Blatt And Ors To Lead All-Star Teams

29 March 2005

The FIBA Europe League All-Star Day will take place on 14th April 2005 in Nicosia, Cyprus.

FIBA Europe announced today that St. Petersburg Coach David Blatt will head the Rest of the World team, while Fenerbahce’s Aydin Ors takes on coaching responsibilities for the European side.

Blatt will be assisted by fellow final four qualifier Renato Pasquali from BC Kyiv. Home town hero Dragan Raca of EKA Lemesos will co-coach the Europeans with Ors.

Aydin Ors
For David Blatt, the All-Star Day caps what has been a remarkable season for the former Maccabi Tel Aviv front man in which he has led St. Petersburg to an 18-0 record in the FIBA Europe League.

Blatt, who first came to Israel as a player, got his first head coaching assignment with Hapoel Galil Elyon in 1995 and in 1996 he was named Israeli Coach of the Year.

Blatt moved to Israel and European giants Maccabi Tel Aviv in 1999 as an assistant under Pini Gershon. He took over head coaching duties in 2001 and in 2003 reverted back to the bench under the returning Gershon for one season.

He joined St. Petersburg at the start of the 2004-2005 season and is also currently head coach of the Israel national side.

Blatt’s achievements with Maccabi include 5 league titles, 3 cups, a Suproleague title in 2001 and the Euroleague in 2004.

Blatt is joined on the Rest of the World bench by Kyiv coach Renato Pasquali.

Pasquali, a native of Italy, has led Kyiv to unprecedented heights this season, highlighted by the side’s qualification to the FIBA Europe League Final Four.

Pasquali took over at Kyiv midway through the 2003-2004 season. Before Kyiv, he held assistant coaching positions in Benetton Treviso and Virtus Bologna, and was head coach at Forli in Italy’s A1 from 1997 to 1999.

Pasquali has also been heavily involved in youth basketball, notably on the bench of the Italian U20, U18 and U16 national teams at European Championships.

Fenerbahce’s Aydi Ors will coach the European team. Ors is in his first season with Fenerbahce and has engineered a renaissance for the Istanbul side, whose success so far this season includes qualification to the FIBA Europe League Final Four.

Ors is certainly no stranger to success himself, having coached Turkish giants Efes Pilsen for 8 consecutive seasons until 1999. He led Efes to 5 domestic championships and the first European success in Turkish basketball history, the 1996 Korac Cup.

Michael McDonald (left), Dragan Raca (center) and Duane Woodward celebrate Lemesos second consecutive Cypriot league title
Dragan Raca (center)

European silverware also came to Ors courtesy of his 3-year stint with the national team, beginning in 2000. In 2001 Turkey hosted Eurobasket, and Ors guided his side to a silver medal.

Ors is joined on the bench by Lemesos Coach Dragan Raca.

Although he is a native of the former Yugoslavia, Raca has made Cyprus his home since 1990 and has had a huge impact on basketball in the country.

After playing under legendary coach Dusan Ivkovic, Raca moved to Cyprus where he played for 8 teams in a 12-year career. He retired from playing in 2002 and is the Cypriot  eague’s all-time leading scorer.

Raca also suited up for the Cypriot national team after gaining naturalisation. He represented Cyprus during the Preliminary Round of the 2003 European Championship, averaging a team high 15.4ppg.

In 2002 he was appointed head coach of EKA AEL and despite managing young and inexperienced players he led AEL to a great run in Europe which ended with his team being crowned FIBA Regional Challenge Cup Champions with an unbeaten record.

In his rookie year as a coach Dragan Raca also led AEL to its first domestic Championship after 15 years. For those achievements he was subsequently voted “Coach of the Year” in Cyprus.

In 2003 success on the European level continued with AEL progressing to the final 16 of the FIBA Europe League.


28.04.2005 - By Jeff Taylor, PA International
18.04.2005 - By Cindy Garcia-Bennett, PA International
17.04.2005 - By Jeff Taylor, PA International

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