Ergin Ataman blamed the referees for poor officiating, noting several examples of wrongdoing. However, the coach ultimately paid respect to his opponents.

Credit: FIBA
Credit FIBA

Turkey made an incredible 21-point comeback against Serbia in the Second Round of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers today but it was not enough to capture the victory.

Player of the Game
Nikola  Jokic
EFF
21
Nikola Jokic
Points 24
Accuracy 10-16
Rebounds 10
Assists 0

The game seemingly got out of hand during the last several minutes of the fourth quarter when both teams were called for offensive fouls. Just minutes before, Vasilije Micic was called for a flopping technical foul. Turkey's bench also received a technical foul during the game.

Talking about the match, the head coach of the Turkish national team, Ergin Ataman, was clear about the matter.

"We reached a point where he can actually win the game. But in the last 3 minutes, the referee decisions, I would say, were incredible," Ataman said in the post-game press conference.

"This was such disrespect against the Turkish national team in front of 16,000 fans. We need to focus on our own mistakes but the FIBA referee council needs to investigate this last period of the game," the extravagant specialist continued. "The technical call against our bench was ridiculous. In the last quarter, the Serbs almost constantly objected referee decisions."

Even before the post-game press conference, Ataman was quick to point fingers after the match.

"We could not stop them on defense in the first half, especially Jokic, we could not contain him. But in the second half, we changed our strategy totally. We started double-teaming or triple-teaming Jokic and improved our level of aggressiveness," the coach explained.

"In the second half, the refs made a big rule mistake. In one occurrence, they called a foul but we were allowed just a single free throw for a technical foul. They did not have any fouls to give so we were supposed to shoot two free throws and also a free throw for the technical foul," Ataman remembered Vasilije Micic's technical foul.

Even though the majority of Ataman's points were directed towards the referees of the match, the coach ultimately paid respect to his opponents.

"We fought hard, and we came back with our crowd but it did not work. Serbia is one of the strongest teams for the upcoming Eurobasket campaign," he concluded.

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Turkey
Serbia
40%
23/57
Field goals
43%
27/63
38
Rebounds
33
16
Assists
20
4
Steals
6
54%
15/28
2-pointers
52%
17/33
5
Blocks
0

Best players

Cedi  Osman
22 PTS
9/19 FG
2/5 FT
Nikola  Jokic
24 PTS
10/16 FG
4/5 FT
Alperen  Sengun
13 REB
7 DREB
6 OREB
Nikola  Jokic
10 REB
5 DREB
5 OREB
Shane  Larkin
9 As
3 TO
36 MIN
Vasilije  Micic
7 As
2 TO
30 MIN
Alperen  Sengun
22 EFF
43% 2P%
33% 3P%
Nikola  Jokic
21 EFF
63% 2P%
- 3P%