup Tournament with defeats against UNICS and Partizan.

However, that was followed by losses against Bahcesehir Koleji and their eternal rival, Galatasaray, in the Cevat Soydas Tournament. 

Danilo Barthel's injury problem has been getting better recently, but it will be a game-time decision on whether he could play.

Marko Guduric has fully recovered, but his lack of practice time also puts him on the questionable list. Due to his national team duties in the African Championships, Pierria Henry joined the pre-season preparations belatedly, which rendered Djordjevic's ask for the buildup process. Nevertheless, he trusts his team. 

"We are not yet in an ideal period for us. We have some players that struggled to maintain continuity during the practices. I can say that this situation does not help us much to establish a general order.

However, I am confident that my team will come out of this match in a way that puts its best effort."

In his video interview with Basketnews Talks, Achille Polonara mentioned Sasha Djordjevic's emphasis on defense. During the pre-game remarks, the Serbian coach also re-iterated his intention to put the defense on the top of the priority list.

On the domestic scene, Fenerbahce Beko started the new BSL season with a comfortable win, where they limited Darussafaka to merely 65 points. 

"We will be on the court with the character that we want to show throughout the season. First of all, we will show this in defense and make sure that it will be expressed as the signature of our game.

It will be a good fight, and we will want to start by winning. We are also excited to meet our fans. We know who the Fenerbahce fans are and what they can contribute to our team."

Former EuroLeague title holder Fenerbahce finished last season in the playoffs, held winless against CSKA. Dejan Radonjic-led Crvena Zvezda is coming off from a disappointing season where they finished second to last in the standings with ten wins. 

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