04/06/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 04/06/2020 04:46
MUNICH (Germany) - Memories of 2001 always come to mind when you mention Turkey in basketball terms. It was their shining moment, one of the proudest in the history of the team, and it seemed to be a benchmark for more success in the coming years.
However, Turkey never managed to build on that silver medal they won in front of their fans in Abdi Ipekci Arena in Istanbul. From 2003 onwards, they only visited the Quarter-Finals on one occasion, losing an overtime battle with archrivals Greece in Katowice, Poland in 2009.
Overtimes have been the theme of the century for the 12 Giant Men. In 2001, they overcame a 19-point deficit in the last 12 minutes to force overtime against Croatia in the Quarter-Finals, and one game later, they had to work for five more minutes against Dirk Nowitzki-led Germany, defeating them 79-78 in the Semi-Finals. FR Yugoslavia proved to be too big of a challenge in the Final, but Turkey's silver medal winning generation surely deserves golden ink in their history books.
Hidayet Turkoglu, Ibrahim Kutluay, Mehmet Okur were the big names to start the century, Ersan Ilyasova, Omer Asik, Kerem Tunceri carried the torch through to the youngsters who are slowly, but surely taking over the reins of the national team. Cedi Osman and Furkan Korkmaz already formed a one-two punch that could get Turkey back on the podium after a 20-year-long drought in this continental championship.