Turkey vs. USA

Tonight is the FIBA World Championship Basketball Finals.  Turkey will play America in Istanbul (9pm Turkish time, 2pm EST).  Congratulations to both teams for games well played last night!

Last night, USA beat Lithuania 89-74.  (My condolences to the Simonis family.)  It was a good game.  The game was also held in Istanbul.  Unfortunately, the arena was empty.  The Turks have a “different” way of selling tickets.  Tickets are sold for the day.  Games are held at 4pm, 6:30, and 9:00.  The Turkish team has consistently played the 9pm game.  The arena is filled for the late games.  But because the tickets were sold for all three games of the day, the teams in the earlier games suffer with little fans to cheer them on.

Turkey also played last night, beating Serbia 83-82.  It was one of the most exciting games I have ever seen.  It may not be soccer, but Turks take their basketball seriously!  The stadium was a sea of red and white in support of their players!  The game was close from the very beginning with Turkey trailing for most of it.  With 4 seconds left, Turkey scored!  But it wasn’t a done deal.  With half of a second left, Serbia called a time-out.  Nice trick.  This allowed Serbia to throw the ball in from half-court instead of from under the Turkish basket.  Believe it or not, they Serbia almost scored!

Hedo Turkoglu - Star of the Turkish Team (just acquired by Pheonix Suns from Toronto Raptors and previously with Orlando Magic)

You can watch the last 20 seconds of the game here . . .

http://www.fibatv.com/page/Video/0,,12805~1648297,00.html

I have to hand it to the Turks.  They have been a mighty force throughout the tournament.  I had the opportunity last week to go to a game hosted here in Ankara.  Turkey played Puerto Rico.  Since PR is practically America, you know who I cheered for!  My husband was concerned for my welfare.  Puerto Rico lead the entire game – until the fourth quarter.  The fans, although not as scary as Philadelphia fans, were the loudest I had ever heard.  I had to stand the entire fourth quarter in order to be able to see the game.  Turkey won 79-77.  That was probably a good thing, because I’m not sure how I would have gotten out of there.

Turkey vs. Puerto Rico

The one nice thing about the way Turkey cheers is that they don’t “boo” until the end.  Because they are so loud, and not booing, it does sound like they are cheering for the competitors – because the competitors don’t speak the language.  They are actually louder against the other team, appearing like they are cheering louder for the other team.  So assuming the USA team doesn’t speak Turkish, they may feel right at home tonight!

As much as I would love to see Turkey win this championship in their own homeland, I will be cheering for the USA!  I have my Sixers shirt ready to go!!!

Flags Adorn the Ankara Stadium

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5 thoughts on “Turkey vs. USA

  1. Terry:

    I guess this answers my question about whether or not you’re a hoops fan. Your enthusiasm for Puerto Rico was
    brave! P.R. was a good squad & not a little unlucky in
    this tournament.

    As for Turkiye: they stole that game against Serbia.
    Serbs led virtually the whole way, and lost in the end
    because Asik faked injury & the refs let him get away with his histrionics……the result: he didn’t have to
    go the free throw line (where he’s so bad, he makes Shaq look good). Somebody else shot his free throws & made one of two. Serbs regained the lead, and had the game won…..then committed a junior varsity mistake on the
    Turks’ half-court in-bounds play, and gave up the game-winning layup.

    The 12 Giant Men got their comeuppance v. USA, though.
    Our defensive pressure was just too much for them. They
    don’t play against guys who guard like that…..And
    there’s only one Kevin Durant. Good show, Turks; but
    Lithuania & Russian were actually tougher foes (Brazil,
    too).

    I’m so glad you got to see this in person!

  2. Peter seems to be upset as his christian brothers couldn`t make it to the final.

    Let me tell you that faking an injury is as legal in basketball as constantly fouling a player who is known to be bad at free throws. The Serbs played dirty and the Turks responded accordingly.

    • Eren:
      (If you’re still there)
      If a player be Christian or no, I care not at all.
      I am no big fan of Serbia. I am happy for Turkish
      success in hoops, and am a fan of Hedayet Turkoglu.
      I’m an American raised on the NBA; and no NBA player
      would be allowed to get away with what Asik did.
      No NBA referee would permit it. It would be considered
      dishonorable and weak.

      I understand that a different standard prevails in FIBA.
      I bring my American expectations to the international
      game; and where I think the international game is
      inferior to the American game (or untrue to the American origins of the game), I say so.
      Feigning injury so as to avoid shooting free throws
      is not an improvement on U.S. basketball. We Americans
      (Christians or no) think the rampant flopping of
      English Premier League players, or World Cup footballers,
      is similarly unfair and unmanly.

      With these same American eyes, I do not judge deliberate
      fouling of a poor free-throw shooter to be “dirty” play.
      We Americans consider the free throw an important part
      of the game. Great all-around players make them.
      Players like K. Durant. Or H. Turkoglu. Asik would
      never make it in the NBA.

      Memo to Turkey: get a point guard. Someone like
      Teodosic, perhaps!

      Peace, brother!

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