Turkish Airlines Euroleague
June 19, 2013
Final Eight press conference
Jordi Bertomeu, Euroleague Basketball CEO
Welcome, thank you for coming to our second edition of the Final Eight. At the end of a season in which we introduced some changes in the system of competition, we have all come to the conclusion that these changes have been positive for the competition. We started with the qualifying rounds, together with FIBA, we changed the length of the regular season and we introduced the Last 16 phase. Now, at the end of the season, we realize that these changes have been positive for the competition and for the teams themselves.
"Now, it's time for the final, and I want to first express our gratitude to our hosts, Torino Olympic Park, represented here by general director Paolo Bellino, for making a great effort to offer all of you, the teams and the fans a big event, a great event. Last year, they already proved how capable they are in terms of organization. Last year was perfect, and think that this year we will enjoy the same level of organization. One more reason to express our gratitude is because of this unbelievable facility, Palasport Olimpico Isozaki, one of the most beautiful facilities that I, personally, have seen in Europe. Thanks to them, we'll have this Final Eight in a new facility that will help us offer fans a bigger, better event.
"Of course, that event needs great teams, and we have eight of them who have been fighting all season to make the finals. The fact that three of those eight teams have been in the Euroleague and others are close means they are consolidated among the top teams of European basketball and is a sign of what we can expect to enjoy in these next days.
"I want to make a special mention of Eurosport, who once again has made a great effort and commitment to the Eurocup. Thanks to them, this Final Eight will reach 46 countries, which shows the huge distribution of this event, while at the same time we have Center TV Russia, RTS Serbia, Sport 5 Israel, Lietuvos Rytas TV Lithuania, Canal 9 Spain, ETB Spain and HRT Croatia all broadcasting games, too.
"I also want to thank our sponsors, NIKE and the Greek National Tourism Office, who have been very helpful for us in the organization of this Final Eight.
"I also don't want to forget three basketball professionals who we awarded for their contribution to the sport and excellent skills that helped their teams to make it to the Final Eight: the Eurocup Coach of the Year, Oktay Mahmuti of Benetton Basket Tamoil, the Eurocup MVP, Chuck Eidson of Lietuvos Rytas, and the special talent who is the Rising Star Trophy winner, Milan Macvan of Hemofarm Stada.
"Thanks to all of them, we have enjoyed a great year. Now it's time to enjoy a great weekend, which is what I and the Euroleague Basketball staff wish for all of you. We are sure that on Sunday we will be able to confirm that goal has been met."
Paolo Bellino, General Director, Torino Olimpic Park
"It gives us great pleasure to be here today, at the top moment of the Final Eight. Thank you to all of you who are here. I'd like give some data about our event venue, Palasport Olimpic Isozaki. It was a big challenge for us, but we thing this is a fantastic venue for basketball, as well as a fantastic multisport and entertainment venue. In the future, we expect to host other important events, and hopefull more related to basketball.
"I wish to thank the Piemonte region and the municipality of Torino, who help us economically to give us the chance to host these events. I think the Final Eight offers a fantastic means to present the city of Torino and the region to the world. Torino will be on the air in the rest of Europe, and beyond, this weekend.
"Of course, I want to say thanks to all the teams here in Torino. I am sure they will give us a fantastic show and a fantastic tournament in the next days.
"We have sold 13,000 tickets for the event so far. That includes 4,200 for Thursday, which we consider a good result for that night.
"I would like to mention the important work done by the great team at Palasport Olimpic, who have demonstrated today, as during all the year, their great competence and know-how at these big sports events."
Friday, April 03, 2009