20 October, 2020
09 May, 2021
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Island nation: Group A coaches survey

MIES (Switzerland) - Two of the three island-based teams that take part in the 2020-21 edition of the BCL were drawn together in Group A, and the addition of Istanbul and Denmark as the other two destinations converts travel arrangements into one of the main things on the mind of the four coaches whose teams will do battle in this pool.

Group A of the Regular Season features former champions Iberostar Tenerife, last year's joint Group A winners Dinamo Sassari, BCL newcomers Galatasaray and Bakken Bears, the surprise package of the Qualifiers who made it back to the competition after a two-year absence.

We asked the coach of each of the teams 10 questions to help us preview Group A action which tips off Tuesday October 20th:

Which teams in your group have the best roster and/or coach and why do you think so?

Steffen Wich (Bakken Bears): That's a tough question, they are all good teams and Erdogan, Gianmarco and Vidorreta are all good coaches, it's not going to be that one is better than the other, it's all about the specific gameday.
Gianmarco Pozzecco (Dinamo Sassari): It's not possible to judge, especially in this current situation with the pandemic, and in any case I don't like to talk about other teams and other coaches.
Ertugrul Erdogan (Galatasaray): Tenerife, because they have both talent and experience in the BCL.
Txus Vidorreta (Iberostar Tenerife): Sassari and Galatasaray

Which games in your group would you recommend to a neutral basketball fan?

Steffen Wich: I think every game here will be great, the three other teams in this group will make for great games, and the game between Galatasaray and Tenerife in Istanbul will probably be great fun.
Gianmarco Pozzecco: The final.
Ertugrul Erdogan: Galatasaray vs. Tenerife
Txus Vidorreta: All games

Which of these games will be the toughest for your team and why?

Steffen Wich: They are all tough, we made it through after a couple of years and, without disrespecting the other groups, I think that the easiest and most honest answer is to say that every game in this group is very tough.
Gianmarco Pozzecco: The toughest are all games that we have to play on the road, because of travel. We live on an island, a very beautiful island but when we have to play away from Sassari it's not so simple. In any case, we know what it is and after the first games it becomes a habit and we play our basketball.
Ertugrul Erdogan: Every game will be tough, because of the long and complicated travel involved.
Txus Vidorreta: All games

Name one or more players in this group which you think are really special (because they have a very specific skill, or they are difficult to defend, etc).

Steffen Wich: There are so many special and good players but I think I will twist the question a little bit and say that there also different players, who don't play mainstream basketball. I think [Giorgi] Shermadini is a great character and great to watch, he does things differently, also [Daryl] Macon of Galatasaray does things a little bit different, so those two players are good fun to watch.
Gianmarco Pozzecco: I talk only about my team, I don't want to disrespect anybody, I am just focused on Dinamo Sassari. So I want to say that Miro Bilan is an amazing player, he can be an MVP in the league. I am really proud to coach him, we are friends, this is our fourth year working together and I am very happy that we are working together for another year.
Ertugrul Erdogan: No answer
Txus Vidorreta: Marco Spissu and Miro Bilan [of Sassari], Daryl Macon [of Galatasary], Glenn Cosey [of Bakken Bears].

Name one or more players in this group whom you expect to be a positive surprise

Steffen Wich: It's tough because these players are so good that they can't surprise you, but if we do want to talk about a positive surprise then I would say my players, cause the Bakken Bears players will come in here and do something different. I look forward to seeing which players from the Bears make a difference.
Gianmarco Pozzecco: This is the most stupid question you can ask! If it's a surprise, how can you say? If you know, then it's not a surprise.
Ertugrul Erdogan: No answer
Txus Vidorreta: The players of Bakken Bears.

Which teams in this group play a style of basketball that you find interesting, and why?

Steffen Wich: Obviously Bakken Bears (he laughs). I think all three teams play a little different but all play good basketball, some play a lot of pick'n'roll, others play power basketball, so I can't point out one in specific.
Gianmarco Pozzecco: We haven't started, so I can tell you only after two-three games, when I have enough information and I can tell you what my idea is.
Ertugrul Erdogan: Dinamo Sassari, because they play a simple but spectacular style of basketball.
Txus Vidorreta: I don't know, I don't know them well yet.

Which team in this group will have the best defense and which one the best offense?

Steffen Wich: I hope that we'll have the best offense, but I think down the stretch Galatasaray will probably have the best defense. It depends on many things, the possessions, the game flow, etc, but it's going to be close.
Gianmarco Pozzecco: The team that has the best defense will be the best team in the group, that's what I can tell you.
Ertugrul Erdogan: No answer.
Txus Vidorreta: Sassari and Galatasaray

Which team in this group has the fastest pace and which team has the slowest pace?

Steffen Wich: I hope the Bears will be the fastest team, and I don't think there is a slow-slow team here, just that some teams will play with a little more control than others.
Gianmarco Pozzecco: No answer
Ertugrul Erdogan: No answer
Txus Vidorreta: I don't know, I don't know them well yet.

If you could spend a couple of extra days in one of the cities you will visit in this group, or if you took out the whole team to a restaurant (the club president is paying!) which city would you choose?

Steffen Wich: I know that covid is killing everything, but they are three great destinations and I would love to stay a little more time and explore Istanbul's cultural heritage and I would love to dig in the culinary experience in Sassari and stay on the beaches of Tenerife, but the situation is what it is.
Gianmarco Pozzecco: I love Istanbul, its' a great city, it's huge but I like it. I've spent a lot of time there, I played a lot of games. I remember playing there against Petar Naumoski, one of the best players I have ever played against. I am really happy every time I go to Istanbul.
Ertugrul Erdogan: I would choose Sardinia
Txus Vidorreta: I choose Istanbul

Is the team that will win the 2021 BCL trophy in this group? (you can just give a yes or no answer, you don’t need to name the team)

Steffen Wich: No idea, but... yes.
Gianmarco Pozzecco: Last year we lost against Burgos in the Play-Offs and then they won the BCL. A lot of times in sport a club with tradition wins trophies, so it can happen that Galatasaray, a team that has great tradition, can be one of them.
Ertugrul Erdogan: No answer
Txus Vidorreta: No