Credit: AFP - Scanpix
Credit AFP - Scanpix

Upon the controversy regarding the events unfolding during the Anadolu Efes and Galatasaray semifinal, Ergin Ataman made a statement to clarify the matters. 

3-pointers this season

Points made: 9,8
Accuracy: 36,5%
Place in standings: 2
Record max: 22
Record min: 4
Most made 3FGs: Shane Larkin

Reportedly, Galatasaray's president Burak Elmas left the court after Anadolu Efes refused to let him watch the game from the courtside with all members of his family. 

"In Efes home games, all courtside seats are [for] seasonal tickets [holders]," said Ataman. 

Despite this, some special request was made from the ticket owners to allocate places for the president and his wife. For their children, there were two additional seats allocated just across them.

My season ticket is also in these seats [which is a good place to watch the game]. Also, there were other visitors from our friends from the Galatasaray community who were watching the game [from those seats]. But the president insisted on sitting together with all members of his family.

Before the games, there was an agreement between the two clubs regarding the lodge box, and these places were also allocated to the president and his guests beforehand," Ataman continued his detailed explanation.

Efes head coach also emphasized the importance of Elmas, as Ataman ensured that he has a lot of respect for Galatasaray's president.

"Beyond all, president Burak Elmas is a very important, precious person. If I had known about all of this before, I could have given the best seats for them. I could have even taken seats from my own family to give them.

"If our personnel did something wrong regarding the failure of not finding a convenient solution to the situation, I would like to deliver my apologies as the head coach of Anadolu Efes.

We are good friends, and there is strong bond of love between our family which can overcome every problem. I would like to thank the entire Galatasaray community for their support to us on our way to European titles," Ataman added.

Ataman also gave his account on the issue of Galatasaray supporters being expelled from the arena.

"The issue of Galatasaray supporters being escorted from the arena is beyond us. This is about the rule of away fans not allowed in the arena, which has something to do with security on the state level, an administrative decision.

But during the first game, Efes administrators allowed 40-50 people from Galatasaray players' families, and Galatasaray filled these spots with actual fans. They cheered from there, and the security had to intervene. 

If there is an intention to create tension before tomorrow when Galatasaray will play their home games in this series, it is not really needed. Galatasaray fans have already created an intense atmosphere in the past," Efes head coach noted.

Lastly, Ataman lamented about some unfortunate incidents after Game 2 but urged calmness for everyone. 

"Unfortunately, after the game, when we were in the car park at the Sinan Erdem Arena with my son Sarp, 20-30 people harassed us with some ugly chants and words. If I responded to them there, we would be talking about many different things," he revealed.

"We, as the sportspeople, should not aggravate the climate. Instead, we should facilitate dignity and let people do sports in a good environment.

Nowadays, entire Europe is talking about Anadolu Efes and Turkish basketball, and our dear friend (Galatasaray) is trying to create this perception about us regarding the situation on the court, which made me feel sad," Ataman concluded. 

The third game between Anadolu Efes and Galatasaray will be played Tuesday, 19:30 CET at Sinan Erdem Arena. The series is tied 1-1. 

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