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.
Anadolu Efes claim pre-season title in Crete - 19 hours ago
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Anadolu Efes clinched the pre-season tournament title in Crete. They topped Olympiacos 86:79 for the trophy. Thomas Heurtel (189-PG-89, agency: BeoBasket) nailed 15 points, issued 6 assists and grabbed 4 rebounds for the winners. Anadolu Efes posted a 24:18 lead after the opening quarter. The Turkish team piled up a 50:33 halftime advantage. Anadolu Efes secured a 74:58 lead at the final intermission. They never looked back en route to the victory. DeShaun Thomas (201-SF-91, college: Ohi... [read more]
Anadolu Efes clinched the pre-season tournament title in Crete. They topped Olympiacos 86:79 for the trophy. Thomas Heurtel (189-PG-89, agency: BeoBasket) nailed 15 points, issued 6 assists and grabbed 4 rebounds for the winners. Anadolu Efes posted a 24:18 lead after the opening quarter. The Turkish team piled up a 50:33 halftime advantage. Anadolu Efes secured a 74:58 lead at the final intermission. They never looked back en route to the victory. DeShaun Thomas (201-SF-91, college: Ohio St.) tossed in 14 points, while Derrick Brown (202-F-87, college: Xavier) accounted for 13 points in the win.
Yesilgiresun Belediye (BSL) signed 26-year old Austrian international center Rasid Mahalbasic (210-112kg-90, agency: BeoBasket). He was about to sign at N.Novgorod in Russian VTB league. The last season Mahalbasic played also at BC Nizhny Novgorod in Russian league where in 20 Eurocup games he had 11.2ppg, 5.2rpg and 1.8apg. He helped them to make it to the quarterfinals. Mahalbasic also played 27 games in VTB United League where he recorded 12.6ppg, 5.5rpg and 2.4apg. He contributed to h... [read more]
Yesilgiresun Belediye (BSL) signed 26-year old Austrian international center Rasid Mahalbasic (210-112kg-90, agency: BeoBasket). He was about to sign at N.Novgorod in Russian VTB league. The last season Mahalbasic played also at BC Nizhny Novgorod in Russian league where in 20 Eurocup games he had 11.2ppg, 5.2rpg and 1.8apg. He helped them to make it to the quarterfinals. Mahalbasic also played 27 games in VTB United League where he recorded 12.6ppg, 5.5rpg and 2.4apg. He contributed to his team making it to the quarterfinals. Mahalbasic has tried to make it to the NBA and played in the NBA Pro Summer League in 2013. Mahalbasic was also voted Eurobasket.com All-VTB League 2nd Team in 2016. He won Kazakhstan League championship title in 2015. He has been also a member of Austrian international program for some years. Mahalbasic has regularly played for Austrian senior team since 2008 and previously for U20 National Team between 2009 and 2010. He also represented Austria at the Qualifications to European Championships 2017 this year. His stats at that event were 6 games: 16.0ppg, 7.5rpg, 3.3apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 51.7%, 3PT: 42.9%, FT: 67.6%. Mahalbasic is quite experienced player. He has played in eight different countries on three different continents (Europe, Asia and of course North America). Mahalbasic has played previously professionally in Bosnia (Bosna-Royal), Croatia (KK Split), Italy, Poland (Asseco), Slovenia (Zlatorog), Turkey (Tofas and Fenerbahce), Czech Republic (CEZ Nymburk) and Kazakhstan (Astana).
Darussafaka Dogus 75 - Fenerbahce 65 (16-14; 24-16; 16-17; 19-18) Darussafaka Dogus beat Fenerbahce 75-65 in the title game of Zadar Dogus Tournament and won the second trophy of their preseason campaign. Dacka did most of the job on the board and on the fast breaks as American guard Brad Wanamaker (193-G-89, college: Pittsburgh) led his team with 14 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists and got the MVP award. Fenerbahce has an early lead as Bobby Dixon put in a couple of 3-pointers. But Wa... [read more]
Darussafaka Dogus beat Fenerbahce 75-65 in the title game of Zadar Dogus Tournament and won the second trophy of their preseason campaign. Dacka did most of the job on the board and on the fast breaks as American guard Brad Wanamaker (193-G-89, college: Pittsburgh) led his team with 14 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists and got the MVP award.
Fenerbahce has an early lead as Bobby Dixon put in a couple of 3-pointers. But Wanamaker scored an 9-meter at the buzzer and gave Darueafaka the lead at the end of first period. Darueafaka Dou raised their defensive effort and made Fenerbahce to turn the ball over. Anderson added a couple of 3-pointers and Dacka led at the interval: 40-30. There were fight going on under board in the third period. Darueafaka grabbed offensive rebounds and led by 9: 56-47. In the final period Darueafaka got even an 18-point lead as Wanamaker led the offense and Furkan Aldemir had a lot of offensive boards. The final score was for Dacka: 75-65. Wanamaker scored 14 for Darueafaka Dou, and Udoh had 19 points for Fenerbahce. Darueafaka Dou have now a nine-game winning streak in the preseason. They'll play against Anadolu Efes and Maccabi in the last two presason game.
POST GAME QUOTES Darussafaka Dogus Head Coach David Blatt : 'Tonight we played last year's European finalist with the greatest coach in european history. It was the final of preseason tournament, no more than that. So for us to win is a good step. Beyond that it's not much more. But I enjoyed the fact that we played hard, we played to win. Ultimately we really good job in the tournament. I've heard that we're considered a big team in Europe. We are not yet. This is our second season in the Euroleague. Last season the team did make to Top 16. We have so long to go before event think of being a Fenerbahce or being CSKA. We're not at that level, not even close right now. The good thing is that when players want to be good, want to work there's a good chance make some progress. We need to take one step at a time and try to improve every day.'
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