Podcast: Can Pelister and Onur Coşkun
Interview: Onur Coşkun
Text: Murat Akcan
Stefanos Dedas, successful coach of Gaziantep Basketbol, participated in this episode of ”40 Minutes” and you can follow the text of Greek coach’s explanations from below!
You won six times in last seven games and your team entered the playoff race. What do you want to say about this latest performance?
For sure, we expected to be much better at second round than the first round. We knew we had problems at the beginning of the season, we started very late but everybody was believing our team. We worked with good system, we found great chemistry so, those results are not a surprise for me. We fight every game, everybody see that we are a competitive team. Also before this period, we lost every EuroLeague team at our home in last seconds, so we gave these signals before. Now, like you said, we are in a good position and in last eleven games everything can happen.
The last week of the league, you beat Galatasaray on the road and it’s huge victory because they’re playing EuroLeague and they won Eurocup last year. In fact, what can you say about story of this game?
It was a good win for our prestige. Before that game, we beat other teams and won games but we needed to beat a good team to gain more prestige. In Abdi İpekçi we felt very comfortable. I’m happy about this win because we prepared well and aimed to beat Galatasaray. We knew about them but we did not afraid, even in tough moments or when we were down by nine points. In second half everybody played excellent. Like you said it’s a Eurocup winner, a EuroLeague team so this win is very good for us. But it is only two points, all the games are the same. Even it is big team or a smaller team, all games are the same. But this win gave us more prestige and it was very good for our fans.
Davon Jefferson has a great season and his statistics are pretty good. Would you briefly describe his role in your team?
He plays good and it helps us too much. When I brought him to Gaziantep, everybody said it is a risk to have him because of his little bit strange character. But I knew him personally from the Russia days and I knew what he can give on the court. We created a good system around him with good shooters and he found a space to show what he can do. I’m happy for him. But one player is not important. I mean everybody is important but the most important thing is the team.
Before beginning of the season, you experienced serious problem and people were skeptical about your participation in the league. Today, you’ve fight for playoff. Did you imagine this development coach?
Like I said, before the beginning of the season we knew we had problems. Because we didn’t make a good preparation and our roster was not ready. Our GM believed me and believed my system. We knew we had good players and when we found the right chemistry we started to play good. Now we are at the middle of the standings, which is very important. For sure, we are in a race for playoffs but as I said playoffs are not so important. The most important thing is the team continue to work. It is very good to see Gaziantep fans to be proud of their basketball team.
Last question, many people think that Turkish Basketball League is the best and the most difficult league in Europe? Do you agree with them or not? Why?
For sure, after the EuroLeague, Turkish Basketball League is the most difficult league in Europe. It is much better league than Spanish League. If you work in these two leagues, you will feel the difference. Spanish League has a name but now Turkish League have stronger teams. Here, last team on the standings can beat the first team. In Turkish League there are four EuroLeague teams, there are teams like Beşiktaş and Banvit who dominates Champions League. And other teams have at least three million dollar budgets. You can see that Turkish League is the most difficult league. There is no easy game.