Credit: FIBA Media
Credit FIBA Media

Galatasaray NEF Istanbul, who had a big break in the ING Basketball Super League last season, especially after coach Andreas Pistiolis took over the team, have largely renewed their staff in the summer period.

Turgay Zeytingoz, the general manager of the yellow and red team, was a guest on Galatasaray Television. Giving important details about the new season's structuring and transfers, Zeytingoz stated that they have formed a strong team with high goals in Europe and in the Turkish league.

"We wanted to create a team worthy of the Galatasaray community and its fans. We wanted to create a structure that fans would enjoy and people would enjoy watching. Ultimately, I believe we have accomplished that," he said initially.

"Although we are a team that the fans can be proud of, the end of the season was a bit sad for us. We were almost on the verge of reaching the (Turkish league) finals, facing EuroLeague champion Anadolu Efes. For this reason, there was a bit of bitterness in us, and we could not achieve what we wanted in Europe, although we started very well in the BCL Round of 16," Zeytingoz went on to say.

Galatasaray came up short on their FIBA ​​Champions League quest last year, but this time around, Zeytingoz is hopeful that things will be different. 

“The arrival of Andreas Pistiolis as the coach of the team and the synergy we achieved with our fans brought us to a good point. This is an organization that is constantly growing with our team and infrastructure.

Next season will be the second year of this organization. That's why our goals are bigger. This time we aim for the top in the Basketball Champions League. Of course, it is difficult to set out to win the title because there's no league format, but our primary goal is the Final Four.

Afterwards, we aim to take a trophy - that has never been to Turkey before- to our museum for the first time. I hope that we have a good season," he pointed out. 

This summer, the 2016 EuroCup winners have been busy on the market. So far, their additions include Canadian guard Dylan Ennis, American big men Jehyve Floyd, Angelo Caloiaro and Raymar Morgan, as well as Colombian forward Braian Angola

Zeytingoz offered an evaluation of each move. 

"Dylan Ennis is of course a very valuable player. A proven name in Europe. His brother, Tyler Ennis, also spent the last year at Tofas Bursa. Dylan Ennis is a dominant player on the court, with important performances in the Basketball Champions League and the EuroCup.

I think he will be the darling of Galatasaray fans just like Dee Bost. I see him already interacting with the fans. He is very excited to join us, and we are very happy to see him among us."

On former ASVEL center Raymar Morgan, Zeytingoz said "he's obviously a very experienced player. He previously performed very successfully in Tofas and Karşıyaka and was transferred to ASVEL, one of the EuroLeague teams, last season.

He suffered an injury and was unable to play for a long time due to herniated disc surgery. However, since Raymar Morgan is a player we watch and admire a lot, we have been following his progress since March. There is no question in our minds about whether it is healthy or not. I can say that a healthy Raymar Morgan will be very decisive for our goals this season."

Braian Angola, who comes from a season with AEK Athens in the Greek league and the BCL, "was on the radar of many big teams. He was a player that we thought of from the very beginning, and that's why we continued our conversations for a long time. I think the fans will love him," Zeytingoz commented.

After four seasons at Maccabi Tel Aviv, Angelo Caloiaro decided to take Galatasaray's offer and move to Istanbul.

"I had the opportunity to work with him during his Banvit years," Zeytingoz recalled.

"A player I know well. I think he is one of the few most valuable players in terms of his position in the Basketball Champions League. I hope he will contribute very well this year."

The last player to have been added to the roster was former Panathinaikos and Fenerbahce center Jehyve Floyd, who recently spoke to BasketNews about his maiden EuroLeague season. 

"He has big potential, he was born in 1997 and is a young player," Zeytingoz thinks.

"He will attract a lot of attention for the coming years with his performance this season. I believe that he will be a name that our fans will love because of his athletic abilities."

One of the pending issues during the summer was Dee Bost's extension. The American guard had an excellent playoff run, putting up extraordinary performances, and became one of the team's main pillars. As Bost confided to BasketNews last June, he was going to stay with Galatasaray in all likelihood.

"There was a very serious bond between Dee Bost and the fans," Zeytingoz remarked.

"At the same time, he made a great contribution last year in terms of performance. This year, we will continue as our leader. Believe me, from the very beginning, neither we nor Dee Bost had a contrary opinion. In the end, we extended the contract for 1+1 year. I hope he has a good season and continues to be with us."

The Turkish executive noted that the club had been monitoring almost a thousand players all around the world. 

"We created lists with players we followed. This team that has been established has definitely stuck with us and it really gives us great hope. Our coach Andreas Pistiolis also stayed in Turkey until the transfer process was completed.

Kerem Tunceri, Andreas Pistiolis and I managed this transfer process and I think a good team was formed as a result."


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