To our surprise, Hakan was right
When I made all the fuss at the beginning of the year that Ülker would close their 12-year basketball branch and concentrate on the three big teams, Sporting Games Director, a former National Team basketball player, our dear Hakan Artış was absolutely right when he answered, “Brother, you are wrong, you will see even bigger projects in the near future.”
In fact, my objection was because 4/2 of the pie was for Fenerbahçe Ülker, and that left 4/1 each for Cola Turka Beşiktaş and Café Crown Galatasaray. Everybody was satisfied but I was obsessed by the unjustifiable rivalry among the three big clubs. However, when Fenerbahçe came first in the European Cup and the other two advanced to the quarter finals, the perfection of ÜLKER’s project that was slated to last until 2010, was clear from its first year. The three big clubs drew crowds not only in Europe, but they also brought fans to the stadia and radiated hope for the future.
There was no terror in the stands as had been feared. The shared structure brought success on the pitch. ÜLKER bir de basketbolun mabedi olacak auditorium kazandırırsa potaya tadından yenmez.
While Coaches Ergin Ataman and Murat Özyer translated these plans into success on the field, the criticism that I leveled at Fenerbahçe ÜLKER coach Tanjeviç must be considered separately. From the beginning… the media criticized him, the fans demanded his resignation, Ibrahim Kutluay left in mid-season to go to Greece, the skittish behavior of Solomon and Mirsad the injuries and other misfortunes that dogged the coach. He managed the critical situation with the patience and experience that befits a coach, directed the team, held his tongue and his temper and came out successfully, on the way to the top in Europe As he wished the “Big Three” much success, let’s underline the reasons for their collective success: ÜLKER is supreme.
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