A few surprising results and a spectacular scandal ended the week of EuroBasket 2022, as Turkey – a team among the favorites of the tournament and one of the rivals in the group of Bulgaria – threatened to leave the competition. Federation vice-president Omer Onan admitted he had gathered the team’s camp to discuss the issue after ugly scenes marred Sunday night’s match with Georgia in Tbilisi. The Turks surprisingly lost 83:88 after two overtimes, but also in truly scandalous circumstances.
On the court, there was a confrontation between Furkan Korkmaz, one of the Turkish stars (he plays for Philadelphia 76 in the NBA) and Duda Sanadze from the hosts. The Turks protested that after this incident, 22 seconds were somehow removed from the clock. And indeed, it is evident from the records of the match – Sanadze’s foul against Korkmaz is at 4:48 minutes on the scoreboard of the fourth quarter, and the game is resumed after the suspension, which came because of the violation, at 4:26. And what happened during that period is not game time and the clock should not be running.
The away federation protested this as a formal offence. But the real reasons for the Turks wanting to leave the tournament happened after the drama ended. On the way to the dressing room, three Georgia players – Sanadze, Goga Bitadze and Torinke Shengelia – attacked Korkmaz
And this has already driven the Turks crazy.
“We want the recordings from the security cameras and punishments – the vice president of the federation Onan was angry. – Otherwise we will not play anymore. Teammates of Korkmaz say that the security guards not only did not intervene, but attacked him with the Georgian players. We came here to play basketball , but what happens off the pitch, we don’t accept.”
The situation also affects the Bulgarian team, which has three defeats so far, but still has two matches to play in the group – against Georgia and Belgium. The victory of the hosts is bad news for ours, and even worse, Belgium sensationally beat Spain on Sunday night with 83:73. Thus, the battle for the top four places becomes complicated, and our hopes of going parallel with the Belgians and Georgians before the matches with them received a blow. Montenegro, Spain, Turkey and Belgium have 5 points each, Georgia has 4, and Bulgaria has 3. On Tuesday we meet the Georgians, and on Wednesday – the Belgians.
And the results in our group weren’t the only ones that surprised the basketball world on Sunday.
The European champions from Slovenia were defeated by Bosnia with 93:97. And so Group B gets pretty tied up, although thanks to Luka Doncic and company, Germany beat Lithuania 109-107 in great drama, and France expectedly won against Hungary 78-74. However, the remaining matches of the Slovenians are directly against the Germans and the French – two top teams.