|The first head coach Fan Mail of the 2008-09 Euroleague season struck a chord that re-sounded for Efes Pilsen fans far and wide. They quickly filled the mailbox of Efes boss Ergin Ataman with questions from multiple countries. And they wanted to know about lineups, tactics and more or less anything he has in mind to lift Efes to the heights of European basketball. Coach Ataman was not at all shy about matching their aspirations when it comes to wanting nothing but the best - and the sooner, the better - for Efes. "Our aim is to reach the top of Europe not in three years, but this year, and then to maintain that level," Ataman said in one answer. "We are a new team and we feel the difficulties of being a new team. We are trying to minimize those difficulties by working very hard. We want to reach the top as soon as possible."
Hi, Do you think the your team's center rotation and size (Gonlum, Peker, Kasun, Hersek) is adequate for top level games?
Tugsan – Istanbul
"In addition to those players, we must take into consideration Kakiouzis, Shumpert and the new player Dwayne Jones… From my point of view, all those names are enough for our center rotation.
Dear Mr. Ataman, we have been following all the matches from Abdi Ipekçi since 1992… My question is: For the Partizan match, we observed that you kept rotation of the players very low, with 7 or 8 players mainly that night. Why? Fatigue seemed to be a factor in the fourth quarter this gave a chance to Partizan to catch us and almost win the game. We wish you good luck and success,
Korhan Ercin – Turkey
"Every single game has a different strategy for us. Because of our center problem, our rotation became shorter in the Partizan game. But the starting guards and forwards had brilliant performances, and because of this we played the game with a minimum number of players. But for sure, that does not mean that we will go on like this. In every game we will have different tactics."
Hello Ergin! What do you expect of Mario Kasun and Michalis Kakiouzis? They are great players who can help the team win. Good luck!
Anna – Barcelona, Spain
"Both Kasun and Kakiouzis are high–level and very experienced players. Unfortunately, Kasun's injury was very bad for us. He will add power to our team under the rim after recovery. Kakiouzis is a very clever player also. He will help us in critical games."
Ergin, what's your opinion about Milos Vujanic? Can he be the leader of this Efes Pilsen team, knowing how he played before his injury with Partizan and Skipper? Now that he's playing well again, do you think that he will reach that level again?
Milorad Antic – Serbia
"After realizing that he began showing the great performances that he used to show before his injur, we added Milos to our roster thinking that he would become a leader of Efes Pilsen. We all believe that he will be the leader of Efes Pilsen to help the team reach the top."
Hi. A question for Ergin Ataman: Who is your favorite basketball player and coach, why?
Ercan Orhan – Turkey
"My favorite player is David Andersen and my favorite coach is Ettore Messina. They are very succesful names on court."
Dear Coach, I'm a diehard Efes fan. It seems very odd that everybody is an Efes fan in Turkey, but almost nobody is in the stands supporting Efes! Any comments? Hope to see you in Berlin!
Onder Sarikaya – Germany
"Although we have many sympathizers, unfortunately a fanatic crowd coming to every game of ours is not the result. But with each game that the team takes a step forward, I believe that those sympathizers will become fanatic fans and will fill Abdi İpekçi Arena. See you in Berlin at the Final Four!"
Dear Ergin Ataman, what is the most important specification that a player should have? I hope have a good season with Efes. Best regards,
Kutlay Ari – Ankara, Turkey
"Discipline, winning ambition and intelligence. Thank you for this beautiful question."
Dear, Coach. First of all, good luck for the season. We are a new team and we all know that it will take time to be on top form. In our two Euroleague games so far, opponents made total number of 35 offensive rebounds. What do you think about it? Thanks and good luck,
Ugur Berkin – Dubai
"You are right. At the moment, the most important concern of ours are the defensive rebounds. We are trying to improve some special technical works on this matter. Of course, we felt deeply the absence of our main center, Mario Kasun, in the first two Euroleague games. Because of this reason, we added Dwayne Jones to our roster, and he has got a great rebounding and block potential."
Mr. Ataman, my question is simple: you achieved a lot in the past, but what should you do over, let's say, three years' time in order to get Efes to the European heights they used to enjoy?
Mitja Krizan – Ljubljana, Slovenia
"Our aim is to reach the top of Europe not in three years, but this year, and then to maintain that level. We are a new team and we feel the difficulties of being a new team. We are trying to minimize those difficulties by working very hard. We want to reach the top as soon as possible."
"Thank you very much!"