Reigning Turkish Airlines EuroLeague champion Fenerbahçe Doğuş’s Italian star Gigi Datome gave an exclusive interview to TrendBasket.

How was the preparation period so far?

It was strange because some players like me joined the team after EuroBasket. We played six games in six days and practiced twice. We’re still knowing each other but we have to be ready because we have a cup to win this week.

You get to play in İstanbul and Tel Aviv. How would you evaluate the tournament on Italy’s perspective?

Our goal was to come to İstanbul and compete with everybody. That’s what we did. We finished the summer without big results but at the end of the day, I think our result is what we deserved.

For Italy, you were together with your teammate Nicolo Melli. Can you say that the tournament allows you two to get used to each other before Fenerbahçe’s season kicks off?

I think it’s going to be a different team here, with a different system. Both of us need to adapt to another situation. We have many experienced players. I think it will take some time to adapt for everybody who is here for the first time. I’m sure they’re gonna help us out.

With Udoh and Bogdanovic out, leaders on offense and defense have changed. How will these changes affect the team?

I think it’s early to talk about this. We have a group of guys who were the core in previous years. New guys will for sure contribute to the team in important positions. I think we’re gonna evaluate who will be the leader over time. We have a lot of good players who have the possibility to succeed and be an important part of our success.

Lastly, do you have a message for Fenerbahçe fans for the upcoming season?

We’re waiting to see them again,  filling up this arena and outside of the arena. I always say they’re a big part of our success. Hopefully, we are working to have more and more successful seasons. I can’t wait to see them very soon.

Kemal Rutkay Özcan

İletişim: kemalrutkayozcan@gmail.com Twitter: krutkayozcan

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