Despite a late start to 2011-2012 season Mersin BSB guard Tugba Palazoglu (171-G-80) ended up becoming one of the top scorers as a domestic player and led the entire league in three point field goal percentage. The lightening quick Turkish international is hoping to help her nation make it to Olympic Games this summer and she has a lot to say about her next season plans
-Although you started the season a little late you averaged double digits and helped winless Mersin make it to the semi finals. Would you describe this year as your best ever season?
I could never say that it was my best season ever but I did whatever I could to get my team to the spot that we belong to. I had this injury the year before that I had to play on in the end of season. As you know there was the 2011 European Championship right after the Turkish League ended. First I was very afraid to keep playing despite my injury but then my national team management showed me great patience and care. They gave me the time I need to get better and experienced physio staff to work with me. I cant say enough how appreciated I am to them. Right now, we are about to play qualification games for the Olympic Games and Ill be part of this. Its a great feeeling. When the European Championship was over, I made the decision that I wasnt going play until my injury completely healed. I worked with Muratcan ner to keep me in shape and the national team Dr. Gkhan Metin and physiotherapist Haim Ay to keep me healthy. After a four month break I was ready to play all hungry :) Mersin Bykehir Belediyesi and some other teams wanted me to play for them. I made my desicion and went to play for Mersin where I played before just because I knew the people there and the experienced coach Zafer Kalaycolu who I also played for. They were losing all their games but as my coach and my new teammates, I knew we could do better and I think I was the missing link in the team. From the first week I went there we started playing better and winning. For me, it was very important to play better than ever because I showed lots of effort and patience before the season. It needed to be worth of something and I do believe it did. Mersin team finished the regular season at the fourth spot, made the semifinals in Turkish Cup and the Turkish League. Also I had one of the best stats of my career. Im very greatful
-You were one of the two Turkish players to score over 10 points a game and it was on %50 shooting from beyond the arc. Must be getting a lot of attention from the teams for the next season?
I think nobody guessed that I would show such a performance like this after the injury and the long break from basketball. I do believe I surprised people. So, even the season wasnt over I started getting offers for the next year. I couldnt respond to those before the season ended but the offers kept coming after the league finished. Im very happy and thankful for the offers. Im hoping to sign with one of these teams and have an even better year in the next season.
-Despite the big investments Turkish clubs cant get what they want in Euroleague. As an experienced player what do you think are the positive and negatives sides of nowadays Turkish basketball?
I think the investments made Turkish League and Turkish clubs the number one place for the players to play basketball in the world. While this situation brought the chance to Turkish players to play with/against the best players all over the world, it also gave basketball lovers to watch greater basketball in Turkey. Its been only 3-4 years we have been competing in the Euroleague finals and after all these years we finally had two teams playing the finals in Euroleague. So actually where we are at right now is a very big success. Unfortunately the real success doesnt come as quick as the investors , the clubs and players want. We have to be patient, learn from our mistakes and correct them every year. Also only one great player or the coach or the club cant bring the success were searching for. The success comes from the team game so we have to have them all and create a team that plays in one harmony. Im sure sooner or later, well get the Euroleague championship that were longing for
-Turkey surprisingly reached the silver medal in Eurobasket last year. Olympic games are ahead. How does it feel to be a member of the Turkish National Team?
You cant imagine how excited I am to be part of this organization. Its kind of once in a lifetime thing for me. And its also first time experience for our country to be in Olympic Games as a team sport of course if we can make the qualification tournament well play in June. Everybody would think that it was a surprise especially after our bad start to the tournament but as a team and staff we did believe that we were good enough and deserved to win a medal before we got to the tournament. As I said before the real success doesnt come very quickly but our federation was very patient and never quitted supporting us. I think the silver medal was a good beginning for us and of course were hoping to add new and more achivements to our success. Olympics will be a great chance to do this...
-What are your goals as a professional athlete? You played basketball both in the States and Turkey. Also won silver medal with national team. What else are missing?
For professional athletes, goals are usually endless. Yes I did have the silver medal with the national team at European Championship but now there is Olympic Games coming up and to be there and be able to win anything in our first time there would be the greatest goal achivement for me. Also the year after well be hosting the World Championship in our country. There is nothing bad bout winning more medals :) As a person, I love to experience new things. You mentioned that I played in USA and Turkey. I would love to get a chance to play abroad someday again and experience the competition and the new cultures. I hope its gonna happen soon :)
-Playing both guard positions require different physical and mental skills. As a combo guard what would you suggest to the upcoming youngsters?
As you say it can get tougher when you play the both positions during the game but its not something that will never change. I personally always try to learn and understand every position of basketball. This would always help you to create more options for your team, teammates and yourself in the game. Also knowing what you can do as much as knowing what your coach wants and what your teammates can do are important. This way it doesnt matter what position you play, you would always know what you need to do when the time comes. So we should never forget its a team sport and we have to work together for the better of yourself and the team.
-Most of the athletes complain about having not enough time for their social lives. Do you have any hobbies? What do you like to do outside of the gym?
Thanks to technology...! Everyday something new comes and makes my day more useful. Seriously, when you play two games in a week, youll be always busy with basketball. This way it doesnt matter what position you play. No time for your hobbies.. But now I can read my books, take pictures and create something new, stay connected to my family and my friends, watch the movies and listen to the music. So Im all happy. If I get any free time I always find myself on the road discovering some place new. I do love to experience new places and what comes with it such as new people, culture and food.
Duzce Belediye (TBL) signed 24-year old Nigerian center Joseph Uchebo (210-118kg-92). He just graduated from Charlotte (NCAA). In 33 games he had 13.2ppg, 11.5rpg and 1.0spg last season. A very impressive year as he was named to All-C-USA 2nd Team. Uchebo has tried to make it to the NBA and played in the NBA Pro Summer League this summer. As mentioned above he is just out of the college and it will be his first season as a pro. Uchebo's team made it to the ACC Tournament Semifinals in 201... [read more]
Duzce Belediye (TBL) signed 24-year old Nigerian center Joseph Uchebo (210-118kg-92). He just graduated from Charlotte (NCAA). In 33 games he had 13.2ppg, 11.5rpg and 1.0spg last season. A very impressive year as he was named to All-C-USA 2nd Team. Uchebo has tried to make it to the NBA and played in the NBA Pro Summer League this summer. As mentioned above he is just out of the college and it will be his first season as a pro. Uchebo's team made it to the ACC Tournament Semifinals in 2014.
Ergin Ataman steps down from the Turkish national team - 12 hours ago
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Harun Erdenay, president of the Turkish Basketball Federation, just announced in a press conference that Ergin Ataman (agency: BeoBasket ) will not continue being the head coach of the Turkish team. More specifically, he stated: 'Ataman chose Galatasaray instead of the national team and we are going to continue our way with a different coach.' The 50 years old coach has guided the Turkish national team since 2014. Courtesy of: eurohoops.net [read more]
Harun Erdenay, president of the Turkish Basketball Federation, just announced in a press conference that Ergin Ataman (agency: BeoBasket ) will not continue being the head coach of the Turkish team. More specifically, he stated: 'Ataman chose Galatasaray instead of the national team and we are going to continue our way with a different coach.' The 50 years old coach has guided the Turkish national team since 2014. Courtesy of: eurohoops.net
Vladimir Stimac (ex Crvena Zvezda) agreed terms with Besiktas - 13 hours ago
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Besiktas Sompo Japan Istanbul (BSL) inked 29-year old Serbian international center Vladimir Stimac (210-118kg-87, agency: Interperformances). The last season Stimac played at Crvena Zvezda (in KLS) where in 11 games he recorded 5.9ppg and 4.7rpg. He helped them to win the league title. Stimac also played 25 games in Euroleague where he averaged 6.9ppg and 5.0rpg. He contributed to his team making it to the quarterfinals. Among other achievements Stimac received Eurobasket.com All-Latvian... [read more]
Besiktas Sompo Japan Istanbul (BSL) inked 29-year old Serbian international center Vladimir Stimac (210-118kg-87, agency: Interperformances). The last season Stimac played at Crvena Zvezda (in KLS) where in 11 games he recorded 5.9ppg and 4.7rpg. He helped them to win the league title. Stimac also played 25 games in Euroleague where he averaged 6.9ppg and 5.0rpg. He contributed to his team making it to the quarterfinals. Among other achievements Stimac received Eurobasket.com All-Latvian League Bosman Player of the Year award back in 2007 and 2008. He has been also a member of Serbian international program for some years. Stimac has regularly played for Serbian senior team since 2012 and previously for U20 National Team in 2007. He represented Serbia at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) this year. Stimac's team won Silver and his stats at that event were 5 games: 3.4ppg, 4.2rpg. Stimac is a very experienced player. He has played also professionally in Germany (Bayern Muenchen), Lithuania (Zalgiris and Zalgiris II Kaunas), Spain (Unicaja Malaga and Movil Estudiantes), Latvia (Valmiera and Ventspils), Serbia (KK Beovuk 72 Beograd), Czech Republic (CEZ Nymburk) and Turkey (Banvit and Eskisehir Basket). Stimac's game is described as:
Stimac is another very rich skilled Serbian center with many prospects in the European (and not only) courts. Vladimir is the total definition of a newly "born" center. Has very good skills in the paint, Can defense much taller opponents, can dash down any rebound in both edges and can do all the dirty job that a coach might ask him.
Has many weaknesses in the fouling as he can easily fouled out as his opponent can easily predict his passion and obsession in the game so they can simply take him out in no time. In the last European championship he only played for 18 minutes per game and had 6.5ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.1apg and 1.4bpg. He needs to work hard in order to add some fantasy in his game, plus a lot of workout in his shots from the charity line, as his percentages are really poor, around 40% !!.
Besiktas Sompo Japan Istanbul roster for 2016-2017:
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