30 August, 2014
14 September
9 Emir PRELDZIC (Turkey)
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Preldzic: "I hope I can do this every birthday"

BARCELONA (FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Emir Preldzic gave himself a perfect belated birthday gift leading Turkey to a nail-biting win in the Round of 16 game against Australia.

The Fenerbache player celebrated his 27th birthday only on Saturday and it was his teammate Sinan Guller who pointed it out.

What was Preldzic's first reaction after the game?

"I hope I can do this for every birthday," he said.

These are the moments you live for as a basketball player. - Preldzic

"There is no more joy than delivering when the team needs you the most."

The 2.05m forward certainly answered the call when he was needed, hitting back-to-back three-pointers in the final minute of the game as the tables in favor of Turkey.

He finished with 16. Guller had as many points the two acknowledged each other.

"If he didn't do what he did, all (of) what I did would have been a waste," said Guller.

Preldzic responded: "We came close to winning because he kept us in the game all along."

Turkey coach Ergin Attaman paid tribute to both players.

"We played very bad basketball all along. It was thanks to these two guys that we won and got through," he said.

"Every game is an emotional game for us. Every game is newer and tougher challenge.

I am very proud of the way my team is holding together. - Attaman

"It's almost like everyone plays very well when they play against us," joked Attaman.

"We are never giving up in any game even when the scoreboard looks like it may become a blow out.

"All credit to my players."