|Good Angels Head Coach Maros Kovacik left few in doubt as to what it meant for his team to make the semis|
By Paul Nilsen
Fenerbahce play-caller Roberto Iniquez may be on the verge of claiming unprecedented back-to-back titles during his first season with two different clubs, but whatever the outcome of Sunday's Final, he believes there's only one Coach of the Year candidate.
According to the 47-year-old, who has only coached in the competition for less than 18 months but is amazingly preparing for his second title game, he isn't the leading contender.
Speaking in the wake of a historical night for Fenerbahce who became the first Turkish club to reach the Final after defeating Good Angels Kosice, Iniguez was quick to hail the accomplishment of rookie Maros Kovacik in taking the Slovak Republic club to the last four of the competition.
"I have to congratulate Coach Kovacik of Good Angels Kosice because he has done an absolutely incredible job this season," proclaimed Iniguez.
"I have to say ahead of the Final, that for me, whatever happens, he is definitely the Coach of the Year in EuroLeague Women.
"He has been the best coach and got his players to produce the best play of the season and they should all be very happy and satisfied with this."
The sentiment of Iniguez was also echoed by Olaf Lange of UMMC who ironically, is also gunning for the top of the EuroLeague Women podium in his first season with his new club. Yet he also paid tribute to the work of Kovacik earlier in the week after his team overpowered Kosice.
At just 34 years old, Kovacik is one of the youngest coaches to ever have pitted his wits in the competition and has further heightened his profile not only by guiding his team on a stunning run into the semi-finals, but also because of his passion and outpouring of emotion in doing so.
Kovacik has also won plenty of admirers for the attractive style of play adopted by Good Angels Kosice this year, who are still in the top five chart for both points scored and assists.
As he establishes himself as one of the best young coaches in Europe, this sensational rookie year could get even better if the newcomer can guide Kosice to third place by signing off a wonderful campaign with victory against Bourges on Sunday.