Credit: ZUMAPRESS.com - Scanpix
Credit ZUMAPRESS.com - Scanpix

Ergin Ataman and Ettore Messina’s mutual respect and friendship are well-known in the European basketball sphere. Ataman repeatedly expressed that the Italian coach was his idol during the beginning of his own career. And when Messina won the Italian Cup, he immediately recorded a video with a joyful reference to his Turkish friend.

Player of the Game
Tibor  Pleiss
EFF
37
Tibor Pleiss
Points 25
Accuracy 8-9
Rebounds 6
Assists 0

But interestingly, there was a moment of confusion and a small altercation between the two great names during Game 4 of the Anadolu Efes-AX Exchange Armani Milano series.

After the game, Ergin Ataman clarified the reason:

"Ettore Messina is a very well-respected, very valuable coach. I, myself, have a lot of respect for him as well, obviously. We are definitely on very good terms. No problems whatsoever,” he said.

"However, in the first half, the referees constantly made warnings to our coaching staff about not overstepping into the court and calm down," the coach continued.

"At the same time, my assistants noticed that their bench was not calm at all and doing similar things as well. But the refs were not giving them warnings. Therefore, I pointed them to the refs, but I think Messina got me wrong at that moment," Ataman explained.

"But in the halftime, we made a small council with the refs and talked about it as well. We demanded from the refs for our assistant coaches to be a little bit vocal during the game. They must use that room to work. It was all about that."

Ataman also revealed that Messina gave him one last task to finish:

"After the game, we congratulated each other, as always. Messina wished me luck and said jokingly: 'You beat us today, so you have to make it worth eliminating us. You will need to win the title; go and win it."

"Therefore, we have to proceed in that way," Ataman concluded.

Show comments
Thank you for reporting a comment

Add comment

We have the right to remove comments which are offensive, contains abusive language, or violates other rules of the website
Anadolu Efes Istanbul
AX Armani Exchange Milan
49%
23/47
Field goals
42%
28/66
26
Rebounds
35
13
Assists
20
6
Steals
6
2
Blocks
1
32%
8/25
3-pointers
28%
9/32

Best players

Tibor  Pleiss
25 PTS
8/9 FG
6/6 FT
Luigi  Datome
21 PTS
9/18 FG
0/0 FT
Tibor  Pleiss
6 REB
5 DREB
1 OREB
Kyle  Hines
12 REB
4 DREB
8 OREB
Shane  Larkin
7 As
2 TO
37 MIN
Sergio  Rodriguez
7 As
1 TO
22 MIN
Tibor  Pleiss
37 EFF
83% 2P%
100% 3P%
Kyle  Hines
21 EFF
83% 2P%
- 3P%