Serkan! You were sensational in the last playoff game against Panathinaikos. All Turkish fans' hearts were with you and will be with you during the Final Four games. How will you prepare for Maccabi, and will the winner of that game win it all?
Kaan Tokat - Turkey
"Well, Tau Ceramica lost to Maccabi Tel Aviv in the final last season. I was not a member of the team then, but I'm feeling like I was one of the losers in this final and motivating myself for the revenge. I believe with all my heart that this time we will be the winners. But to do it, we have to play top-class basketball: just motivation or self-confidence is not enough. That doesn't mean that to beat Maccabi is the main thing to win the cup. We will have two more difficult opponents like Barcelona and CSKA Moscow to think about after. But, of course, to beat Maccabi would be like to move from the side of the road to the highway."
Hi. First of all, we are proud of you. I have two questions. Why have you been 'discovered' only now, in your mid-twenties? Does your new team meet your expectations and are you happy there?Kutlay - Turkey
"Everything is possible in life. I'm 27 years old right now, and discovered at 26. It's really late when you compare with other players. I think the main reason is that my ex-coaches didn't trust me enough. This made me spend most of my time on the bench, instead of on the court. I'm still playing at 70 percent of what I can on the court. I'm playing better day by day. It's going to be much better when I start to play at 100 percent. Of course, I am meeting my expectations. What more I can look for? We are having a great season, full of success. No one can ask for better."
Hi from Germany, Serkan. I'm very happy about your performance in the Euroleague. What is the difference between basketball in Turkey and Spain? I hope that you win the Euroleague!Ayhan Kilicoglu - Germany
"To answer that question, I have to talk more than two hours maybe, because there is a big difference of basketball mentality between the two countries. There's not such a big difference in the quality of basketball. But in investment and quality players, there is much more in Spain than in Turkey. The marketing of basketball, respect for basketball and the presence in the media is really different. Those things are not easy to explain in a couple of sentences. It's really complicated. I'm telling those things as the first Turkish player playing in Spain. But if there are more Turkish players in the near future, I'm sure they will say the same."
Dear Serkan, Your near-perfect performance helped tremendously for Tau to overcome Panathinaikos. When I saw those three-pointers pouring in, I remembered Reggie Miller. Who is or was your favorite shooter? Best,Turgut Mustafayev - Baku, Azerbaijan
"You are really right. Reggie Miller is also my favorite shooter."
Hello, Serkan! You've done a great job this season and as Turkish fans, we are all proud of you! What was it like to beat Panathinaikos at OAKA in front of so many thousands of exciting and cheering fans, and to remain so calm in the crucial moments? Thanks and greetings from your homeland,Hale Akkus - Turkey
"Of course it's not easy to play in OAKA and against Panathinaikos. It's not easy even if you play the game without fans against Panathinaikos, too. They have a great team that plays in a great atmosphere. We played excellent basketball and won the game. We are motivated for these matches in a different way than the others. But the main thing is the experience. Our team has many experienced players who have played big games like that many times before in their career. Another thing: Don't let them see the panic on your face."
Hi Serkan. Some experts consider Tau as having the deepest roster and best frontcourt in the competition, as well as the great psychological advantage of having claimed a Final Four spot in one of Europe's hottest arenas, against Panathinaikos. Do all these things make Tau the favorite to lift the trophy?Georgiou, Aggelos - Greece
"Well, I have to say, honestly, yes. The deep roster is one of the main things for these kinds of long-distance competitions. Of course, some couple of players on deep rosters could get upset to be on the bench mostly. But those things will not be remembered by anybody in the future. They will only remember that they were a part of the success, they were a member of the championship team or a finalist. This is much more important than to play maybe 40 minutes for the whole season but go back home without anything."
Hi Serkan. First, congratulations for your participation at the Final Four in Prague. In that third game at OAKA against Panathinaikos, four made 4 of 4 free throws in the last 2 minutes. How difficult was that to do in front of 18,000 fans against your team? Good luck in Prague, Michael Petridu - Frankfurt, Germany
"It was really very hard for sure. But I never feared or thought about anything when I was shooting the free throws. Some fans were shooting the laser lights in my eyes when I was shooting, but there was nothing to do. Anyway, I'm a player who shot 80 percent on foul shots. It's not easy to explain, but I am always relaxed when I'm doing it. No matter if I have been missing or not, it's always like this."
Hello. How is your life at Vitoria? It's a small city, but in my opinion is that it's a great place to live.Ane Estebaraz Tejero - Vitoria, Spain
"It's really a wonderful place for me to live. I love Vitoria and am very happy to live there. I feel like I'm at home there. I never felt myself as a stranger here. I hope it goes the same way for many years."
Serkan, first of all we miss you a lot in Turkey. As an Efes fan, I want to ask what do you think is missing in Turkish teams that been making it to the Final Four stage? I hope one day Efes does, before I lose my mind. Thank you!Tuygun Othan - Turkey
"I don't want to say anything about Ulker on that point. But I can say something about Efes Pilsen. I really feel sad about them. Honestly, I don't know the reason that they are failing to reach the Final Four for a third straight time. This season, they had many injuries and the absence of Ermal Kuqo. If they didn't have that many injuries, they could have made the Final Four. But they reached the Final Four two times before in their history. So I believe that they can make it many times in the future."
Hi, namesake. The best way to express our feelings about you is to say that we feel honored by your results with Tau Ceramica. I really appreciate your self-confidence. You are cool as ice on offense when shooting. Are you so sure of yourself on defense? Good luck,Serkan Sakallioglu - Turkey
"To be honest, I don't trust myself at that point. I'm not a good defender yet, but I'm working hard on it, trying to improve myself. It's impossible to play in Tau Ceramica without playing good defense. So I'm trying to overcome my defensive handicaps by working very hard. Yes, I'm really cool as ice in the critical moments. But this is my mentality. And I'm using that advantage on the court as much as I can."